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Hot Spot Caddis
by Jason Akl

Hot Spot Caddis, by Jason Akl

  When thinking about this year’s upcoming caddis hatches, an overwhelming amount flies come to mind. How is one suppose to choose what flies to use; or even more challenging, how is one to suppose to figure out patterns on their own that are able to get those elusive lunkers to come out of hiding. If you are trying to create trophy taker patterns; a good idea is to incorporate time trusted materials into their construction. And what could be better than peacock herls. These iridescent herls have fooled fish from every continent and ocean around the world and for fly tiers the uses are endless. Peacock herls are generally used by fly tiers to create thick bushy bodies for flies that fish just can’t seem to resist. Not only are these herls good for bodies but they can also be used as a topping fibers on minnow patterns or as wingcase material for nymphs.

Another example of these uncanny fish catching materials would have to be assorted bead heads. Metal and glass beads come in a variety of shades, shapes and colors. Their usefulness to fly tiers comes mainly in constructing the bodies of flies or acting as the head section. On the other hand these beads do not just serve a cosmetic purpose, they provide much needed weight for flies to get them drifting down on the river bottom.

The hot spot caddis pattern is a fly that was designed to imitate a caddis fly that is in its larval stage, and as you probably guessed it contains the above special materials. One of the most important features of this fly is the ease of tying. After just one initial run through of the pattern you should be able to whip these flies out in just a few minutes, which means you will have more time out on your favorite river or stream.

Materials Used In the Hot Spot Caddis

Hook: Mustad Scud Size 12
Head: Killer Caddis Glass Bead (Assorted Colors, I tie it in several different colors but green seems to be the most consistent out of the group)
Thorax: Gold Bead/ Black Ostrich Herl
Thread: Uni-thread Black 8/0
Body: Peacock Herl
Over-body: Pheasant Tail Fibers
Rib: Copper Wire
Wings: Pheasant Tail Fibers


1. Start this fly by crimping down the barb on the scud hook with a pair of pliers. Slide the glass bead over the hook point and up the hook shank until you reach the back of the eye (For this particular pattern the color of glass bead used was gunsmoke).

Step 1.


2. Next slide the gold bead small hole first over the hook point and again up the shank until it butts up behind the glass bead. Secure the scud hook into the vice securely and attach the thread.

Step 2.

3. Clip a small section of copper wire and tie down onto the top of the hook shank. Wrap the copper wire down with thread until you reach the middle point of the hook bend. Advance the thread to the back of the bead and tie in a small bundle of pheasant tail fibers that will be used to create the over-body. Again wrap down the fibers until you reach the midpoint of the hook bend.

Step 3.

4. Select 4-5 nice colored peacock herls and tie them onto the hook shank tip first. Wrap down to the midpoint on the hook shank then advance your thread up to the back of the beads.

Step 4.

5. Spin the herls into a thick rope and wrap them up the hook shank. Stop a quarter of an inch short of the back of the gold bead to leave room for the thorax.

Step 5.

6. Select another 8-10 pheasant tail fibers and tie them to the top of the hook shank like wings. With a few figure eight wrap separate the one wing into two smaller bunches, that are held to each side of the flies body.

Step 6.

7. Pull the remaining pheasant tail fibers over the body and tie down between the two small wings behind the gold bead. Make sure that the fibers do not stray too much from the back of the fly. If too much pressure is used when pulling the fibers forward they have a tendency to spin around the body of the fly a bit. Wrap the copper wire up the hook shank in even spaces to hold the pheasant fibers in place over the back of the fly. It should take 4 to 5 wraps of the copper wire to reach the front of the fly.

Step 7.

8. To finish the fly tie down two black ostrich herls and wrap a thick black collar. Tie off the ostrich herls and whip finish the thread. Tuck the small tag end of the thread under the bored out section of the bead and apply a small drop of cement.

Step 8.


Tight lines and Smooth threads Jason Akl © 2004




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