|Fly Tying Terms|
Snow Shoe Caddis
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Step #1 Apply the biot as shown in The Biot. Smooth body or ridged is a personal
call. Remember that the ridged wrap will be lighter in color.
Step #2 Stack two CDC feathers, one on top of the other. Even the tips by
sliding them atop one another. You will need to use straight stemmed feathers
here, so be a bit choosey. You can use a CDC puff as well.
Step #3 Pinch the two feathers as shown, slip the hook eye between your index
finger and the CDC as shown. Use your thumb to push the feathers onto the
top of the hook. I find that if your approach the hook eye from below, it
is a bit easier to align the feather. Trying to set this wing from above,
like a hair wing, does not work well. The CDC slips and becomes uneven or
turned in relation to the hook shank.
Step #4 This picture shows the change of hand pinch, from the tyers view,
right hand to the left. Try and maintain the stacked stems of the CDC feathers
on top of the hook shank while binding down the feathers. Your thread torque
will want to pull the stem away from you ...don't let that happen. You can "cock" the
feathers toward you a bit to compensate for the torque. Tye in the CDC well
here ...do not crowd the eye, you have all kinds of space for wraps in this,
the thorax area.
Step #5 Here you can see the smooth tread tye down area of the CDC. Note the
relative proportions, 70% body (biot), 30% thorax/head area. The wing is about
a gap width out past the body starting point above the hook barb.
Step #6 Here I have created a loop and returned the tag end (bobbin end) back
and under the hook to the back side of the hook shank as opposed to the tyers
side of the hook shank like a normal wrap.
Step #7 By rotating the thread/bobbin under and around the legs of the loop
you close the loop at the hook shank.
Step #8 Closing the "vee" created by the two legs of the loop allows
for the placement of material between these legs to be pinched in place. If
we left the legs spread, as it were, separated by the hook thickness, materials
would not be secure and fall out when the spinning begins.
Step #9 With the loop closed we can now insert the spinning tool at the base
of the loop. Here I have a Byrd's Dubbing tool but any bent piece of thin
rod will suffice. I used a paper clip for years . They travel well and don't
cause a calamity when lost or "borrowed". By placing the tool in
the loop we can now maintain the open access to the loop. If you just formed
the loop and let go the thing will twist back up to the hook and you can not
open it to add materials. So the tool at this point keeps the loop "open."
Step #10 This is a dyed, light dun, Snowshoe Rabbits foot. Like lots of materials
used in building flies, explaining body parts and hides etc. to young children
can be an adventure in creative thought. Look for long even hair that is uniform
in color. We will use mostly the hair at and between the toe pads.
Step #11 I am not going to tell you that you need to have 710 fibers, no more,
no less... It's very tactile, the amount of hair one cuts, and in this picture,
measures for length. Trial and error will be your best guide when trying to
get the amount of fur "correct". The length should approach about
half the hook shank length. It's not critical, but it does make the following
Step #12 Open the loop with your left pointer finger, note the spinning tool
is in place. Slip the bundle of fur between the loop legs to a point the match
to a length close to half the hook shank length. When you have the fur in
place, pinch the loop legs at the point they touch the fur. If you try and
remove your left finger with out pinching the fur in place, the fur will drop
out of the loop due to the vibration created by removing your finger. Once
the finger is out of the loop the fur will be held in place. Pinching the
fur after it's in the loop allows you to remove your left hand finger This
is when you will come to see why we closed the legs of the loop with the wrap
around turns of thread. Had we not done this the loop would be open by the
thickness of the hook shank and the material would drop out.
Step #13 The fur bundle now is held in place by the thread legs and some tension
downward on the spinning tool. Some tools are made of brass and are designed
to be heavy so as to keep the pressure on the materials within the loop. I
like the Shepard's hook because it's easy to apply the loop after it has been
spun. Try out other styles. We need to trim this bundle...
Step #14 While maintaining the downward force on the Shepard's Hook in my
left hand palm, I use my pointer finger to apply pressure, from behind, to
the fur and the thread. The thread pushes into the skin of my finger pad while
the fur stays out on the top of the finger pad. This action produces a "vee" in
the fur and presents both ends of the bundle for trimming. Here, I'm only
trimming the butt ends to the right of the thread. Just slip the scissors
up the finger surface and clip...not your finger...the fur !
Step #15 Trimmed and ready to spin. Remember to maintain a bit of downward
force on the thread to keep the loop closed.
Step #16 Begin spinning the Shepard's Hook , Clock wise
Step #17 The number of turns is once again a matter of personal experience.
Just remember that while spinning, the loop is growing shorter, so give a
bit of slack as you spin. If you don't, the hook will be pulled (bent) toward
you in the vise, not a good thing. Once you have the look you want, begin
to wrap the looped material toward the eye dry fly hackle style.
Step #18 The loop end is at the tye off area behind the eye. Hold the Shepard's
hook up and above the eye, similar to a dry fly hackle tye off.
Step #19 Clear the fibers, as best you can, back and away form the tye off
area behind the eye. Maintain the loop hook's position of up and away.
Step #20 With your left hand, bring the thread/bobbin up and and over the
loop thread at the area behind the eye. Three turns here is fine. You need
not cinch down at this point. We need only secure the loop thread lightly
here till we can change hands and apply more pressure at tye off.
Step #21 After the whip finish, a bit of a trimming can be done. Again experiment
here with the final appearance you would like. I like the top a bit more flat.
Step #22 You can trim the bottom a bit. The degree of cutting depends on the
amount of fur and the general overall look of the bug.
Step #23 Three materials, that come in all kinds of colors, makes for a versatile
and easy to build caddis imitation
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