This is Why We Tie

“This is why, why we fly
Why we fly fish all day
And this is why, this is why we fly
Before we fly, we will tie
Flies that match the hatch
This is why, this is why we tie

“Sung to the tune (chorus) of “This is Why We Fight” by The Decemberists

Both black and tan caddis are bringing fish to the surface right now. We expect both hatches to continue into October, so if you’re a fly tier you might want to check out these tried-and-true patterns.

The Hemingway Caddis is a Bighorn River staple. We sometimes tie it with dark dun hackle.

Hemingway Caddis
Hook: TMC 100, #18 or #20
Thread: Uni-Thread 8/0 Olive or Black
Body: Superfine Dubbing, Olive (or equivalent fine synthetic dubbing)
Thorax: Peacock Herl
Hackle: Medium Dun
Underwing: Lemon Wood Duck Barbules
Wing: Natural Mallard Wing Quill

Other tips: Buy the ones tied overseas. Okay, only kidding … somewhat. If you want to tie them, make sure that the hackle you use is slightly undersized. I like the fibers to extend to the hook point, or just slightly beyond. Some of the guides trim the bottom of the hackle anyway. Also, just a drop of super glue underneath the peacock herl is great for durability. Only use a few barbules of the Lemon Wood Duck—keep this fly sparse.
This is the picky fish fly. When they won’t take a CDC Black Caddis or Elk Hair, they will often eat this fly. Must have something to do with the Hemingway name.

The Henryville Caddis is a pattern that has been around a long time. Still one of the best flies you can use during the tan caddis hatch.

Henryville Special
Hook: TMC 100, #16
Thread: Uni-thread 8/0 Brown or Gray
Body: Superfine Dubbing or Haretron, Light Olive
Underwing: Lemon Wood Duck Barbules
Wing: Natural Mallard Wing Quill
Hackle (rib): Grizzly Hackle
Hackle (collar): Brown

Other tips: Like the Hemingway, keep the rib hackle undersized.