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wandering monks pattern of the month#2…”Pocket Water Sedge”…aka…the “Clear Creek Slayer”… 

detail’s are at top of the page…SBS is below, just scroll down…all the best…wm

 

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         Here is my adult caddis(sedge) pattern I have worked on for a few years…this one uses bronze mallard for the wings…mule deer fur for the veil etc…Ised brown buffalo wool for the body dubbing, but could be changed for something more readily available…the hackle is basic rooster in a ginger or brown color. This pattern has worked pretty good for me…and I think it is a good alternative to the standard versions of this bug…good contact points , shadow and sihlouette, in both bright sunlight and shaded spots too…

       the most recent version…greased 4X  flouro & ready…this is a relatively easy fly to tie, and uses basic materials, with lots of possible substitutions to create variatons on the aquatic insects color phases…

 

 

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        …its all about trial and error…getting a pattern perfect..then, well even a few more adjustments…making up new patterns isn’t a matter of just tying it up one time and taking a few pics…its about fishing, casting…and yes…seeing what works…then get it better! and did I forget the obvious…be a trout catcher…

 

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          The “Clear Creek Slayer”…size 16 , Bronze Mallard, Mule Deer fur, Buffalo wool…and some rooster hackle…this color phase is perfect for its namesake in July(Clear Creek County & Cheesman Canyon, Co) , and also in some of my other  favorite waters in the Rockies…or anywhere the darker phase of caddis hatch happens. All the materials used in this “tie” are from hunting harvests or the ranch. One of my favorite “homegrown” & “organic flies”…

 

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        Same pattern, Bronze Mallard and Mule Deer just with a trimmed head and a little less veil…this is also a size 16 on a down eye dry fly hook…sometimes  I trim the head like on this one I add  antennae for some more realism…especially for  still water situations. Two strands of Veil fur are good…tied forward before final whip on head…moose mane, wild boar, turkey fan barbs are all good possibilities for imitating the caddis’s antennae..

  

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           This is a pattern that is meant for the caddis hatches that happen in July and August in Colorado and Wyoming…and of course many other places too…other states have different time frames, but this pattern works equally well wherever this aquatic insect hatches and lives, especially the larger varieties say 3/4 to 1 & 1/2 ” long…the focus of this pattern is two fold…using natural materials and their own “organic” patterns and coloration to achieve a worthy imitaion to fool a weary trout…second is to attempt to use contact points, and sihlouettes and shadows to also help accomplish the trickery. The caddis is a big part of the hatch scenario in certain places, and is an essential bug to have in your can…in varying color phases and sizes. An expired, or soon to be Adult Caddis is a very reconizable prey species for trout…A few subtle “twitches” of the fly is in still or somewhat still water is  pretty hard to resist from a hungry trout.

 

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         This awesome  rainbow came  from “The Tomahawk River” and  thought this caddis pattern looked pretty edible…I was fishing a “hopper/dropper ” style rig with “PocketWater” version instead of the typical grasshopper…a Gadwall/Tan Elk tied in size 14 w/a # 20 baetis dropper, the caddis was all it  took  that day!……my best  public water Rainbow that season (three years ago).

 

 

         Sometimes I use this bug in a Hopper/Dropper scenario…with the adult caddis in place of the typical grasshoper…it floats well, and is also a great indicator if the droppers are getting the action in slower moving waters. Sort of a more natural looking “stimi” …but don’t be surprised if the caddis gets the take!

 

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        Anywhere you have grasses going to the shoreline, or have willow shrubs lining the banks in caddis country is a good spot to fish this…feeder creeks where they enter the main water body are also good…a spot trout always know things “wash in”…of course a visual on caddis hatching is the “no brainer”, but I fish this even when an obvious hatch isn’t on full bore too…

 

 

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                    This is a size 14 using Pheasant feathers for the wings or “cheeks”…and interesting pattern, giving a unique look…something I had on my bench working on next months FOTM, a nymph pattern I use the ame feathers waxed well for wing cases…

         Contact points being very imortant on sunny, bright days, but also on darker… sihlouettes and shadows can be a fctor  on the cloudier or lower light situations…it might be bright out, but if you are fishing under a canopy of trees or shadows of boulders flies appear totally differntly to trout . I have tried to take these factors into account here…and have spent a lot of time testing many variations under different conditions…I hope this will be of some help to you…the detail pics were taken in varying types of natural light, to help depict what a trout sees…no one truly knows for sure, but we can try to !

