Great Canadian Flies
By Arthur James Lingren
This is another British pattern that has been adopted and altered
to suit British Columbia's fishing. Jim Kilburn, when he edited
the Totem Fly Fishers' newsletter Totem Topics," wrote about
the Edwards' Sedge and the story was reprinted in the Nov.-Dec.
1968 issue of Northwest Sportsman magazine.
The the July 1969 issue of Western Fish & Game
Kilburn in his article titled "The Way of the Sedge," discusses
Edwards' Sedge and the alterations he did to suit local conditions:
When I intend to imitate the scampering stage, I choose a
different fly - the Edwards' Sedge . . .fashioned by Captain Tommy
Edwards [the then British fly-casting champion] for use on the River
Usk in England, is also a deer-hair fly - but with a difference. The
deer-hair wing is tied to lie over the back of the fly in the conventional
manner, but the hair is fastened by the tip ends . . .
In Kilburn's Totem Topics article reprinted in a 1968 issue of
Northwest Sportsman magazine, Jim spent an evening with
Bill Stephens on Vancouver Island's Cowichan River and says:
In an attempt to adapt the Edwards' Sedge to local conditions, I have
made a new alterations. One such adaptation is particularly favoured
by lake rainbows. Whereas the Edwards' fly calls for bodies of chenille
or fully-wrapped pheasant tail, I use medium green wool or seal's fur.
I also use low-water hooks of three sizes - 6, 8, and 10 - and choose the
size to imitate the emerging insect. In front of the wings, I use a hackle
of mixed brown and grizzly, from the bottom of which I cut a "V" to
allow the fly to float closer to the surface film. I also use a short deer-hair
tail to increase the fly's floating ability. When twitched or slowly retrieved
to create a wake, this modified Edwards' Sedge can produce truly astonishing
And so, late the following Saturday afternoon, I treaded the well worn
trial to one of the more beautiful pools on the Cowichan . . . I tied on an
Edwards' Sedge, then eased into the water directly below him.
Over 25 years have passed since Kilburn and Stephens used the Edwards'
Sedge and it is still in use today. Brian Chan in his 1991 book, Flyfishing
Strategies for Stillwaters, claims, "An Edward's Sedge is a good
I cast straight upstream, and he immediately swirled on the fly. But he
was too fast and I was too slow . . . In the ensuing hour, the Edwards'
Sedge rose fifteen or twenty good trout. Like Bill Stephens, I lost count
after about a dozen . . . I did manage to beach and release three of about
two pounds, and I kept a three-pounder for the pot.
Hook: Number 6 to 10 low-water salmon.
~ Arthur James Lingren
Tail: A few fibres of deer hair.
Body: Medium green wool or seals's fur.
Wing: Deer hair.
Hackle: Mixed brown and grizzly.
Originator: Captain Tommy Edwards and Jim Kilburn.
Intended Use: Dry fly for rainbow trout.
Location: Interior lakes, [works wherever large caddis are found].
Credits: From Fly Patterns of British Columbia
by Arthur James Lingren. We thank
Frank Amato Publications, Inc. for use permission!
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