Dry Fly Swap Flies

Parachute Light Cahill
Kent Bishop
Clarksville MD

Herl Midge
Jim Tefft
Henrietta NY

Antron Caddis
Kerry Kimmins
Montrose BC CAN

Griffiths Gnat
Dave Churches
Latham Australia

GP Peterson
Toronto Ontario CAN

Borger Braided Butt Damsel Fly
Henry Kanemoto
Wausau WI

Extended Body Gray Drake
Marguerite McKenzie
Springfield OR

Hans Weilenmann
Amsterdam Netherlands

Parachute Light Cahill

Tied by Kent Bishop (Clarksville MD)

Hook: Orvis Premium or equivalent #12 (I use the standard Mustad dry fly hook)
Thread: Yellow, 6/0 Pre-Waxed
Tail: Dark Cream Hackle Fibers
Body: Cream Poly
Hackle: Dark Cream
post: calf hair

Herl Midge

Tied by Jim Tefft (Henrietta NY)

#18 3906 hook
Black thread 6/0
black hackle tail
peacock herl body

I have found the herl midge to be a northeastern type fly. I have a good portion of my luck on herl type flies.

Antron Caddis

Tied by Kerry Kimmins (Montrose BC CAN)

Hook : Midge or standard dry fly, sizes 22 - 14 ( I used #18)
Thread: Olive or Brown 8/0 or 6/0
Abdomen: Green,Olive, black or brown antron dubbing.
Wing: Light or dark deer hair
Thorax: Tan or brown hare's mask or Australian opossum

1. Dub a body of antron 2/3 the way up the hook shank. (1/2 hitch)
2. Comb, stack, measure and use the pinch to tie in a bunch of deer hair ( I found that if I tied the deer hair ontop of the antron the deer hair would slide so tie the deer hair on the thread wrappings ahead of the dubbing). Wing should come to the end of the hook. (1/2 hitch and glue)
3.Dub the thorax,
This is one of only three flies that I use (EHC and little olive parachute) I tie them in 18 - 22 and I have only been skunked once. The lake that I fish has lots of activity and the fish are not nervous so I have never had a problem with presentation. After I cast the fly I let it sit for about 20 sec and then strip in about 6 " and let it sit 20 sec normally about the 2nd strip a fish will come for it. The largest fish I have caught on this fly is 12" which is the largest in the lake that I am aware of.

Griffiths Gnat

Tied by Dave Churches (Latham Australia)

Hook: 16
Body: Peacock herl
Hackle: Grizzle palmered.

Used in Australia to imitate the chironomid gang bang, or without floatant when aquatic snails are drifting just under the surface.


Tied by GP Peterson (Toronto Ontario CAN)

Hook: Standard Dry Fly hook (#12 to #18)
Tail (Shuck): Tuft of snowshoe rabbits foot (pad), less than wing
Body: Fine hair and fluff from pad (very close to bone). Can be mixed with various dry dubbing to fine tune body colors.
Wing: Same as tail, but thicker


The tie is essentially identical to the comparadun series. Substitute snowshoe rabbit for deer hair.

Fishing instructions

The beauty of the Usual is that it can be fished in a variety of ways with little to no change in the fly itself. It does not require floatant. Its bouyancy depends on the hair of the snowshoe rabbit trapping air as it is false cast. If another dubbing is substituted for the body, floatant can be applied to the dubbing only, to aid floatation if required.
Fished dry, it represents a variety of duns. Allowed to become partially wet, it makes a killer emerger, fished in the surface film.
I know it isn't much to look at, but its 'buggyness' makes it one of the killer flys in my dry arsenal. Not to mention a number of people I fish with.
If you are already familiar with the Usual, then you are aware of what I am speaking of, if not, I am convinced you will find it to be one, killer fly as well.

Borger Braided Butt Damsel Fly

Tied by Henry Kanemoto (Wausau WI)

Hook: #10 Tiemco TMC100 or equivalent dry fly hook
Thread: Black Monocord
Abdomen: 30 Lb. Cortland braided mono dyed with permanent markers. Start with white braided mono and use a permanent marker (BCS 136) to dye it blue. Then use a black marker to give it alternating blue and black bands. I use a Berol Prismacolor Art Marker PM-40 Copenhagen Blue. Gary recommends a Process Blue Marker but I haven't been able to find it. Cut it into sections 3 .5 cm. long (about 1.25 inches) and melt one end of the mono with a cigarette lighter to seal it.
Post: Dazzelaire yarn - Island Blue color
Thorax: Dubbing made from the post yarn. I comb out the end of the yarn with a regular hair comb and cut the combed out yarn into 2-3 inch strips. Then I repeatedly comb all of this until it becomes one pile of dubbing.
Hackle: Light dun or Sandy dun cock hackle tied parachute style. Hackle should be about the length of the body.


