Backstop Caddis

October Featured Fly Pattern

The Backstop caddis was originated by Paul Slaney. It is an excellent caddis pattern which rides in the film surface. The pattern is simple to tie and very effective. It also works well as a trailing fly (dropper ) with another caddis pattern as the main fly.

The orginal pattern by Paul Slaney has a Z-Lon veiling, CDC underwing, a deer hair wing and the thorax is squirrel in a dubbing loop and twisted.

I have also posted a picture of my modified version where I omit the squirrel dubbing and replace it with an undersized hackle. Both patterns work well.

Hook: Firehole 413 Size 12-16

Thread: Tan 8/0-10/0

Veiling: Z-Lon

Underwing: CDC, Natural

Wing: Sparse Deer Hair

Thorax: Squirrel in Dubbing Loop


Griffith's Gnat

November Featured Fly Pattern

The Griffith's Gnat is arguably the most well known flies to imitate a cluster of midges. Midges are small but are important to a trouts diet. I have fished midges and caught many trout even during the Winter months. It is usually the fly of choice for me during a warmer Winter afternoon. I have even used them after a light snowfall.

 Midges are a fly you should keep stocked in your box year round as you never know when they will save the day. Midges are small and Griffith's Gnats should be tied in size 18-24's. They are simple to tie with just two materials.


Hook: Dry Fly Size 18-24

Thread: Black  8/0-10/0

Body:  Peacock Herl

Hackle: Grizzly

Head: Black Thread

To tie the Griffith's Gnat cover the hook in black thread winding from the front to the rear of the hook. Tie in the Hackle first then  the peacock herl. Wrap the peacock forward stopping short of the hook eye. Wind the hackle forward through the peacock and tie it off. Whip finish and the fly is complete.

Red Fox Squirrel Nymph

December Featured Fly

A Dave Witlock pattern developed in the 60's, many fly tyers and fly fisherman consider it his best nymph pattern. Tied weighted with lead wire or fished without lead and using a split shoot instead, the pattern works well in many different types of waters. 

Dave tied his using "Dave Whitlock SLF RFS Pattern Blends." Their is a blend for the abdomen and one for the thorax. He also has other colors of SLF Blends available which can be purchased  at most quality fly shops.

Hook: 2XL Nymph 12-18

Thread: Orange or Black

Weight: .015 Wire

Tail: Red Fox Squirrel Back

Abdomen: Dave Whitlock SLF RFQ Blend

Rib: Flat Gold Tinsel

Thorax: Dave Whitlock SLF RFQ Thorax Blend

Legs: Partridge 1 Turn


Humpy Dry Fly

January Featured Fly

It is believed that the Humpy originated during the early 1940's. by  California Fly Tyer, Jack Horner.  It was originally known as Horner's Deer Hair Fly. The fly uses very bouyant deer hair which can handle the fast water situations of the Truckee River where Jack Horner fished.

This fly is not a beginners fly to tie as the large bulky materials can be a challenge to tie even for the seasoned tyer. Once mastered though it is a very effective pattern for heavy fast water. The deer hair and heavy hackling floats the fly very well.

Hook: 1 or 2XL Dry  10-16

Thread: Yellow 6/0 or 8/0

Tail: Moose or Fine Deer Body Hair

Body: Yellow Waxed Floss or Thread

Wing: Fine Deer Hair

Shellback: Moose or Deer Hair

Hackle: Brown and Grizzly


© Copyright 2022 Terry Coleman.  All rights reserved.