Fly of the Week: Elk Hair Caddis


The Elk-Hair caddis is a standby in almost every western angler’s fly box. It’s one of the most productive patterns in the world and it can fool fish eating adult caddis, along with moths, which are a staple in a trout’s late summer diet. This pattern floats well due to dry-fly hackle palmered the length of the fly, as well as a generous amount of elk hair as the wing. The fly is easy to see and fairly realistic when viewed from under the surface. If you don’t head to the water with at least a half-dozen of these bugs in your boxes you’ll miss out.

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Greg Thomas grew up splitting time between southeast Alaska and Seattle, Washington . . . and never moved away from the Pacific Northwest. He lives in Missoula, Montana with his two daughters and serves as Editor-in-Chief of North 40’s creative department. Thomas has penned five books on fly fishing, including Fly Fisher’s Guide to Washington and Fly Fisher’s Bible Montana. His byline appears in regional and national publications, including the New York Times, Forbes, Outside, and Field & Stream. He has no trouble admitting that he’s a steelhead addict and loves pursuing these fish with two-hand rods wherever they swim.

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