           For me there is no greater thrill angling than to tie up a bug from some materials from harvests or the ranch and trick a wiley trout!!!   all the best…wm

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 …this version uses Gadwall and  has some Moose Mane antennae to assist in contact points…

           In Colorado the hatches can be so intense at times that trout will gorge themselves in a feeding frenzy …one very particular special summer hatch was on an evening in July on the South Platter river a few years ago below the Wig Wam Club on public water comes to mind…on certain stretches the banks of the South Platte river are lined there with small willow type saplings, they are home to many,many caddis flies that just hatched…you could shake a branch and thousands would fly off…

           I was fishing a double caddis rig…both around size 14, trying to duplicate the size flies I was seeing  fly around everywhere…all the fish were in pockets and grooves cut along the banks, and casts right up into the trees was necessary to hook up…

 

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 …good contact points and sihlouettes are a major consideration as to whether or not a trout will give it a “grab”……

 

         I had caught a few nice rainbows…then got hung up on a very low branch that was half way submerged…I didnt want to kick in there and spook the fish out…but I also wanted to keep fishing…all of a sudden a big rainbow hit the lower fly that was still suspended about an inch above the water…and there was a twenty incher…wiggling and shaking that tree for all its worth…the caddis flies were flying everywhere for almost a minute…the tippet finally broke…and I got my line back, but what a experience!

          The crazy thing is I caught that very same fish about 45 minutes later…with my caddis fly still in it’s lips…I took it out sent that bruiser on it’s way and said thanks…that was a show and a fish I wont forget for a long time! ;)

 

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        The darker,  finer fur found on certain parts of the Mule Deer can be an added help …since fur from “Ungulates”, Elk , Deer , Pronghorn etc is hollow, its flotation characteristics are a real asset …

           This is the version in this SBS…the same fly thats in the pic at the top of the page…on the larger versions(size 12 etc) I use a bit more veil for better flotation…

          I like this pattern over the typical Elk Hair version wherever I am fishing in areas where there are shadows or lower light conditions…in particular pocket water spots near edges of riffles or small log jams or falls…places where the fly gets to lay still…and be noticed by fish that are usually laying low in edges of current pockets.  The shadow or sihlouette made by this pattern is a bit more pronounced that the Elk Hair due to the feathers used for the wing case…the small sprigs of Elk or Mule Deer fur make for some excellent contact points too…adding to the realism.

        When fishing pockets or seams with this tie I like to t “high Stick” it with a longer rod, 9-10 foot…keeping the tippet off the water as much as possible, and twitch the fly every once in a while to simulate a “crash landed” adult caddis…this is a good meal for a trout…and aggressive takes are not at all unusual…I count to two , to make sure they have it well in their mouth before setting the hook…then hold on…and be ready to let out some line if you have a larger fish…

          

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 …this version uses some  dyed mallard flank “wood duck tan” …I used some amber colored alcohol based stain for these…

        I tie this in sizes 12-16 on either a caddis or nymph hook… I usually use the elk or pronghorn version in situations where the hatch is smaller size bugs…I use materials I have collected from harvests or our ranch…I will also list some possible substitutions if you can find the things I use…I also have some pics of a version with a tied off head and antennae…the SBS is for the version w/o…and a more full head of fur…the antennae get tied on after final trimming etc…they tend to not be as durable…but can really perform well in very still water situations…

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         This is the smallest version of this “bug” I tied…I just had to try out some more feathers I found from a “Hun”. I mixed some fur here too…the body dubbing and hackle here are much more visible…this is a size 18…probably the smallest size you would ever need for caddis hatches, before I just switched to a standard Elk hair etc…I clipped the head flush here…and tied it off, finishing it with a little head cement…a different looking tie…I had something in mind…

 

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 …”Rocky Mountain Caddis Country”…

 

         I am thinking a “drowned” caddis might have some possibilities…the largest brown I ever caught in Cheesman Canyon 4 years ago was with a “drowned” or totally soaked caddis…a pattern I used to tie before I came up with this one. It got soaked, and it drifted along about 4-8 inches below the surface…it was more by accident than design…I just got lazy because I left my vest on a rock about twenty yards away…the flow was up…and I only had my hip waders on, and the Sun was really baking me…and dealing with the current  to get to a special hole without my vest on was a mistake… I did a few drifts with the fly submerged…Boy was I in for a surprise! it was the “dope” that day…

 

 

 

