Do trailing shucks matter?

goofnoff1

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The Caddis-X has worked incredibly for me when trout are on the caddis.

The only hackled patterns I use for mayflies are the big drakes. I use Comparaduns down to size 16 with shucks. I use a snowshoe wing or maylies down to 20 with a shuck. I tie the snowshoe comparadun style.

Do you use shucks?
 

100954

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I use z-Lon for shucks & yes, I think the shuck matters. My go to fly in southwest Montana is a sparkle dun which has a z-Lon shuck.
 

ReetsAdeets

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Definitely, I'm a big fan of patterns like the X2 that have antron or similar trailing shucks. What other materials do you guys like to use for shucks? Does a little bit of poly yarn work ok?
 

VaFisherman

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I think that even during a hatch fish go to emergers more often than they to duns. A comparadun or a cripple both tied with a trailing shuck imitate an emerging mayfly by sitting low in the water with that trailing shuck being a trigger, in my opinion. I know that the sulphur's on the South Holston Tailwater are best fished with a z-lon shuck.
 

flav

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I fish both X caddis and sparkle duns a fair amount as well as versions without shucks, and I seldom notice any difference in effectiveness. I'll admit I sometimes find a fish that only seems to want an emerger with a trailing shuck, but that's not very often. The vast majority of the fish in my local rivers aren't overly picky, just put a fly over them that is partially in the film, about the right size, about the right color, and they'll eat whether it has a trailing shuck or not.
 

sparsegraystubble

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I tie almost all my caddis, mayfly and midge dries with some type of trailing shuck. But I clip it off when I decide it isn’t the right look. But I use scissors on my flies as i fish them so anything from tails to wings to shucks to hackle might get trimmed or butchered.

there is a separate thread further down that discusses materials for shucks. Lots of good info already there.

Don
 

goofnoff1

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I cant remember exactly but it was Christmas of '59 or '60 that I received two presents. One was MClane's New Fishing Encyclopedia and the other was an eight and a half foot Shakespeare fly rod. There's no disussion of emergers in McClane's work. The flies Halford sent to Gordon had relatively soft hackles. I think those English pioneers were fishing emergers even though they believed it was the dun they were imitating. Gordon used stiff hackles because he was fishing riffled water. Mayflies emerging in riffled water can pass through the meniscus easier.

Comparaduns appear to be a emerger/dun hybrid. Now I think most are fishing emerger patterns right through hatch. Recently I've seen articles about fishing soft hackles in the surface film. We've circled back to Halford.
 

goofnoff1

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I've been doing that since I started fly fishing in '70s, learned it by accident and now you tell me some body else started it?
That's the trouble with you youngun's, no sense of history.

My best buddy in high school got a homemade fly tying vise that his father obtained from a machinist whose freezer he fixed. His father wanted him to tie bucktail walleye jigs. He didn't have any bucktails so he used hair from his setter/spaniel cross birdog, Ringo. Later, Dave bought two rooster necks at the farmers market for a buck. The hackles were soft. One was white and the other coachman brown. He also got some hooks and ting thread from Herter's. What he tied with that stuff was soft hackle Brown Bi-visibles, with the white face. Those flies caught a lot o trout and I still have one.
 

silver creek

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I've been doing that since I started fly fishing in '70s, learned it by accident and now you tell me some body else started it?
Gary Borger wrote about the "Wet/Dry Fly" fly in his breakout book "Nymphing" (pp 72-74) back in the 70's and he was fishing it well before then so the technique of fishing soft hackles on the surface and in the film has a long history. He writes about the wet/dry fly in his blog.


