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peregrines 11-17-2011 04:02 PM

X Caddis SBS
[Center]X Caddis SBS
The X Caddis is another in our upcoming series of beginner lessons. This pattern shares construction methods with many other patterns and together with the Sparkle Dun (which imitates mayflies and uses the same inexpensive materials) you can match many of your stream's hatches by just varying body color, wing shade and hook size. Coming soon will be additional step by steps for the Sparkle Dun and CDC winged versions for both the X Caddis and Sparkle Dun
Type of fly Dry Fly, Caddis adult, Caddis Emerger
Originator of pattern Craig Mathews, Ennis, MT based on previous patterns with similar hair wing construction.
Tied and submitted by peregrines
Level of tying experience needed to tie this pattern Beginner, a fairly simple pattern using basic tying skills. Another excellent dry fly pattern using inexpensive materials.
Techniques covered Selecting a proper amount of dubbing and applying it to directly to a single strand of thread (Direct Dubbing)... Cleaning, stacking and measuring bundles of hollow hair... transferring hands after stacking... proportions of an adult caddis and down wing.... laying a twisted thread foundation... mounting a hollow hair wing using a Soft Loop.
a caddis down wing hair wing 
Materials from left: Zelon (in a hank) or Antron (on card) is used to form the shuck material... Short fine deer hair sold as "Comparadun hair" or "Coastal Deer Hair" is used to form the wing. It comes in a variety of natural shades of brownish gray from dark to light to medium. Bleached pieces are also available as are some dyed colors. You will need a Hair Stacker to align the tips of the hair for the wing... Under the hair stacker are two packages of different types of Cul de Canard (CDC) feathers, which make great wings for small hooks instead of deer hair that are much easier to tie We'll also be adding a CDC X Caddis SBS. Dry Fly Dubbing: a fine synthetic dubbing like SuperFine or Fly Rite is a good choice. Dubbing is usually available in dispensers with 12 color assortments or individual packs of colors. Shown here are 12 color assortments Superfine Group 1 (top) and Superfine Group 2, a dubbing cube with small batches of 30 colors also from SuperFine, and an individual pack of dubbing from Fly Rite.
Materials Listed in order of tie in:
Hook Standard Dry Fly size 12-20 Note: an X Caddis tied with a Compardun deer hair wing can be tied from size 12 to 20, but working with hair on smaller hooks can be difficult at first. For now, try using hair on hooks from size 12-16.... Using a CDC wing for smaller hooks is much easier, and X Caddis and Sparkle Duns can be tied from size 16 to a small as you want to go. (Because of the shorter length of CDC tufts, they're not practical above size 16.)
Thread Danville Flymaster 6/0, Uni 8/0 or similar. Your choice of colors to match body (orange used here for visibility), Gray Danville's Flat Waxed Nylon here
Shuck Antron or Zelon The shuck imitates the trailing skincase of the caddis pupa, the rest of the fly is meant to represent the emerging adult caddis. These can vary in color, but an amber or light brown is a good place to start
Body Various, but many use a synthetic dry fly dubbing like SuperFine or Fly Rite, your choice of color to match naturals
Wing Short fine deer hair usually sold as "Comparadun" or "Coastal Deer" Hair. Comparadun hair comesin a range of natural grayish brown shades from dark to medium to light, and bleached. An option for sizes 16 and smaller is to use one of more CDC feathers for wing in place of deer hair
Head Thread immediately behind eye of hook around shank and butts of wing trimmed to form a wedge shaped caddis head.
Step by Step
Tie on at the 1/3 point of the shank and work your way back to the rear of the hook in touching turns to form a smooth thread under layer. When you get to shank directly above the point, clip the tag end of thread. We want the body to extend on the shank directly above the barb, but cutting the tag here will allow us to bind it down out of sight with the next few wraps as we work to the rear of the hook.
Measure a length of material for the shuck long enough to reach from the 1/3 point of the shank to at least a shank length behind bend. (We will trim the shuck a bit shorter after we finish the fly)..... Tie in a length of material for the shuck directly above the barb..... Wrap forward to the 1/3 point to bind down the shuck material securely to the shank..... and then return thread to the rear again by wrapping towards the end of the body to the shank above the point.... Select just a a thin wisp of dubbing as shown here--