       … Mallard flanks(dyed or natural) , Bronze Mallard, Gadwall, Teal , Hungarian Partridge, Ruffed Grouse, Quail , Turkey & even Pheasant feathers can be used to get entirely different variations of this pattern…matching up all possible color phases of the caddis bug…Elk,Mule Deer , White Tail  & Pronghorn all work well for the veils…adding to the possibilities of color phase variation…

materials list…

size 12-14 caddis or nymph…size 16-18 long shank dry fly hook…

buffalo wool for body dubbing( any brown dubbing is OK too)

dyed brown or amber rooster hackle…

dyed Mallard flanks, natural Gadwall , Teal or similar for wings…

Elk or Mule Deer fur for veil…

Turkey fan barbs or Moose Mane(or similar) for optional antennae…wild boar would be excellent…

I make several color phases of this pattern by just using various species of duck for the wings, and darker or lighter Elk,Mule Deer or Pronghorn fur for the veil…I tied a few up with CDC as the wings on a smaller one…size 18, very realistic for such a small tie… the one I used some pheasant body feathers came our really good too…

   … some possible color variations of this pattern and materials used..

Dark Color phase caddis…bronze mallard, gadwall or dyed mallard & teal/Mule Deer Fur veil

Amber Color Phase…wood duck dyed tan, mallard dyed tan, Pheasant body/White Tail fur for veil

Light Color Phase…natural mallard flank, natural teal, lemon wood duck/Elk or Pronghorn fur for veil

a brown body dubbing is OK with all…a gray would be a good choice on some of the lighter versuions…a grizzly hackle is good for the lighter version, ginger or brown is OK for the amber and darkers ones…

 

                 

     many thanks to my fishing buddie who hooked me up with my new Regal Vise…incredible!

click here to see more about them…

 

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…I use a brown nylon thread on the hook for a base…

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                  I take the buffalo wool , apply a bit of “super sticky” wapsi wax…and then spin a length for dubbing…I always make some extra for the next fly…at least three inches …enough for two bugs…

 

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…I tie on the spun wool at the rear of the hook…then tie the tread off about 1/8″ back from the eye…

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                      …while wrapping the spun wool I also continue to spin it making for a segmented body…I tie it off, and return the thread to  behind the head ,ready for the hackle to be tied on…when I attach the hackle I use the grooves in the segments to lay the hackle in…

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…at this point I apply a few half hitches to secure the dubbing well…

 

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                     I tie on the hacklethen wrap thead on the stem back to about the mid of the body…this helps hold it on…and locates it to give enough room for the hackle to spread out a bit…

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                 I spread out the hackle and tie off about 1/8″ back from the head…leaving enough room for the feather wings to be tied on…aldo keep in mind room for the fur veil after that step…

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                    I wax down the hackle a bit to make it easier to locate the wings…I tie on the wings one side at a time…they are done in a “tent” style, leaving a slight opening at the bottom for the hackle to protrude…leaving a conical thread head…I put on a few half hitches again to secure…I dyed these mallard flanks I plucked from a waterfowling harvest with some alcohol dye to get the amber brown color…

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         I dont use hair stackers since I like the irregular length look with fur veils…I think it varys the natural colors found in the tips of the fur too…make the “pinch” about 1/4″ longer than you want…the excess will be trimmed off.

 

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                      tie off the fur at the beginning of the featherand give three half hitches…the clip…

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                    trim the head evenly, and leave a few strands lower…and the balance center and high…pull down the hackle for the legs…I trimmed the rear of the duck feathers here at a slight angle to imitate the angle of an adult sedges wing …I apply a few drops of head cenment to the thread for durability…on some versions I tie on two moose mane or turkey barbs for antennae…I trim off the fur head when I use them…

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…this is the flie tied on a caddis hook…size 14…with some darker mule deer fur too…

 

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                     I used gadwall feathers for the wings on this version…I also trimmed the fur head and tied on the antennae for some added realism…practical in very still water situations…

 

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 …last but not least…a size 14 using a “Guinea Hen” for the wings…

 

 

 

 

 

 previous POTM’s…

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                wm pattern  #1 /erin go braugh

 

 

 

 

 

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               wm fly of the month #2…

 

 

 

 

 

 

…upcoming ” pattern of the month” flies…

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         “High Country” Stonefly Nymph…

 

 

 
 
 
 
 potm-3
 
 
 
 
                 …segmented golden/brown May Fly nymph…
          pattern motivated by “Meet The Hendriksons” video
                                  to imitate “swimming” nymphs…
 
                           check out Tightline Productions
 
 
 
 
 
 

potm-3a                        

 

 
                     …gold/brown May Fly part 2… 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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and can be only used with permission
 
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are all trademarks of wmflyrodco.com