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The King's River Caddis
By Skip Morris

Named for the California river of its birth, the King's River Caddis is among those flies you want to tie just because it looks so good. Its clean lines and crisply notched wing of cinnamon-and-cream radiate elegance.

It is this distinctive wing that set the King's River Caddis, an otherwise conventional fly, apart from other adult-caddis imitations during the height of its popularity in the 1950s and 60s. (It is, admittedly, a somewhat fragile wing, but a coating of flexible cement can improve that.)

Real Adult Caddisfly

Despite concerns that it's too pretty to be good, too fragile to be useful, the King's River Caddis continues catching trout, just as it has for decades.

Wayne "Buz" Buszek of Visalia, California, for whom the "Buz Buszek" fly-ying award was named, created the King's River Caddis.

Materials for the King's River Caddis:

    Hook: Light wire, standard length to 1X long, sizes 16 to 10.

    Thread: Brown 8/0 or 6/0.

    Body: Raccoon fur or natural or synthetic brown dubbing.

    Wing: Mottled-brown turkey primary.

    Hackle: Brown.

Tying Instructions for King's River Caddis:

    1. Start the thread on the hook's shank, and then dub a full body over the rear two thirds of the shank.

    2. Snip a section about as wide as the hooks gape from a mottled-brown turkey primary. Trim a notch in the tip of the section. (A light coating of Dave's Flexament increases durability.)

    3. Bind the secton, by its un-notched butt, atop the front of the dubbed body. The notched end of the section should extend past the end of the body a distance about equal to the hooks's gape. Trim off the butt of the section.

    4. Sprip the soft fibers from the bases of two dry-fly hackles appropriate to the hook's size. Bind the hackles at the front of the wing. Trim the hackle's stems and bind their cut ends. End with the thread hanging just behind the hook's eye.

    5. Wind one hackle forward in slightly open spirals; then bind its tip. Wind the second hackle forward through the first; then bind its tip. Trim both tips and then build and complete a thread-head. Coat the head with head cement to complete the King's River Caddis.

Credits: The King's River Caddis is from Skip Morris's book, Morris on Tying Flies, published by Frank Amato Publications, (2006). The book contains seventy-four patterns, Skip's favorites, updated from top to bottom.

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

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