Fly of the Month – Neversink Caddis

Fly of the Month by J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Matthew Beers, Circleville NY. Matthew is mostly known for tying traditional style Catskill flies. Find Matthew on Instagram.

I developed this Caddis pattern over many years of trial and error on The Neversink River in the southern Catskills of New York. It’s a low riding dry fly, as fish in these waters tend to prefer parachute style patterns or emergers that are fished in the film, but Caddis are the predominant food source.

The Neversink Caddis recipe:

Hook – Size 16 1xL light wire Dry Fly Hook
Thread – Wapsi Dark Brown 70
Body – Superfine Cinnamon Caddis Dub
Wing – Cow Elk brown
CdC Collar – 1 Brown CdC feather and 1 Rusty Brown CdC feather of Wapsi CdC Super Select feathers.
CdC Rusty Brown tied in using the split thread, spun to blend method.

*Getting the correct color blend is critical, and can be tweaked for other waters or seasons by easily changing the ratio of color or colors used.

Tying instructions:

1. Start near back of hook and dub body with dubbing.
2. Stack elk hair and tie in wing. To stack, just hold on to ends of elk and do not let it spin around shank while you make thread wraps around the butt ends of the elk to lash it to the shank.
3. For this step, I use a CdC clip, but you can use the new Loon Outdoors D-Loop Tweezers as well. Lay Two CdC slips in CdC clip, cut off stems, switch fibers to next clip. Split thread and insert CdC fibers in split. Close and pinch thread. Spin bobbin till small knot forms at pinch, release and rock thread back & forth ( fibers should spin in thread blending together) Then wrap collar forward pulling fibers back as going. Whip finish and fish.

I recommend reading Marc Petitjean’s book CdC for more detailed info on working with CdC.

Product Review: Stonfo Elite Disc Drag Bobbin

Guest Blogger: Jeremy Anderson is an amateur fly tyer and professional Creative Director at an advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee. He lives with his wife and two boys in a log cabin by the Harpeth River. You can find Jeremy @hacklejob

Achieving perfect thread tension can be a Zen-like moment when all is balanced in your fly-tying world. Ok, maybe not, but the alternative is pretty darn frustrating. Too much tension, and you break off or cut through your materials. Too little and you unravel. J. Stockard blogger and lifelong angler Mary S. Kuss has written a very helpful post on thread control that every tyer should read. But I’d like to add one more suggestion that has helped me: invest in a great bobbin. My personal favorite is the Stonfo Elite Disc Drag Bobbin, and here’s why.

I have tied dozens of flies using the original (red) model, tying everything from size 24 midges with 14/0 thread to size 1/0 deer hair poppers using 200 GSP, and the ability to dial in the perfect amount of tension mid-fly by simply turning the drag knob instead of taking out the spool and bending the arms is very helpful. The feel of the bobbin is top notch and it has a nice amount of weight to it to keep your thread wraps in place while hanging as you reach for your next material.

Are there any cons? Yes, but they are miniscule. First, it takes a little more time to change spools than a standard wire bobbin. Second, the numbers on the drag dial are pretty meaningless since spools can be ever so slightly different, so it’s better just to adjust it by feel.

Bottom line: the Stonfo Elite Disc Drag Bobbin has saved me some frustration and more than a few choice words when things go wrong at the vise. It’s worth trying it out to see if it’s as much of a game-changer for you.

In my office, we have a rule: if you swear, you pay the kitty. You can avoid this with a disc drag bobbin.

Tales from the Tying Bench

Guest Blogger: Tom Corbiere, Tom is a J Stockard Customer who lives in Oregon

You’re finishing tying an intricate fly. The tail is exact length, rib evenly spaced, perfect hackle tied in without stray barbs sticking out. All you need to do is whip finish and “PING!” Your thread breaks. Hackle unravels, Ribbing now sticking straight up, and the tail is laying at the bottom of your vice on the bench. You either internally (or externally) scream. Am I the only one this has happened to?

If you are lucky, the fly doesn’t fall apart. You quickly thread your bobbin and capture the broken thread and save the day! All that work saved. A great accomplishment. Obviously, the tying gods were looking down on you. So you go back and finish off the fly and “PING” another break. Then the next sound you hear is “&$!#%” and its coming out of your mouth like an out of body experience.

Continue reading → Tales from the Tying Bench