Fly Of The Week
Goddard Caddis

Goddard Caddis
By Skip Morris

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

American Andre Puyans, Englishman John Goddard, and a fishing companion of Goddard's, Cliff Henry, discovered an excuse to form a huge, buoyant deer-hair body on a caddisfly imitation. The excuse - a fine one - is that this great bulge of deer hair, when properly shaped, forms a precise caddis outline wings and all. So the Goddard Caddis floats high and long and offers a convincing appearance. Clever.

The original Goddard Caddis has antennas, but I consider them optional and I don't bother with them unless I am tying a Goddard Caddis for display.


Hook:  Standard dry fly, sizes 16 to 8 (the hook shown is a Partridge L3A).

Thread:  Brown 8/0 or 6/0; for the deer, I like to use gray size-A rod-winding thread [doesn't cut the deer hair].

Wing and Body:  Natural gray deer hair (or caribou) spun, packed, and trimmed to shape.

Hackle:  Brown.

Antennas:  (Optional) brown hackle stems stripped of fibers.

Tying Steps:

1. Start the size-A thread at the bend and just enough tight turns to get the thread securely fastened. Comb a bunch of deer hair, snip off its tips, and hold the bunch atop the hook's bend. Take two loose turns of thread around the bunch; then work the bunch down around the shank. Hold the hair bunch firmly in place as you pull the thread tight.

2. Maintain thread tension as you firmly draw back the hair and add four tight thread turns at the hair's base.

3. Spin on a smaller bunch of deer; compress both hair bunches together. Continue spinning on and compressing smaller and smaller bunches (a total as few as two for small hooks and up to four on large hooks) until slightly over half the shank is covered.

4. Whip finish the thread. Remove the hook from your vise and sight down the front of the hook as you make your first cut along the underside of the spun hair. Cut close, but not too close! (In the photograph, I'm holding the hook in an old set of fly-vise jaw - my favorite method.)

5. With scissors, a razor blade, or both, trim the body-wing to a wedge shape. The large end of the wedge should slant as shown.

6. Top view of the body-wing.

7. Replace the hook in your vise, and then start some 8/0 or 6/0 thread over the end of the size-A thread. Tie in two hackles, and then wrap one and secure its tip with tight thread turns. Wind the second hackle through the first and secure its tip. Trim both tips. Add stripped-hackle-stem antennas if you like. Finish with a thread head and whip finish. Skip Morris

Fishing the Goddard Caddis

The Goddard Caddis was designed as a rough water fly, one that would not sink, and still be visible on fast water. It is fished as a dry fly, upstream or quartering upstream, mending line to obtain the longest possible float.

Credits: From the Art of Tying the Dry Fly by Skip Morris, published by Frank Amato Publications, Inc. We greatly appreciate use permission.

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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