Elk Hair Caddis

In the summertime, sometimes there is only one fly I need in my box. The tried and true Elk Hair Caddis. All the rest stay locked in their positions. The Elk Hair Caddis has to be my all-time favorite. Simply for the years of success, it has provided.

Step by Step Elk Hair Caddis Tan with Brown Hackle:

Begin by setting your dry fly hook in your tying vise. Secure the tying thread to your hook shank.

Measure and select an appropriately sized hackle feather. Clip a few barbles off of each side of the feather and secure to one side of the hook. Keep the shimmery side facing outward so that when palmering, it faces the eye of the fly.

Before wrapping the hackle feather, select a small amount of dubbing and create a tight dubbing noodle. Dub a slim body forward and finish about a hook eye length back, leaving room for the hair wing.

Using the hackle feather that has been waiting in the rear, palmer close but open wraps forward. Capture the feather where the dubbing ends, secure and trim off.

Select and clean a small hank of elk or deer hair. Using the hook gape to measure the amount of hair can help with consistency fly after fly. I always start with a little extra hair, as I know the cleaning process will thin out what I inevitably tie in. Measure the hair to be just past the length of the shank. Transfer this in your hands and clip the hair about a hook eye past this measurement for tie in. Make a couple loose wraps before pulling down quickly and firmly.

I will typically either wrap through the hair head or in front of it a couple of times to help keep it from spinning on the hook. Adding some sort of head cement or super glue can help add longevity to your fly.


  • Hook: Timeco 102Y 11-17
  • Thread: UTC 70 Denier Tan
  • Dubbing: Senyo’s Laser Dub Tan
  • Hackle: Whiting Farms Brown Cape
  • Wing: Wapsi Primo Strip Bleached Elk Hair

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