Hook: Nymph 1X long, size 10 - 18.
Step 1. Start thread at the eye of the hook and wrap to the back of the hook. There really are no proportions we are trying to set here, but a thread base under this dubbing is a good idea. Wax and touch dub a length of thread. This dubbing is natural rabbit with long fibders and a synthetic with lots of sparkle mixed together, so the wax needs to be very tacky. The tackiest you can find, maybe B.T.s Wax...You need more dubbing than you would think. After it is touch-dubbed, tighten up about 3/4 of its length by twisting it as you would for normal dubbing. Wrap this section of "normal" dubbing forward to about the 2/3 point of the hook. Hopefully the shaggy, touch-dubbed section shows up here. Dub forward to the front of the fly, sweeping back the loose dubbing as you go. What an unbelievable look of an exploded caddisfly!
Step 2. Prepare a brown hen back feather as shown. With the shiny side of the feather towards you and tip of the feather towards you and tip of the feather over the eye of the hook, strip the barbs off the top half of the feather.
Step 3. Trim the tip of the feather to tie in. With the shiny side of the feather up and the bare side of the feather away from you, tie in its tip at the front of the hook. Wrap soft hackle three or four times and secure right behind the eye of the hook and trim excess. As you wrap this feather you will notice that it lies in place by itself, swept back like a perfect soft hackoe, without manipulation. What a great technique. Whip finish and that's it. If you were to blink while tying this one, you might miss it.
~ John Hagen
Credit: The Exploding Caddis is an excerpt from Tying Flies Like A Pro published by Frank Amato Publications.
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