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S.L.F. Caddis
By Jim Schollmeyer,Ted Leeson

Bubble and Brushed-Sheath Emergers

Flies of this style are tied to represent caddis pupae that have emerged from their pupal cases and are ready for transformation into the adult form. To assist in its ascent to the surface, the pupa generates a film of buoyant gas between the pupal skin and the body of the insect. This gas gives the pupa a glistening appearance in the water, and the patterns in this chapter illustrate approaches to representing the shimmer of the pupa by using reflective materials, such as Antron, or glossy translucent ones such as synthetic films or beads.

Although this type of imitation can be fished anywhere in the water column, the patterns as shown in the tying sequences are designed primarily for fishing in or just under the film. Even dressed with floatant, however, most of these tend to sit very low in the water and hence are not highly visible to the angler; we often tie them as droppers off the bend of a high-floating dry fly such as a Deer Hair or Elk Hair Caddis. The dry fly functions as both a strike indicator and as a means of tracking the drift or drag of the pupa. But these patterns work equally well when they are fished deep, either by adding weight, such as lead wire, to the hook shank, or weight to the leader.

Materials S.L.F. Caddis:

    Hook: TMC 2487BL, or equivalent light-wire scud hook, #8 - #14.

    Thread: Pale yellow 6/0.

    Abdomen: Olive (#11) SLF dubbing.

    Sheath: Zing Wing material.

    Legs: Brown rooster hackle.

    Thorax: Rust brown (#37) SLF dubbing.

    Antennae: Woodduck flank fibers.

    Orginator: Davy Wotton.

A variety of materials can be used to form the sheath on this pattern - clear Swiss straw, Scintilla wing material, or virtually any translucent film. Orange, olive and tan are all good colors. To appreciate this imitation, you must tie one up and observe it underwater; the wing film becomes more translucent and the body color and silhouette inside the film become quite visible and lifelike.

Tying Instructions for S.L.F. Caddis:

    1. Tease out a sparse mat of abdomen dubbing about 2" long and 1/2" wide, as shown. Set the dubbing aside.

    2. Mount the thread and position it at the tailing point. Form a dubbing loop...about 3" long. Position the tying thread 1/3 the shank-length behind the hook eye. Carefully insert the mat of dubbing in the loop.

    3. Twist the dubbing loop tightly.

    4. Form the abdomen over the rear 2/3 of the shank. Bind and clip the excess dubbing loop if any remains.

    5. Cut a piece of sheath material about 1 1/2 hook-gaps in width. Round the rear edge as shown.

    6. Place the sheath over the abdomen. The material should be wide enough to roll down and enclose the sides of the abdomen. The rear edge should project a short distance beyond the hook bend. Secure the material directly in front of the abdomen.

    7. Using the procedure explained in tip-mounted hackle, prepare and mount the hackle feather.

    8. Take 2-4 wraps of the feather as shown in wrapping wet-fly hackle. Tie off and clip the excess.

    9. Use the direct dubing method to dub a thorax just short of the hook eye.

    10. Mount two woodduck fibers extending over the hook eye about one hook-length.

    11. Draw one fiber down each side of the body, and take a few wraps over the folded base of the fibers to hold them in this position, as shown in this top view. Form the head of the fly and whip finish.

    12. Finished fly. ~ Jim Schollmeyer,Ted Leeson

    Credits: This fly is an excerpt from Tying Emergers by Jim Schollmeyer and Ted Leeson. Published by Frank Amato Publications.

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

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