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White-top Deer Hair Caddis

For some reason the normal "attribution" line in this column was missing from the August and September issues of the Leader. That is, it is proper to acknowledge the "inventor" (keeping in mind that there are very few truly "original" patterns--mostly just variations of existing ones) of the pattern so as to not create the impression that the pattern is "mine". The two patterns I am referring to are the Cahill Variant and the Sparkle Hare’s Ear--both of which are Ron Rabun’s very effective patterns.

For this month, I’ve selected a simple pattern tied by Clarence Butzbach, the "resident tyer" of Buz’s Fly Fishing Store in Visalia. He states that it is a variant of Al Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis. You will notice some differences between the latter and the highly-visible "White Top Deer Hair Caddis" in the recipe set out below. Fall is a good caddis/sedge time of year, so go for it!!


Hook: Dry fly, #10-18
Thread: Black 6/0 or 8/0
Rib: Fine gold wire
Body: Peacock herl
Hackle: Grizzly, palmered front to back
Wing: Natural brown deer hair
Overwing:  Coarse white deer hair


1. Attach thread and tie in gold wire at bend, just above back of barb.
2. At same spot, tie in two strands of peacock herl and wrap to front of hook; secure at a point which leaves front 1/5 of hook bare.
3. Tie in hackle at front of body; wrap rearward to end of body.
4. Wrap wire clockwise over hackle to front of hood and secure. Here it helps to "weave" wire through hackle so as not to tie it all down.
5. Stack small bundle of brown deer hair. Size hair for length so uncut ends extend beyond the bend of hook ½ shank length.
6. Hold wing between thumb and forefinger, and place directly on top of hook as same point hackle was tied in, keeping above measurement in mind. Take 2 loose wraps around butts, applying downward pressure with second wind. Now take three more very tight wraps as same spot. Trim butts and tie down.
7. Stack 10-15 fibers of white deer hair, and measure to same length as brown hair. Place directly on top of brown hair and tie in the same way. Leave butts for now.
8. Bring thread around behind eye and whip finish a nice head.
9. Trim white hair, leaving 2mm "stubs" sticking up.

Skate this puppy across the surface, either as a solo fly or as a dropper and hold on!!

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Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.