Light Gray Deer Hair Caddis – 11/28/2011

Another fly that I discovered I was in short supply of late in the season was the light gray deer hair caddis. This fly proved to be a huge winner in one of my late season outings on the Big Thompson River, and it was after this experience that I discovered my shortage and I tied eight more before visiting the South Platte in Wildcat Canyon.

Dark bodied deer hair caddis seem to be the desired fly of trout early in the season, but by August, September and October gray or light colored caddis seem to be a better imitation. The late season caddis I’ve captured seem to have a yellow hue, but the light gray poly dubbing that I use seems to work across a broader range of matching situations than yellow.

When I tallied my list of fly tying requirements, I realized that I needed to make quite a few light gray and olive brown caddis in size 16, so I purchased a $25 pack of Whiting saddle hackles rated size 16. These are extremely long saddle hackles with size sixteen along the entire length. What a pleasure it was to tie twenty light gray deer hair caddis with the long saddles as I used approximately 2.5 feathers to complete 20 flies.

HookTiemco 100 size 16
ThreadGray 6/0
BodyLight gray poly dubbing
WingGray deer hair
HackleGrizzly neck feather


Twenty Light Gray Deer Hair Caddis

I tie my size 16 caddis in a very sparse manner with a narrow body and no palmered hackle over the abdomen. I make a full wrap around the deer hair before cinching it down on top of the hook to prevent the deer hair from rolling around the hook shank. I apply some head cement to the thread wraps that serve as the base for the deer hair, and I usually make four wraps of hackle in front of the deer hair wing. I’ve been in several situations where I caught fish with my sparse caddis when others failed or had less consistent success.

Sparse Light Gray Caddis

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