Twist on the dubbing in a counterclockwise direction between the thumb and index finger of your tying hand to form a very thin layer-- It should be just a bit thicker than the thread, you do not want a thick noodle. The tight dubbing layer should extend about 2" or so down the thread (if we run out of dubbed thread as we wrap the body we can always add more). Don't try and force it up the thread to the shank-- in the pic there's about a 1/2 gap width of bare thread. Since the body starts above the barb, we'll use a couple of wraps to the rear of bare thread so that the dubbing hits the shank right at the start of the body.
Wind dubbed thread forward to front of body at 1/3 of shank.... Spin the bobbin counterclockwise to twist the thread and wrap to directly behind eye. This will give a firm foundation to attach the hair.
Select a bunch of hair from an area of the skin about 1/4" square and cut it from the skin at the base of the hair. Too thick a hair bundle will be difficult to attach to the hook shank. Too thin and it may not float the fly. To get the right amount, grab the hair with the fingers of both hands and twist them 1/4 turn in opposite directions. If the twisted part of the bundle is about 1/2 the width of the hook gap or a little less you're in business.
Hold the bundle very tightly between the thumb and index finger of your material hand, butts forward, tips extending to the rear..... clean the fuzz and short fibers out of the bundle by pinching it with the thumb and index finger of your tying hand an stroke the fibers towards the butts... this should draw out the fuzz.... Place the bundle butts first into barrel of the stacker insert.
The tips of the hair should be pointing up out of the stacker insert... now place the insert in the staker and rap the stacker against a hard surface
This next bit is a little tricky and involves transferring the tips from hand to hand while keeping them aligned.... Tip the stacker out towards your material hand... and gently pull the insert out with your material hand.... The picture shows the insert with aligned tips held in the material hand.... This is probably going to be very awkward at first and you may have to re-stack the hair bundle if the tips start flying off in all directions... But after tying a few of these you'll have it down pat, so don't get discouraged
Still holding the tips tightly with your material hand, grab the butts tightly with your tying hand and measure the bundle so that the wing extends from the 1/3 point of the shank to the tips directly above the outside bend of the hook.
While pinching both the hair bundle and the shank tightly in your material hand, to hold things in place, take a couple of soft wraps around the hair bundle and shank, without any/much thread tension
Still holding the bundle and shank tightly, lift straight up on the thread bobbin to tighten the loose wraps of thread. Lifting the bobbin straight up helps to keep the hair on top half of the shank.
Still keeping the hair bundle in place take several tight wraps of thread until you have locked the wing in place and can take your hand away without the wing drifting over to the far side.... It'll be a mess like this, but that's OK... Note the tips of the hair wing are in line with the outside of the hook bend. Do not trim the butts of the wing yet.
Lift the butts rearward and hold them in place while you take several tight wraps to the eye of the hook. By tying around just the shank, this will also help to anchor the wing.
Take several turns behind the eye of the hook, whip finish with 4 turns. Since you didn't trim the butts this should be easy to do without binding down any loose strands of hair
The fly still looks like a mess. It's time for a haircut...
Stroke the butts forward over the eye. It may take some intervention with your bodkin to separate tips and butts
Snip the butts at an angle parallel with the angle of the turned down hook eye. (But coming in a bit closer to the shank than shown in this pic.) This will form the head of the caddis
Measure and cut the shuck material so it's extending past the bend approximately 1 hook gap. Here i 'm using a same size hook in hackle pliers as a gauge.... Do not pull on the shuck to cut it. Since the material stretches, if you pull on it and then cut it to length it will spring back after the cut and be a lot shorter... Now you're done
Special Tying Notes This dressing is tied on a size 12 hook with a brown body, and a tan wing. But hook size, body color and wing shade can be varied to imitate virtually any caddis hatch. This pattern shares construction techniques with many other patterns including Elk Hair Caddis, Sparkle Dun and versions using CDC. These patterns with SBS will also be added to the library.
Target Species Trout

webrx 11-17-2011 07:01 PM

Re: X Caddis SBS
Nice fly and SBS Mark. I knew there was a share your pattern template but didnt know there was a SBS template until I saw this, I gotta pay more attention.

In any case very well done!


650flyguy 12-01-2012 01:37 AM

Re: X Caddis SBS
A Blue Ribbon Flies classic.

Alway in my vest.

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