Published Nov 1. 2014 - 7 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 8. 2015

A Mother's Day Caddis model to work from


As a boat builder I rely heavily on models as a first step in any new start-from-scratch project. Tying too. For this one I don't have the finished product yet. Just the model, for a Madison River Montana Mother's Day Caddis. It's interesting to see the short fat jet black body paired with a long skinny cream/tan colored wing. This view doesn't show it well but the wing is substantially taller than it is wide. The bottom profile is almost pencil like, somewhat like a short fat jet black blob underneath a long skinny cream colored paint brush.


Ok. The model leads to an-...

Ok. The model leads to an--almost--finished project.



Martin Joergensen's picture



A great way to approach fly tying. Many tyers tie from fantasy and imagination - like many of those tying my pet peeve the shrimp. I sometimes find it hard to believe that they ever saw a live shrimp.

Caddis are also a fascinating animal, and many caddis patterns do a good job of imitating them with few materials and simple tying steps. You seem to be well on your way.



[quote:bf0eda3692="Martin Joergensen"]Colin,
A great way to approach fly tying......

Thank you Martin. I started thinking about models to work toward a long time ago. But it took time and effort to slowly transition from "ephemeral background idea" to actually working and tying that way. Now I'm addicted to it.

I want a dried bug or good photographs on hand for every fly that actually imitates something. Now I even a model of some kind for attractor flies that don't imitate anything. If I'm tying a Prince Nymph, for instance, I want a good-looking Prince Nymph next to my vise as I get started. Or maybe a row of good-looking attractors to improvise on.

Starting out with vise and imagination alone all too often leads to a fuzzy mess.


Great picture of the caddisI...

Great picture of the caddisI usually carry a small round plastic container with me when I fish. When I get home I'll study it under a magnifying class. This lead to a very successful midge/black fly/gnat/trico pattern which has caught me many fish over the last 12 years or so here in the Northeast. SE/NE PA, Catskills, Adirondacks, Vermont and the Grand and Upper Credit Rivers in southern Ontario. Tying without a specimen or basing a pattern on a book as its problems. There is a Little Black Caddis hatch on a local creek. I had one of the Orvis stream insects books and it said it's tied on a size 16 hook. So that's what I did. Took the flies out to the stream and watched the trout ignore them. Got a bit frustrated and took a break laid my rod down with the fly on a boulder and a couple of the actual caddis landed next to the fly and I was shown the error of my ways. Caught a couple took them home measured them they were about 7 mm long including the wings. The body was 3 mm long. Measured a standard size 16 dry fly hook. The length of the shank was 7 mm. So the caddis was a size 16 it just shouldn't have been tied on a size 16 hook. Another thing that I learned was the caddis wasn't all black. The body was a dark battleship gray.
I'm also a big fan of having an example of a new fly I want to tie in front of me. Sometimes I can wheedle one from the tyer, sometimes they give me one, sometimes I have to buy one. I definitely want a picture if I'm tying a bait fish pattern.

"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadephia."

Yes I like bringing bugs home...

Yes I like bringing bugs home too. I put a napkin in the bottom of a tupperware food container, which helps some with wet adult bugs and puddles of water.




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