Fly Of The Week
Agent 99
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Agent 99
By Thomas C. Duncan, Sr.
Photos by James Birkholm

Remember Agent 99 from the old "Get Smart" TV series? The enemies thought she was lovely and desirable until she revealed the fact that she was truly dangerous! This imitation of an ovipositing caddis, part of a series of flies which allow a ball of brilliant dubbing to dip below the water's surface, presents the same concept. When a trout attempts to take advantage of the perceived vulnerability of this young lady, it promptly and regrettably discovers her true purpose. Would you believe that in one hour I caught a hundred Brown Trout no smaller than six pounds each using just this fly? Well, would you believe three dozen Browns and a small Cutthroat? How about it's just a good fly to have with you? If you believe that, here's the recipe:

Materials: Agent 99

  • Hook:  Curved-shank (scud) hook.

  • Butt:  Bright dubbed ball.

  • Body:  Dubbing.

  • Hackle:  Grizzly.

  • Wing:   Elk or Deer hair over CDC.

Tying Steps:

1. (Note: we are tying a Grannom here.) Dub a ball of bright yellow hair on the bend of the hook. Don't be afraid to use an absorbent material like Rabbit here. You will want the egg sac to dip into the water, and the rest of the materials will hold the fly afloat.

2. Dub a body of dark grey. Take it all the way up the shank, very close to the eye. This dubbing, by the by, is Dan Bailey's old Float Tech. Any dry fly dubbing will do.

3. Tie in a grizzly hackle atop the hook with the dull side facing up.

4. Tie in two pieces of dun CDC, then some stacked Elk hair extending about to the hook bend. The Elk should be fairly sparse, and the tips of both materials should be even with each other.

5. Wind the hackle parachute-style around the wing materials. Pulling the wing up with your fingers will help make the task easier. Slip a whip-finish over the eye and cement both that knot and the thread wraps which bind down the wing.

More!

This pattern can be adapted to any caddis specie by changing the colours. Strangely enough, even the diving caddis' can be imitated with this pattern, so don't overlook those colour schemes, either. It is not unusual for an ovipositing diver to become stuck in the meniscus for any number of reasons. In this state, they are generally more vulnerable than the skaters and droppers, and are often attacked by Trout! Good colour combinations I have found are:

    * Dark Grey body -- Fl. Yellow/Green egg (Brachycentrus)

    * Olive body -- Orange egg (Hydropsyche)

    * Tan body -- Yellowish Orange egg (Glossosoma)

    * Brown body - Red egg

    * Green body - Lt. Orange egg (Rhyacophila)

Whichever colour you might use, retention of the grizzly hackle is important because it combines with the CDC to give the illusion of fluttering legs and wings.

The tier can afford to use a heavy-wire hook with this pattern if desired because the body material is so buoyant. The combination of hollow hairs, stiff hackles, water repellent dubb, and CDC keep it floating cast after cast after cast, fish after fish after fish. ~ Thomas C. Duncan, Sr. (pastortd)

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.


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