Our Man In Canada
May 21st, 2001

Great Canadian Flies
Edwards' Sedge

By Arthur James Lingren

Edwards' Sedge

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 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 results.

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:

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.

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.
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 emerger pattern."


Hook:  Number 6 to 10 low-water salmon.

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].

~ Arthur James Lingren

Credits: From Fly Patterns of British Columbia by Arthur James Lingren. We thank Frank Amato Publications, Inc. for use permission!

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