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


Jim Charlie

February Featured Fly

The Jim Charlie is an original Southern Appalachian dry fly pattern, possibly named after an individual and friend of Charlie C. Messer of Western North Carolina.

According to Roger Lowe of Cashiers, North Carolina, Charlie C. Messer who lived in Western North Carolina created the Jim Charley fly pattern for use on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

The fly is a great fly to use during the many yellowish colored Mayfly hatches. It works well everywhere I have fished it.

Hook: Standard Dry, Size 12, 14, 16

Thread: Yellow or Primrose

Tail: Ginger hackle fibers

Wing: Barred ginger hackle tips,  upright, divided 

Body: Golden yellow poly yarn or Dubbing

Thorax: Same as body

Hackle: Light Ginger


Triple Threat Caddis

March Featured Fly

Jim Slattery's Triple Threat Caddis is a wonderful caddis pattern when fished right in the film. It is a buggy, effective pattern when fish just don't seem to want to take an Elk Hair Caddis during a hatch. More than likely they are keying in on the emergers which is probably why this pattern is so effective.

Hook: Partridge Authentic Czech Nymph #12 (or equivalent medium-to-heavy scud hook)

Thread: Benecchi 12/0, dark brown

 Rib: Oval, gold fine

 Abdomen: Grey squirrel

 Hackle: Brown partridge Thorax: Fox squirrel - in split thread


Clouser Minnow

April Featured Fly

The original Clouser Deep Minnow evolved from traditional bucktail streamers and was created in 1987 by Bob Clouser, a Pennsylvania fly shop owner and guide now living in Florida where he also relocated his shop.  The original patterns were intended for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River but the Clouser Minnow has caught over 90 species of fish in both fresh and salt water.

The name Clouser Deep Minnow was coined by Lefty Kreh, a noted Fly Fishing writer in a 1989 article in Fly Fisherman.

Tied in various colors and sizes the Clouser can be fished for just about any species you are fishing for. For that reason I have NOT included pattern information but I have linked a video by Bob Clouser on how the fly is tied. The tying method stayes the same, just the colors, hooks and materials change. Give the Clouser a try you will be surprised how well is does. The secret to the Clouser is to keep the fly moving like a fleeing baitfish.  

Bob Clouser's Fly Shop Here


Trico Spinner

May Featured Fly

The trico spinner fall can be an exciting experience if are able to find a stream with a good hatch and find the spinner fall at the right time. The stream I use to fish had a great spiner fall between 7 and 10 AM. There were hundreds of flies on the water  whenI hooked and landed over 20 fish in just a little over an hour on a warm Summer morning a few years back.


Hook: Standard Dry, Size 22-26

Thread: Black 8/0-12/0

Tail: Microfibettes

Wing: Poly Yarn splayed

Body: Black Thread

Thorax: Black Dry Fly Dubbing


© Copyright 2022 Terry Coleman.  All rights reserved.