“This particular idea came to me one early morning on my way to work after I was called to come in for storm duty. It was raining hard and the winds were @ 50 mph +, people were out of power and my mind should have been on the events that were about to unfold … But I could not help but think of how a Kings River Caddis I fished the morning before, had a wing that would split apart after a few nips from a trout. I had coated the wings prior to tying and while it helped, they just did not hold up to my expectations. I knew there were other alternatives available at the fly shop, but I wanted to create my own… Through the use of gluing a feather such as mallard, gadwall, or pheasant rump to a paper backing- the feather (and fly) would be able to withstand the rigors of casting and catching fish. “ – TOM HERR
Hook: Daiichi 1180 – size 14 or equivalent
Thread: 14/0 Black
Body : Olive caddis green/brown blended
Hackle: Coachman Brown
Wing: As described
Select your pheasant rump for the caddis wing, along with a teabag (the paper is the same across brands).
Cut off the top portion of the tea bag and dump out the tea . Coat the underside of the feather liberally with Hard as Nails, place on the paper – cement side down – take a toothpick and stroke the feather from the bottom to the top (This makes sure that the feather is securely placed down onto the paper and the excess cement is worked out) Let this dry.
Turn the paper over, coat another feather and position it on top of the previous feather you just glued in. (Try and position the stems right on top of each-other). Again stroke the excess cement from bottom to top with a toothpick.
Note: You are gluing two feathers back to back so that when tied on the hook – the fish’s window of sight includes the feather colors from the underside – not the white of the paper.
Let it dry
Fold the feathers in half along the stems and put this into the wing burner with the stems at the top edge of the burner.
Trim the excess paper around the wing burner and burn the material off using a lighter. Do not run the lighter along the “stem” edge of the burner. Remove from the burner and trim off the excess paper by cutting along and across to the stems.
Note: I have tried wing cutters for this and although they do create a much cleaner cut – the burning tends to seal the edge of the wing through the melting of the cement, making it much more durable on the edges.
insert the hook into the vise, start your thread and dub a small ball of dubbing at the bend of the hook.
Tie in the hackle in front of the ball of dubbing and dub 2/3 of the way up the hook shank
Palmer the hackle forward and trim excess, then trim off the hackle on the top of the hook shank with your scissors.
Take the wing that you created and lay it on top of the hook shank and tie it off.
Tie in another stem of hackle and wrap it forward. If you want following this hackle, you can tie in two strands of pheasant tail for antenna. Whip finish for a completed fly