Fly of the Week – Rhyacophila Caddis

Fly of the Week - Rhyacophila CaddisThe Rhyacophila Caddis is found in almost all rivers around the UK. It’s a free-living caddis, meaning it doesn’t build a ‘house’. The Larvae like caddis favours shallow riffles and often gets caught in the current and drifts freely downstream, this making them ideal food for trout and grayling. The ‘Rhyacs’ hatch later in the afternoon and the adults can provide some great dry fly action when they return to the water. Tying a Rhyac caddis can be complicated, but here’s a simple little pattern we’ve been using for the grayling this winter.

Attach your favoured hook into the vice, here I’ve used a Fulling Mill Czech Nymph hook. Run your thread along the body to the extreme bend in the hook. Wind a layer of lead into the shank of the hook to add some weight. A tungsten bead can be used but I like these on dropper so a lead underbody is usually enough weight. With your thread, make sure you taper the body to give a slim, streamline effect and ensure you cover the lead with the thread, once the dubbing gets wet, you will get a green glow from the underbody, if you forget to do this, the lead will dampen the colour of the body.

For the rib I’ve used the tag end of thread where I first tied onto the hook. Attach two sides to the fly, FlyBox bleach dyed peacock herl is a great material to imitate the legs. Dub a TIGHT rope of dubbing onto your thread ensuring you get a thin from and back end with a slightly thicker abdomen. In touching turns wind the dubbing towards the eye and pull the side legs along the length of the hook. Secure the body and legs in place with the rib with evenly spaced turns. Tie off and add some black pen to the head of the fly to imitate the Rhyacophila’s wing bud cover.

Fly Tying Materials

Hook: Fulling Mill Czech Nymph 12
Thread: Glo Bright No12
Underbody: Medium Lead Wire
Rib: Glo Bright No12
Body: Rhyac Green Dubbing
Sides: Bleach Dyed Peacock – Chart
Colour: Black Pen

Fly Tying Tips – How to tie in Peacock Herl

Even the best peacock herl strands are very brittle, so constructing a fly with a tear and rip proof body is a tough task without bulking it up too much. In this weeks fly tying tip we’re going to show you how to securely tie in peacock herl and create a great looking peacock body that is bomb proof.

This tip was shown to me in a fly tying class probably around 12 years ago, and has saved many of my flies from the death of trout teeth. Use one fly using this technique and another without, you’ll be surprised at the dramatic results.

The tutorial below is obviously just the peacock body. Incorporating this method into flies such as diawl bachs, black and peacock spiders, or practically anything with a peacock body, you’ll strengthen the body tenfold.

Want to know the best way of stripping peacock herl? Watch my video tutorial on “how to strip peacock herl“.

Fly Tying Tips – How to Strip Peacock Herl

A lot of fly tiers, especially novices, have trouble stripping peacock herl. Some describe it as an art, to get all the tiny herls free from the stalk, ready to tie your favourite buzzers and nymphs with very realistic bodies. 

As a tier I get asked ‘How to strip peacock herl?’ fairly often – there are many different ways fly tiers have come up with, from using the blades of scissors to an eraser. Personally I like the old fashion approach:

Need any fly tying materials? Find what you need in Fishtec’s range of fly tying kits, tools and accessories now.