1. Bring the thread to the back of the hook and make a small ball of thread or a small dubbing ball on the hook. This should be placed so that it will elevate the abdominal segment off the hook. Take the unsealed end of the abdomen segment and fray the mono for 1/4 inch. Tie down the mono using the frayed end and put on some super glue and overwrap the mono back to the tread ball
2. Double up the yarn so that it forms a loop for the yarn post. Off set the ends slightly so that the transition on the hook will be smooth. Tie down the yarn ends in front of the abdominal segment on top of the superglue and wrap back so that the post starts just at the fur ball. Wrap the shaft of the post to form a base for the parachute hackle.
3. Place the hackle so that the concave (shiny) side faces down and tie down with two wraps. Put some dubbing on the thread and overwrap the body to hide the dark thread at the base of the post and the tie down area for the hackle. Take three to four wraps with the hackle, tie it down, and cut it off.
4. Dub the thread and wrap the thorax to the head of the fly. Spread the hackle in the front of the fly to the sides and pull the yarn post forward over the thorax and wrap it down behind the eye. Bring the thread in front of the yarn and whip finish the head. Cut the extra yarn post off leaving about a stub of yarn about as long as the eye of the hook. The black thread around the yarn simulates the eyes of the insect and the stub of yarn, the head.
5. Straighten out the hackle in a smooth semicircle in back of the thorax and arrange the abdomen in an upward curve. Put *clear* and *thinned* head cement at the base of the thorax and hackles to hold them in place. Put some head cement between the abdomen segment and the dubbing ball to hold the abdomen in position.
6. Tying hints - Dye and band the abdominal segments as one long piece of braided mono, then cut to length and melt the end. Put on the head cement after you finish all the flies. Do not skip the superglue or your abdominal segments may pull out. Use a whip finish on the head and you can skip the head cement for this area.

Extended Body Gray Drake

Tied by Marguerite McKenzie (Springfield OR)

Hook: TMC 921 BL, #12
Thread: 8/0 Gray
Wing: Gray: Clark's Yarn; or Poly Yarn; or Deer Hair
Body: Extension: Gray Vernille
Base for hackle: _Fly Rite_ #21 Light Gray
Hackle: Dun Cock Saddle Hackle (one will tie 3 flies)

Tying Instructions:

1. Start the thread one hook eye length behind eye
2. Tie in the wing, hook shank length, to mid point on hook shank, secure with three thread wraps, then cut at an angle (/) then advance thread to point of the hook (*not* barb); leave the wing pointed out over the hook eye for the time being
3. Tie in extended body, length of hook shank, with the head of the extended body resting against the butt of the wing (\/).
4. Return thread to the first tie in wrap on the vernille which should be directly above the hook point.
5. Sparsely dub thread, about 1 1/2 inches
6. With dubbed thread tie in one Dun feather,* _size 14_*
7. Continue wrapping dubbed thread forward, to one hook eye width behind the eye; as you bring your thread forward, be sure to wrap several times directly in front of the wing, to hold it up.
8. Tightly wrap hackle forward, using 7-11 wraps behind the wing to the wing, and 1-3 wraps in front of the wing. Be careful not to crowd the eye. When wrapping the hackle, be sure to wiggle the feather so as not to trap any of the barbs under the wraps. Wiggle side to side, right to left.
9. Secure the wrapped hackle with a couple of tight thread wraps and clip remaining feather at this point.
10. Tie off with a whip finish (3-5 turns) or a couple of half hitches, which ever you prefer. It is important not to trap any of the barbs, if possible, and you might want to use a hackle guard to acheive this goal.
11. If you use head cement on your dry flies, apply a light coat now.
12. While the head cement is drying, pull the wing up sharply and clip excess just a hair above the hackles. Now is also a good time to check the vernille extended body for proper length and simply clip any extra off, now.
13. Remove the fly from the vice and turn it over. You will be looking directly at the eye and hook point. Take your sharpest pair of scissors and place them at an angle, high at the eye end, and low at the hook bend end. Cut a narrow V shape. You may need to clip a little here and a little there, but what you are attempting to acheive is a clear V so that when you turn the fly over and place it on the table top, it will sit perkly upright and even from side to side.
14. This fly should float high and long, but if you want to make doubly sure, you can pop it in a Hydrophobic solution and then let it dry long enough and then fish it as you would any Gray Drake. Best of luck! &->

