Updated 971113
Swedish version

Balsa wing
( Swedish name: balsavingen )

Flytying patter originator: Johan Nygren

I have tried to make a caddi imitation with a lifelike silhouette but my attempts have not been very successful. Sure the E-12 fly and the G&H fly catch many fish and the Streaking Caddis have always been a favourite of mine, but they don't have the correct wingtip silhouette. What I wanted was a fly that looked like a caddi and had the correct silhouette

I got the idea for the "balsa wing" from Rolf Ahlkvists well-known balsa wasp (Swe: balsageting). If it was possible to make a wasp body of balsa for a fly imitation it must be possible to form a delta wing. I bought a piece of balsa, and started to carve with my modelling knife. The final result was excellent right away. The rainbow trout liked the fly, and the fly turned out to be both durable and well floating

Tying description:
Form the balsa piece as a square, 4 x 4 mm, it should be a bit longer than the total length of the hook. Cut a shallow score in the balsa and fill it with epoxy glue. Place the hook in the score, remember to leave enough space for hackle and head on the hook shank. Wait for the glue to harden, then carve the balsa piece in to a rough wing shape. For the final smooth wing shape you will use a sandpaper. Let the wing stretch a bit behind the hook, this will accomplish the correct balance for the fly. When you are satisfied with the shape and finish you can paint the wing in a suitable color. I use "enamel" paint (e.g "Humbrol enamel color"). Finish with one or two layers of clear varnish, this will make a hard and durable final coating.

Now it is time to tie the hackle, which don't necessarily must be of a super quality. If you want to have antennas on the fly, use the thick end of two hackle stems. Tie on the hackle and form a head with the tying thread. Varnish the head and the fly is done.

One advantage which also can be a disadvantage is the weight of the fly. You have the possibility to interest the fish by allowing the fly to land on the water surface with a small splash. If you are fishing for fish who is easily frightened you should probably use another fly. The splash is difficult to avoid and can easily frighten the fish.

© Johan Nygren 1997

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