Project Description

Graphic Caddis, Barr’s

Pattern Description:

The Graphic Caddis is another pattern from John Barr. John developed this pattern to mimic the emerging caddis pupae, as it swims from the river bottom to the surface. There has been a lot of talk about the air bubble carried by caddis pupae these days, and John has added that attractive feature to the fly with a tag of holographic flashabou at the back of this fly. Subtle, yet definite sparkle is one of the keys to this fly. I really like this fly because John has managed to make a really ugly bug into a beautiful fly. As is John’s trademark, the fly is simple to tie and uses few materials while being greatly effective. I like to use the Graphic Caddis as an attractor, fished with weight (or behind a Copper John) along the bottom, during the summer months. I think fish see so many caddis pupae during the season that it becomes a food staple, even when there is not a blizzard hatch in progress and they keep on the look out for these tasty morsels. I also like this fly dropped off a dry caddis pattern (6-18 inches back) during a hatch. Tie a few of this durable pattern up and find them a home in your box. I’m betting you won’t be sorry.

Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 2499 SPBL #14-18

Thread: 8/0 White for abdomen, 8/0 Brown for Thorax

Tag: Silver Holographic Flashabou

Abdomen: Micro-tubing, tan or olive

Legs: Hungarian Partridge Fibers

Antennae: Barred Lemon Wood Duck Flank Fibers

Head: Natural Gray Ostrich Herl

Step 1

Attach the tying thread about two eye lengths back from the eye and wrap a thread base back about halfway down the hook bend. Return the thread to the starting point and tie in a length of micro-tubing.

Step 2

Wrap back over the tubing with tight turns to the rear edge of the thread base as shown. Leave the thread hanging at the back for right now.

Step 3

Lay in a single strand of Holographic Flashabou at the bend and catch it with a turn of thread right at the bend. Wrap forward over the tip of the flash to secure it. The flash will occupy about one third of the body length.

Step 4

Wrap the flash forward to the thread, forming a short tag of flash at the back of the hook. Tie off the flash and clip the excess right above where the barb would be, if this hook had a barb.

Step 5

Continue wrapping the thread forward, building a reverse taper, that is, fatter at the rear than it is at the front.

Step 6

Wrap the micro-tubing forward over the underbody and flash up to the starting point. Take care to keep the wraps butted closely together as you go. Tie the tubing off at the starting point with a couple tight turns of thread. Clip the excess tubing and whip finish the white thread. Clip the thread here as well.

Step 7

Start the brown thread at the front of the body and build a thread base on the front end of the hook.

Step 8

Select a partridge feather and clip the center quill, resulting in the V-shaped cut out shown here.

Step 9

Place the partridge feather over the shank with the center of the V on the hook shank. Position the feather tips so they extend no further back than the bend of the hook.

Step 10

Pinch the partridge feather in place and make a couple loose turns of thread around it. Tighten these turns by pulling the bobbin toward you and let the fibers splay out around the shank. I try to keep the majority of the fibers on the sides and bottom of the hook. Clip the excess butt ends of the partridge feather flush against the shank at the front.

Step 11

Antennae are completely optional on this fly, and are not part of John’s original pattern, but I just can’t resist using these beautiful wood duck fibers. Peel three or four fibers from the quill and tie them in so they lie back over the body and extend past the bend of the hook about two hook shank lengths. This adds a nice feel to the fly and kind of pretties it up a bit. Like I say, it’s optional, but does look nice.

Step 12

Tie in a single ostrich herl by the butt end at the front edge of the body/partridge junction. Wrap over the butt end of the ostrich to secure it, right up to the back of the hook eye.

Step 13

Pull the ostrich feather up and fold the fibers to the backside of the quill, just as you would a wet fly hackle. I wet my fingers just a bit and pinch the fibers to the backside of the quill.

Step 14

Wrap the ostrich feather forward with even, butting turns to the back edge of the hook eye and tie it off. You will need to comb the ostrich fibers back after each turn to keep them lying back smoothly.

Step 15

Clip the tip end of the ostrich feather and build a smooth thread head to cover the butts. Whip finish and clip the thread.

Step 16

Finished Fly, side view. Note the reverse body taper, length of the partridge legs and length of the antennae.

Step 17

Green Graphic Caddis, side view. All parts are the same, except that clear micro-tubing was used here and the white thread underbody was colored with a marker. You could also use alternate color thread under tubing to get other effect.