I did not invent this extended body fly, but one of the young men at the Caddis Fly Angling Shop in Eugene Oregon did. His name is Ethan.


Tied by Hans Weilenmann (Amsterdam Netherlands)

My first trip to Montana took place in July/August 1982. In preparation for this trip I read up on all the hatch-charts and other information I could lay my hands on. I then compiled all the required patterns and commenced tying them. (I was naive and more gullible then...) I literally tied up hundreds of flies. Dries, wets, nymphs and emergers in sizes ranging from #10 4XL through to #28. Unfortunately, very few of the anticipated hatches actually materialized. Apart from one rather spectacular Yellow Sally egg-laying session on Rock Creek, where an imitation (with a deer hair bullet-head, extended body made from twisted yellow poly yarn and a trimmed grizzly hackle wing tied flat) triggered explosive rises, it was caddis all the way. Not a mayfly in sight. So I fished the Elk Hair Caddis. And the EHC. When this fly did not work, I'd fish the EHC. I'm sure you get the picture. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the EHC has been one of my most effective dry fly patterns from this time onward.
Mostly I would follow the Troth pattern closely: dubbed body, palmered hackle, counter-ribbed with fine gold wire. Or, on #16 and smaller, sometimes only dubbing without hackle.
The last season, though, I deviated from the Troth path. With the increased availability of CDC in natural and dyed colors I started experimenting with this material on my core set of fishing flies. For my EHC I started using CDC barbules dubbed onto the thread. Although this worked OK, it did not really improve on the pattern. What I wanted to achieve, next to (perhaps) improved floatation, was a stronger illusion of movement, i.e. to utilize the in-built mobility of the CDC feather. I tried and discarded to trap the CDC barbules in a dubbing loop. Tying in clumps of CDC barbules was not satisfactory, either. Various other options were tried and rejected. The answer turned out to be to use the whole CDC feather, including stem. The resulting fly, basically a modified EHC, I call the CDC Elk.

The required list of materials is pretty short: standard dry-fly hook, thread, CDC feather (natural or dyed) and fine-tipped deer hair.

Tying instructions:

- Attach the thread halfway down the hookshank and run backwards to the bend.
- Select a CDC feather of the required color and size. (The longest barbule approx. 2 times shank-length) Hold the CDC feather at the butt and, by stroking the feather between thumb and indexfinger towards the tip, bunch the tips together.
- Tie in the bunch, butt pointing backwards. Tie down with two turns, then slip a third turn under the tips and a fourth turn over the barbules, just forward of the third. This will lock the CDC barbules in place and prevent them from coming loose. Spiral thread forward to eye, then back one turn.
- Clamp butt with hacklepliers and wind the CDC feather towards the eye in touching turns. You will find that the rear half of the body will resemble a dubbed one, but as you progress towards the eye, more and more free barbules appear. Stroke these backwards with each turn. A little practice will enable you to arrive at the eye with only the bare part of the stem left.
- Tie off with one tight turn of thread, unclip the hackle but do not trim yet. Tighten with a second and third turn of thread. You will see that the CDC butt will move with the thread, securing the tie-off point. Clip the CDC butt.
- Finish off as a regular EHC. I like to trim the deer-hair to the required length before tying it in. Your mileage may vary.

To summarize: the EHC is a great fly, but I like to think the CDC Elk improves on this great pattern. If possible, better floating. Surprisingly durable. Illusion of movement provided by the straggling CDC barbules to suggest legs, antenna, trailing shuck, crippled wings, etc. Easily obtainable materials and incredibly easy and fast to tie. And it even catches fish!

Do give it a try...

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This page compiled by Rick Lalliss for the FF@ Dry Fly Swap.
Copyright 1995, Rick Lalliss and Respective Authors
EMail: lalliss@aros.net