Fly Patterns - Flashy Chick Caddis

                       Flashy Chick Caddis



Daiichi 1260 or Spirit River's 312, size 14

Weight 3 wraps of lead-free weight at thorax


Tan or grey 8/0


Tan or grey chickabou

Body Spooled Mylar tinsel


Same as tail

Wing Tan hen feather tip


Same as tail





If you have not read Ralph Cutter's �Fish Food,� you need to do that. This book is clearly in the �must read� category for fly fishers, whether experienced or not. One of the phenomena that Ralph discusses in his book is the egg-laying (sometimes called �ovipositing�) habits of certain caddisfly species. Unlike mayflies and stoneflies, adults dive beneath the surface, crawl along the bottom, lay their eggs, and then (if not eaten by then) swim back to the surface and, ultimately, once again become airborne. Trout, of course, know this and anything resembling a caddisfly that looks like it is: (a) swimming down to the bottom; (b) crawling along the bottom; or (c) swimming to the surface, is fair game. There is much more to this than I can include in this short article, so reading Ralph'�s book is essential if this phenomenon tickles your curiosity.


The Flashy Chick Caddis is my creation for all three of the stages mentioned above. The �flashy� part of the name comes from the fact that the body is fashioned of mylar tinsel. The �chick� part of the name is derived from the material used for the rest of the fly: chicken marabou, or �chickabou� as it is sometimes called. Chickabou feathers are found at the bottom of a hen cape (see picture). Some hen capes come without the chickabou patch, so examine each cape to make sure that is not the case before you buy one. I have also seen chickabou feathers separately packaged.


There are only three materials needed for this fly, other than the hook: a spool of mylar tinsel (medium size is good); chickabou feathers; and a hen hackle. Some of the tying steps are from a pattern called the Tabou Caddis, which you will find at


Ah, blessed simplicity. Life is good.


Tying Instructions

1.   Smash the hook barb. Wrap 3 turns of weight at the thorax area, which will be about 2 eye-widths behind the hook eye.

2.   Cover the shank with thread, leaving it at the back of the barb.

3.   Tie in a tail made of chickabou at a point on the shank that is just above the back of the barb. The tail should be about shank length.

4.   Cut a piece of mylar tinsel from the spool and tie it in just above the back of the barb.


 4a. Move the thread to the hook eye. Wind the mylar forward to the hook eye and tie it off there.

  1. Tie in a chickabou underwing at a point about 1/3 shank length behind the eye (it's OK to wrap backwards over the mylar). The underwing should extend to the bend of the hook.


  1. Pluck a feather from a hen cape, pull off all of the fuzz, and measure it so it is the same length as the underwing. Lay it flat, concave side down, on the hook shank and tie it in at the same place as the underwing was tied in. Make sure it stays flat as you tie it down.

  1. Pull the wing case over the top of the thorax, tie it down in front of the thorax, and trim the excess. Tie in a chicabou feather by its tip, just in front of the wing base. Wrap it a couple of times around the shank and tie it off behind the eye. Moisten your fingers, sweep the barbules back, form a nice small head, and whip finish.


Tie one of these gems to the end of your tippet and fish it like you would a wet fly (i.e., swing it). Alternately, tie it as a stinger to the bend of the bottom fly on a short line rig; then do a short line drift, but let it swing into a wet fly swing, and�

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