Fly Patterns - Princely Caddis Emerger

                        Princely Caddis Emerger


Hook        Daiichi 1260 or Spirit River’s 312, size 14

Weight     3 wraps of .015 lead-free weight at thorax

Thread     Ginger  or amber 8/0

Tail          Ginger or amber marabou tuft    

Abdomen  Extra small copper wire and light turkey    

               wing primary feather wrapped into a rope

Thorax     Ginger or amber dubbing

Wing        Amber goose biots

Hackle      Partridge

Head        Thread



Yes, I’m on a Caddis kick. In fact, next month this column will feature a reprise of my Stick Caddis, in preparation for the Upper Sacramento outing. For the time being, though, let’s consider another aspect of the life cycle of the Caddisfly: the emergent stage.

Last month’s fly, the Flashy Chick Caddis, represents a Caddisfly diving to the bottom to “oviposit” (entomologist’s term for the egg-laying stage). Once those eggs hatch, and the insect goes through its larval and pupal stages, it will assume the form of an adult and swim to the surface, break through the surface skin, and fly away. Of course, predatory trout munch them as they swim upward, and also feast on those having trouble breaking the surface tension.

The Princely Caddis Emerger was designed to suggest an emergent Caddisfly swimming to the surface. Like the Flashy Chick, I use it as a stinger at the end of my short line rig and, where possible, swing it down when the short line drift is done. In my Upper Middle Fork “laboratory” this fly, fished in that manner, has outstripped my expectations. So, crank a few of them and give them a try.


Tying Instructions

1.     Smash the hook barb. Wrap 3 turns of .015 weight at the thorax area, which will be about 2 eye-widths behind the hook eye.

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


3.     Tie in a tail made with a small pinch of ginger or amber marabou; keep it sparse, and the length should be no longer than the hook shank.


4.      At the same spot, tie in a 3” length of extra small copper wire and a small slip of light colored turkey primary wing feather. Tie the feather in by the tip.    I like to use the feathers that have a golden color to them.


5.   Bring the turkey and copper wire together, and grab them with a hackle plier near their bottom. Twist them into a rope, in a counterclockwise direction. Wrap the rope up the shank to the thorax area (see above). Tie the rope off at that point.


6.    Cut or strip two ginger or amber biots from the stem. Tie them in just ahead of the thorax just as you would the biots for a Prince Nymph, and wrap back over them to the thorax area (in other words, to about the middle of the weight area).


7.    Dub a nice thorax over the weight area but leave a small amount of room behind the hook eye for the next step.




8.   Tie in a small partridge feather by its tip and take a couple of wraps in front of the thorax; tie off the feather and smooth it rearward while wrapping a few more times in front of it. Whip finish.




 Tying Tips:

1. Step 3 is important. The marabou should be relatively sparse, and the length no longer than the shank. When “trimming” the marabou to length, do it after tying it on but don’t use scissors. Pop it off to the proper length using your thumbnail and forefinger. Cutting it with scissors produces too sharp of an edge.

2. Step 4 consists of a technique new to most tyers. When tying in the material to be wrapped with the copper wire, it is important to tie it in by the tip because when you twist the combined materials the portion nearest the hook will not twist properly (or even at all) if it is thicker than the portion attached to the hackle pliers.

3. The light turkey feather I use has an amber hue to it. It is a Hareline product called “Ozark Oak” turkey feathers. If you can’t find that color, just substitute any light colored turkey.

This pattern is a modified form of soft hackle fly. So, as in the case of last month’s fly, 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.

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