Russ Symons from Hunting-Tips.Net shows you how to tie a simple caddis and pupa imitation
THE Stickfly is not a new pattern, but it is one that simply refuses to go away. Every year at sedge time when the fishery reports come in,you’ll find mention of the Stickfly. Some anglers say it represents a cased caddis and it does catch fish on the bottom where it should be fished. But it also catches mid water and sometimes just under the surface.
There’s nothing clever about fishing this fly, after splashdown let it fish on the drop for a minute before startingaslowfigure-of-eight retrieve and just let the fly work its magic.
From afly-tying angle it involves several important techniques which will stand you in good stead for more involved patterns in the future.The first and most important of these is to consider the sequence of tying in the materials and their proportions in the finished fly. We have to tie in a hackle, a ‘hotspot’, a peacock herl body and a gold wire rib.
Prepare the feather
To prepare the hackle strip away the soft webby fibres at the bottom of thefeather untilyou are left with the stalk which should be slightly longerthan the gape of the hook. The original tying of thisfly stipulated a red game hen hackle, but in recent years I have taken to using a badger hackle which has a dark almost blackcentreto it. It just looks betterto my eye and catches just as well, if not better.
After catching in the thread make six or seven wraps before tying in the hackle with the dull side looking upwards. After sufficient turns to secure the stalk snip it away and catch in the gold wire which will form the ribbing. Continue to line the hook with thread untilyou reach the beginning of the hook bend. Coat the thread with varnish to set everything in place.
Create the body and rib
Then to the peacock herl body. Take three or four strands of peacock herl, line them up and tear off the thin weak tips, about an inch from the top. Tie in the peacock herl, take the thread forwards and start windingthe herl around the shank in an anticlockwise direction. You will find that this puts a twist into the herl, keeping the strands together. Stop the herl body about 2mm from where the hackle is tied in.
Bringthegold wire forwards in regular open turns in a clockwise direction. This will reinforce the peacock herl body as well as adding glint to the fly.
Tie the wire down at the end of the peacock herl, then wiggle the free end of the wire back and forth until it breaks off flush with the thread. Take another turn or two of thread to hide the broken end of wire.
Hotspot, hackle and head
The little gap between the start of the hackle and the end of the peacock herl is where the hotspot is tied in. The original tying called forgreen wool but in recent times fluorescent Glo-BriteNo.i2floss has become standard. Make some wraps of floss to create the hotspot and tie down, taking care not to crowd the hackle. The half dozen turns of thread that were made before tying in the stalk provides room to accommodate the turns of hackle and a neat head.
Take the tying thread in front of the hackle and make a couple of tight wraps. This will make the hackle stand up with the shiny face of the hackle facing forward. Catch the tip of the hackle inyour hackle pliers with the plastic grip of the pliers facing forward.Thiswayyouwillbe able to see that you are not twistingthe hackle as it is wound on.
Dampen the tips ofyourthumb and forefinger and stroke the hackle fibres backwards. This is known as folding’the hackle. Make the first turn of the hackle, keeping the plastic pad ofthe hackle pliers facing forwards and again stroke the fibres back before startingthe second turn. Place the second turn immediately in front of thefirst. If it is adecent hackle featherthis should be enough. Wind the thread to fasten the hackle stalk down and snip away the waste.
Finish the head with asfewthread turns as possible, so it remains small and neat. Asmall drop of runny varnish will soak into the thread and fasten it permanently.