Fly Friday #131 UCA CDC and Elk Caddis Fly by John Zimmerman

This weeks Fly Friday is from PRO-Team member John Zimmerman, it's the UCA CDC and Elk Caddis Fly....

I invented this fly several years ago, and it’s undergone a couple of changes.  I say invented—I should rather say created this fusion pattern.  I’d always loved fishing traditional elk hair caddis flies with a peacock herl body and standard hackling and winging. 

But then I got really into fishing dry flies that sat right in the surface film—lots of lubed up emergers and the like.

And then the craze of women (and men) having hackle feathers (especially the long saddle hackles that I preferred tying dry flies with) sewn into their hair….if necessity is the mother of invention…this fly is a product of that truth. 

My first tried and true pattern then was a peacock body with elk (or deer, whatever was sitting at the desk at the time) and CDC for the winging.  A legend in my part of the world, Bo Cash, tied me up a fleet of his Cash Caddis flies as a thanks for a trip I’d put together for the two of us.  The body of his Cash Caddis flies was darlon, and he extended the body off the back of the fly as a trailing egg sack.  I started doing the same to mine—keeping the peacock body, just leaving a trailing egg sack off the back of the fly.  Well, darlon has become more and more difficult for me to find and antron easier and easier, so the egg sack on this has shifted to antron—but I don’t think it makes one bit of difference!

I love it because it sits right down into the surface film without getting soggy and sinking if properly dressed.  All that material on top makes it easily visible from even far distances and the CDC + Elk make it a float pretty much all day with a little bit of attention to dressing with some of the liquid CDC flotants and some good silicone flotant on the materials less likely to mat up. 

This pattern is wonderful for both single dry fly fishing and for dry dropper rigging. 

 I LOVE caddis flies because in my part of the world, we don’t get real caddis hatches—they almost never come out in an abundance enough to be something that fish can actively target….but they do make daily appearances across the year—so they are a bug that fish are never surprised to see and are always willing to eat.

 This is my go to caddis fly—and I think it might become yours—or some variation on the theme!

Click here to view the video clip....

Materials:

Hook:  Partridge of Redditch barbless standard dry (SLD2) fly in sizes #10-18

Egg Sack:  antron yarn, here in orange, but red works nicely too.

Ribbing:  small copper wire—here UTC brand.

Body:  Peacock herl

Underwing:  CDC (here 4; 3 on sizes 12-14; 2 on sizes 16-18)

Overwing:  Elk hair, though deer hair is a fine and appropriate substitute.

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