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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-12-2011, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: EHC Tips and Tricks?

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Originally Posted by diamond rush View Post

A couple newbie questions: How much hair is appropriate for the wings? I've got some deer belly hair that I found. But I don't know the proper amount per hook size. Nothing seems to look quite right. Will other types of hair (horse? dog? rabbit?) work? Silly idea, but pine straw's about the same consistency as deer belly hair. Does that work? What should I use as a tail? Hackles or no hackles?
Appears that although you got a lot of great suggestions and links to sites, some of your original questions (above) went unanswered.

> How much hair is appropriate for the wings?

This depends on the size of the fly, but typically on a size 12-16, you would use a bunch loosely the size of a wooden matchstick.

> I've got some deer belly hair that I found.

Deer belly hair is generally used for 'spinning'- to make heads on muddlers or what are typically referred to as "deer hair" flies, where you spin, pack, and trim the hair to make a shape. It is extremely hollow hair and tends to flare way to much to use for wing material.

> Will other types of hair (horse? dog? rabbit?) work?

To get the type of profile you're looking for on a standard EHC fly, these types of hairs would not be recommended. There is some GREAT info on this page about hair types and its uses in fly tying Riverwood Flies Hair Reference | Riverwood Blog

As mentioned by others, an underwing of CDC can make almost ANY HAIR act as if its 'bouyant', and if you fish fast water or areas with a lot of boulders and plunge pools, a slight CDC underwing is a good idea with ANY type of hair.

> pine straw's about the same consistency as deer belly hair. Does that work?

Well, you can try it, but I wouldn't have high hopes =)

> What should I use as a tail?

A 'classic' EHC has no tail, but many of the other patterns mentioned by others do. The 'tail' in many cases is intended to represent a shuck that is being shed during a hatch.

> Hackles or no hackles?

Again, a 'classic' EHC has a palmered hackle on the body, tied under the wing. Most tyers use a hackle one size smaller than on a normal dry fly, and some will counter wrap a rib of VERY FINE wire or monofilament through the hackle to reinforce it.

I've also taken to tying a small "indicator" fiber on top of the wing right at the tie down point in recent years- something bright or light colored- to use to help others I know that have failing eyesight see their flies =)
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 04-12-2011, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: EHC Tips and Tricks?

Craig Matthews and Blue Ribbon Flies are the originators of the X-Caddis pattern. Their latest and greatest is called the X2-Caddis, here is the link: Blue Ribbon Flies | How To | X2 Caddis

Another good emerger pattern for caddis is Blue Ribbon's Iris Caddis pattern, here is the link for that one also: Blue Ribbon Flies | How To | Tying Video Archive

Hope these help in your search. I used to use the EHC almost exclusively until I discovered the benefits of a non-hackled pattern that floated in the film. I haven't looked back. I still use the EHC for fast, broken water, but even then I'll try my low-riders first.

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: EHC Tips and Tricks?

"The King's River Caddis"

Print Hemingway Caddis

Don't tie my KRC exacly like this... but these are excellent low riders for fast water.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2011, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: EHC Tips and Tricks?

I just wanted to chime in with what I learned. The weather here has been terrible, so the hatch was delayed by 2 weeks. The caddis hatching off were black-bodied caddis with tannish-grey wings. Knowing this, pretty much everything I tied was black-bodied. The first time fishing the hatch, I didn't realize the caddisflies were size 16 and everything I tied was too large (size 12). I had a couple hits on the size 12 but didn't hook up. Fortunately, a size 16 royal wulff and a size 16 black adams were close enough to catch fish. I only hooked up ~50% of the time, though. I still caught ~14 browns. Best was 12"

For the second outing, I was better prepared with a variety of patterns in the right sizes. Pretty much everything I tied caught a fish or two. They seemed to prefer the adult females coming back to lay their eggs rather than the emergers. Only flies that were sitting up nicely on top of the film produced strikes. I didn't get a single take on an emerger or pupa. What worked the best was actually a size 16 1x fine dry hook wrapped with peacock hurl and oversized grizzly hackle all the way down the shaft. I think this was because it always landed sitting up right and I could twitch it across the water to immitate the female caddisfly's boucey motion. A simple no-hackle deer-hair black caddis pattern also caught many fish. With both patterns, I had >90% hook-up rate so I knew I had 'em spot on. All told, I caught ~25 browns. Best was 14" and at least 6 were 12"+, which is very good for the streams I was fishing in the Driftless region.

Thanks for all the tips and patterns, guys!
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: EHC Tips and Tricks?

Nice job-- sounds like you were able to zero in on exactly what they wanted-- congrats on figuring them out. It sounds like you had a ball.
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