 

trev

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no sense of history.
For whatever reason, I've never read any of the British writers, except Sawyer and Walton, most likely the library I used didn't have them. At that time as a recent veteran and father of young kids, I bought no books for a year or three. My chance fly fishing companions and sometimes mentors in those days were almost all wet fly experts with still water being the norm, hen neck was the standard hackle. I also 'invented' a plamer fly using peacock that years later I found someone else had previous claim to.
Gary Borger wrote about the "Wet/Dry Fly" fly in his breakout book "Nymphing"
I've never read Borger's book either, although I recently bought a copy and soon will have, think that was published in '79 after my run on the fly fishing literature.
 

goofnoff1

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Gary Borger wrote about the "Wet/Dry Fly" fly in his breakout book "Nymphing" (pp 72-74) back in the 70's and he was fishing it well before then so the technique of fishing soft hackles on the surface and in the film has a long history. He writes about the wet/dry fly in his blog.


I've got Borger's Designing Trout Flies and I've used it so much it's practically falling apatrt.
 

goofnoff1

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I can't top that.
What's your favorite Borger fly? I like the hair legs he puts on nymphs and the strip drake nymphs are deadly. His caddis pupa is deadly even as a general searching pattern.
 
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silver creek

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What's your favorite Borger fly? I like the hair legs he puts on nymphs and the strip drake nymphs are deadly. His caddis pupa is deadly even as a general searching pattern.

His blue damsel that is on the cover of "Designing Trout Flies."



I tied it long ago for the [email protected] Fly Swap. The fly I tied is on the same page as the CDC and Elk that Hans Weilenman tied. This was 25 years ago and the swap was the first time the CDC and Elk was introduced to the swappers in the USA.

Both our swap flies are on this page:


My Borger Blue Damsel:


Hans CDC and Elk:


We only swapped flies and not instructions on how to tie the flies. Due to mistakes in attempts to duplicate the CDC and Elk, the CDC Humpy was developed.

Incidentally, the blue damsel has an immature phase called a teneral and that is imitated with a tan damsel pattern

 

sweetandsalt

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As usual, I'll be a contrarian voice. On the Emerger book posted by planettrout, the cover photograph is what I call a half&half of which there are innumerable variations. In this example the "trailing shuck" is the abdomen section of the fly hanging beneath the waters surface. I like a Caucci-Nastasi Comparadun, theirs are tied with coastal deer hair wings, a surprisingly slender tapered abdomen (important most are too robust) and split micro-fibet tails. A very effective fly but the popular Craig Matthews "sparkle dun" variant is far less so, the synthetic trailing shuck damages its foot print on smooth surfaces, its fine on a riffle like the Madison. In the latter 70's I spent a good bit of time in the area around West and met Craig before he opened his fine shop when he came to town to become its policeman. Back then, the crucible of "emerger" evolution was rampant among the hard core Henry's Fork regulars and floating nymphs and divers floating soft hackles and short semi spent wings where used almost more than actual sparse dun imitations, like Dillon and my preferred Thorax Duns. This was also the hay day of Match the Hatch and visionaries like Ernest Schwiebert and Vince Marinaro were informing us all about the relevance of the insects and our imitations foot print in the surface meniscus, Swisher and Richards too. My experience on technical waters east and west is that trailing shucks are mostly intrusive when added to a mayfly dun pattern of any design. I don't care for the term cripple but have been a dedicated fisher of emerger patterns for long time. I'm a fan of the Quigley Cripple style of half&half emerger whether tied with a forward slanted CDC wing al la Rene Harrop, or sparse deer hair or even synthetic yarn which I grudgingly admit floats better and is more visible, the paracheted hacke around it MUST be short, it is not a wing. Actually, the best I've seen was by a visiting British fly tier who specializes in stacked hackle. For a shuck I'm good with a very short few fibers of marabou or pheasant tail. It is that 45° half submerged half nymph and half floating crumpled dun attitude that works as trout's instincts are tuned to food organisms that are not going to fly away as they expend energy to rise to it. Still, when the hatch is fecund and the big boys are sipping, I tie on a Thorax or Comaparadun first with split hackle or Micro-Fibet tail, hopefully tied by Dillon (I regret my close up fly tying vison, long acute is deteriorating).
 
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