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Old 07-07-2013, 11:12 AM
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Default Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

With the temps being in the 90's and high humidity, I decided today would be a good day to work on some fly tying. I am still very much a rookie. I have tied a few Elk Hair Caddis's and have a few questions. I am following directions in The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying and also watching YouTube videos.

The first question is around the dry hackle. I picked up some Whiting dry fly hackle in size 14. It says that it is good for at least 100 flies minimum. When I read the directions in the book or watch on YouTube, it looks like they use a different feather and dedicate one to each fly as they show the prep of the feather. It looks more like when I was using the rooster saddle to tie Woolly Buggers. I would never get 100 flies out of this Whiting pack if I did it that way. I assume that using the Whiting pack I would just clear some barbs to get it tied to the hook.....wrap and cut it. Then for the next fly start where I left off?

In one of the videos I watched, after wrapping the hackle they trimmed it off on the top to make room for the elk hair. Any opinions on that?

Thanks,

Keith
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

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Originally Posted by paflyfish View Post
I assume that using the Whiting pack I would just clear some barbs to get it tied to the hook.....wrap and cut it. Then for the next fly start where I left off?

In one of the videos I watched, after wrapping the hackle they trimmed it off on the top to make room for the elk hair. Any opinions on that?

Thanks,

Keith
You're exactly right. Clear the barbs, tie the hackle to the hook, wrap, cut and use the same hackle feather on the next few flies. Depending on how much hackle you're applying you should easily get at least 100 flies done on the 100's, if not more.

When you are tying these, there are a number of ways you can tie them, but since hackle can be delicate, I always counter wrapped mine with thin metal tinsel/wire. I gave up on tying hackled caddis dry flies and stick with the CDC & Elk. I found them easier to tie, just as durable and the body rides a little lower.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

i am assuming you bought the whiting SADDLE hackle 100's pack in a size 14 and the you tube videos are using cape/neck hackles

the 100's can be over 12+ inches long thus giving you more flies per hackle vs a cape/neck hackle

trimming the hackle off the top is really not necessary and would be a tyers preference

continue using the 100 pack for your elk hair caddis, its perfectly alright

i dont have any of the 100 packs so i just use cape/neck hackles
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

Thanks for the feedback. I did tie some of them today and as a rookie I have to say it is cool to see how the 6th one looks better than the first one! I am also learning that the little comments in the books or videos mean a lot. When they say slide the forefinger forward ..there is a reason. I assume that over time the techniques will apply to more flies and as I get more experience....I will get better.

Keith
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

Tying by the dozen is a great way to get yourself familiar with a new pattern or new tying techniques. You're right on, when you learn a new technique or get familiar with a new tying concept, it will pay dividends later. Let's see some of these flies!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

I have learned to plan on tying 15 flies when I start a new pattern. My routine tends to go like this

fly #

1) pretty decent because I am focused on the "recipe"
2) getting better, less focus on recipe
3) train wreck because I think I have it down and I get ahead of my self.
4) really pretty good
.......stop and cut apart flies #1-3

Tie flies #5-12 and go fishing
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

One way to do this is to use an empty egg carton... put the patterns in the spaces as you tie them then go back and look at #1-#12 and see the differences.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

I thought I was the only one who got progressively better and then tied a few that are a mess. I think I am good at it finally and then stop paying attention to the technique and the fly shows it. I take a look at it and decide if fish will bite it even if it is ugly.....if so....I keep it. It's just a matter of time until I lose it anyway!

Keith
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Dry Fly Hackle and Elk Hair Caddis

I getting kick out of this thread, as I'm tying a few dozen dry caddis from 20-24. Totally relate to the stated learning curve on the small ones. Crowd behind the eye with hackle and dub and thread and the hair walks slides down the thread ramp like a kid on a playground. etc.. lol
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