Swedish version

The Hairy Sedge
Presented by Goran Grubic

The Hairy Sedge, by Goran Grubic

  This is a story about one simple and wonderfully effective pattern. Actually the fly is a mixture of two famous dry flies: Henryville Special and Elk Hair Caddis. I guess we can call it Elk Henryville, but I'm using different name because my friend insisted on it. My old friend and fishing pal Dusko uses only this pattern for all his fishing and always ask me to give him some of my "Hairy Sedges". If you look into his fly box you can see only this pattern in a few different sizes but still he manages to catch quite a lot of trout. He insisted so much on that name that I accepted it.

Dusko fishing on a high mountain stream

  I discovered this fly in late 80s on the Resava river in Eastern Serbia, where I used to fish regularly every summer. It is not a big river, but its waters are clear and it supported a nice population of brown trout. (The picture of the river is showing it the way I prefer to remember it - like a current of silver.) After experimenting with different flies I observed that during the summer there is little need to use any other dry fly on the Resava. It was interesting that trout were ready to take this fly when various insects were hatching and sometimes even when there were no insects at all.

The Resava
The Resava

  Hairy Sedge was tested on all other rives where I fished whenever there was chance to try dry fly. It became my first choice when I have to search for the trout. It is producing best results on faster water. The trick is to keep the sedge close to the main current, but not exactly in it, and to lead the fly into trout holding places. If the trout is willing to take it will not hesitate.

The river Visocica
The river Visocica where Hairy Sedge is usually successful

  When tied well this fly can stand a lot of abuse because elk hair is the strongest of all deer hairs. I caught many trout with it and from personal experience can tell that single Hairy Sedge can easily cope with more than ten trout, one after another. There are very few high floating dry flies with such capabilities.

Brown trout with a Hairy Sedge in its mouth
Brown trout with a Hairy Sedge in its mouth

  Although I consider the first version of Hairy Sedge as the best, there are many possible variations of this fly style. They can imitate sedges, stoneflies, bigger mayflies, grasshoppers and almost any other insect. In some of those variations I added high visible deer hair into the wing, like I did in the Flame Sedge, described before. This was not really necessary because pale color of the elk wing makes Hairy Sedge very visible.

Hairy Sedge Variation
Hairy Sedge Variation

  Hairy Sedge is not successful for trout fishing only; it is also well accepted by all other fish species willing to take insects from the water surface. In the summer 2002 I had a very nice chub that firmly believed that this fly is exactly what he needed.

Chub taken on a Hairy Sedge
Chub taken on a Hairy Sedge


  Tying details:

Hook: size 8-14, light wire dry fly models, both standard and 2x long
Thread: olive 6/0 Danville
Body: olive dubbing
Body hackel: cree or grizzly, short
Wing: stacked bull elk in natural golden color
Collar hackel: brown
When the fly is tied apply generous amount of head cement not only on the whip finish but also let it soak the center of the collar hackle. The cement will hold firmly the hackle and the wing, which will make very durable fly.

Photo 1 and 6 by Aleksandar Panic
Photo 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 by Goran Grubic
Flies tied by Aleksandar Panic

Goran Grubic

Aleksandar Panic


Back to patterns and tying descriptions main page
Back to fly tying main page


To get the best experience of the Magazine it is important that you have the right settings
Here are my recommended settings

Please respect the copyright regulations and do not copy any materials from this or any other of the pages in the Rackelhanen Flyfishing Magazine.

© Mats Sjöstrand 2002

If you have any comments or questions about the Magazine, feel free to contact me.

Mats Sjöstrand, Sweden

Please excuse me if you find misspelled words or any other grammatical errors.
I will be grateful if you contact
me about the errors you find.