Our Catalog Cover Star

by J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Justin Bowman, Apple Valley MN. Find Justin on Instagram.

I was very pleased when J. Stockard featured one of my flies, a Vinyl Rib Caddis, on the cover of their 2018 Catalog. For those of you who’d like to try tying it yourself, here’s my recipe!

J Stockard J2 500 hook #12-16
Bead: Hareline countersunk tungsten bead – 2.4mm
Thread – UTC 70 green-olive
Rib – Midge Vinyl Rib – green
Collar 1- Ice Dub – Peacock and pheasant tail
Collar 2 – Hareline CDC – Brown
Copic marker – black
Helpful tools: Hareline dubbing spinner set with hair packer, Stonfo dubbing loop clip and Stonfo comb and brush tool


  1. Attach bead, secure hook in vise, and begin thread wraps behind the bead.
  2. Tie in the vinyl rib to the top of the hook and make wraps down the bend of the hook to secure the rib. I keep tension on the rib to stretch it a bit to cut down on bulk a little bit. Bring the thread and rib back into the bend of the hook.
  3. Make thread wraps back up to hook shank, building a small taper to give the vinyl rib a slightly tapered look.
  4. Wrap the vinyl rib around the shank with touching wraps until getting near the bead. You can bring the rib up to the bead and cover some of it with the following materials or you can leave a small gap between the end of the rib and the bead.
  5. Create a dubbing loop of several inches. Pick a very small amount of peacock and pheasant tail Ice Dub and blend it/stack it together in your hand. Insert this into the dubbing loop, spin the dubbing loop, then brush it out to free trapped fibers.
  6. Wrap the dubbing loop two to three times around the shank, depending on amount or density of materials in the loop, to create a sparse collar. Secure the dubbing loop and clip the excess thread.
  7. Create a second dubbing loop. Using a single CDC feather, secure some of the fibers in the dubbing loop clip, clip them from the stem, then insert the fibers from the dubbing loop clip into the dubbing loop. Don’t worry about fibers being too long at this point since they can be trimmed later. Also, the fiber length will likely vary, which is fine. Spin the dubbing loop and brush out the fibers.
  8. Wrap the dubbing loop around the hook shank, secure it, then trim off excess again.
  9. Color the next several inches of thread black, dub a small amount of ice dub by the bead, then whip finish the fly.
  10. Lastly, trim the Ice Dub and CDC collars to a length of around end of the hook, or slightly longer, or to preference.

11 thoughts on “Our Catalog Cover Star

    1. Justin Bowman

      Being a heavier, fast-sinking fly with a tungsten bead head, I fish this on the bottom in riffles under an indicator, mostly as part of a 2 fly nymph rig. Also, I usually let the fly swing out at the end of the drift so it rises through the water column, which can be great for triggering strikes.


  1. Ethan

    Justin and crew,
    Beautiful picture and an even more beautiful fly. I’ve seen lots of bugs in my day but this one has me mesmerized for some reason. Well done all!
    PS – you guys should shoot a video with tying directions.

    1. Justin Bowman

      I appreciate that, Ethan! Thanks, a lot! I’ve never done any videos before, so I wouldn’t know where to start, but I might give it a try sometime!

  2. Michael J Vorhis

    For some reason this fly reminds me of a fly the great Truckee angler Cal Bird had designed. His hallmark was the natural-coloring “Bird’s nest” nymph, but he also had a variation using blended dubbing that he called the “Spectral Bird’s Nest.” Because of its mix of six colors plus natural tones, he’d said of this non-specific impressionistic pattern, “Trout see whatever they want to see in it.” Many say Cal’s genius resulted in the quintessential prospecting nymph.

    Because of the ice dub’s reflected colors, this “vinyl rib caddis” pattern of yours has similar hue qualities to the Spectral Bird’s Nest, and like Cal’s pattern is also tied “in the round.” It’s also similarly kinked and ratty–always good qualities. One might guess its success could be similar to the bead-head version of the Spectral Bird’s Nest, and from your description of how you typically fish it I assume it often fills a similar “prospecting” role. I like it! I also always like vinyl and tiny-rubber-tubing ribbing–that stuff looks and works great.

    – Mike

  3. Fred Block

    My J. Stockard 2018 catalog arrived yesterday and when I saw the cover image of the fly I immediately wanted to do a bunch of things: (1) frame the image, (2) tie the fly or a box full, and (3) fish this fly. My family was all in the kitchen where I picked up the catalog from the mail pile so I showed them all what a great fish catcher this looks like and they were taken by my excitement. Hey – it’s in our blood – right?!?

    Thanks for the recipe!!! You know where my materials will come from should I be missing something I need.

    All the best – Fred

    1. Justin Bowman

      Thanks for the flattery, Fred! It’s a fairly quick and easy fly to tie, both of which I’m a fan of. Best of luck to you in you tying and subsequent fishing of it 😁😁

  4. Bill Dieckhaus

    I agree with the posting by Fred Block. I’ve been tying for over 25 years and probably enjoy tying as much as I do fishing. It’s not very often that I see a pattern in one of the magazines that I get each month that really catches my eye. When I received the Stockard catalog the other day my eyes really popped. After staring at that pattern I immediately went to my bench to look to see if I had all the materials needed to tie that pattern. What a great pattern, and I’m sure a fish killer.


  5. James Scheuerle

    I’ve had good success over the years on the Pere Marquette with a variety of green caddis/green rockworm nymphs and cannot wait to try this one. Thanks Justin!

    – Jim


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