Fly Of The Week
Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

By Skip Morris

A true fishing fly - that is, a fly that most fishers will tie and fish rather than merely discuss and read about and nothing more - must have the following qualities: It must require, at most, a modest amount of time for the average tiers to create, it must be constructed of materials relatively easy to obtain, it must be durable, and it must catch fish at least as well as any other fly of its type. This is my pragmatic and experience-won definition of a true fishing fly, and the Skaddis, in both its light and dark versions, fits it.

The wings of most adult-caddis imitations are tied in near the hook's eye, but I found that this can cause the wing to flare and lose its definition; the short yarn wing of the Skaddis hasn't the length to spread out, so it stays neatly bunched in the shape and position of a real caddis's wings. True, this short yarn wing starts further down the body than do a real caddis's wings, but that makes no difference because the first bit of the real caddis's wings are tapered fine and are insignigicant from the trout's perspective. [See Flies Only for what trout actually see.] Beyond this, there is nothing unique about my caddis, but this simple, durable yarn wing that stays neatly in the appropriate shape is enough.

Materials Skaddis Light (Dark follows below)

Hook:   Standard dry fly, sizes 22 to 8 (the hook shown is a Dai-Riki 305).

Thread:   Tan 8/0 or 6/0.

Abdomen:  Tan poly dubbing.

Wing:  Tan poly yarn.

Hackle:  Ginger.

Thorax:   Tan poly dubbing.

Dark Scaddis

Materials Skaddis Dark

Hook:   Standard dry fly, sizes 22 to 8 (the hook shown is a Dai-Riki 305).

Thread:   Brown 8/0 or 6/0.

Abdomen:  Brown poly dubbing.

Wing:  Brown poly yarn.

Hackle:  Brown.

Thorax:   Brown poly dubbing.

Tying Steps:

1. Dub a substantial abdomen from the bend up two-thirds of the shank, and then use the pinch to tie in a length of poly yarn ahead of the abdomen as shown, (The thickness of the yarn will depend on the size of the fly; use the photos as a guide.)

2. Snip the butts of the poly yarn at an angle, and then bind them with thread. Tie in a single hackle, trim its stem, and bind the trimmed end with thread.

3. Dub a full thorax, and then palmer the hackle up it in three to five turns. Tie off the hackle and complete the head as usual.

4. Draw the yarn tight and with one quick snip, trim it to wing length. Trim the fibers flat underneath or to a shallow "V." Complete the Skaddis by cementing its thread head. ~ Skip Morris


As I'm sure you've guessed by now, the colors and hook sizes of this fly can be varied to imitate a variety of caddis species. Most of the time, however, I simply stick with the light and dark versions. The Skaddis suggests a resting adult caddis fly and should be fised dead drift with, if appropriate, the slightest occassional twieches. If the current is heavy, if the natural caddis flies are skittering vigorously about the surface, or both, look to one of the bushy, buoyant caddis imitations; [Elk Hair Caddis or Goddard Caddis] but if you are imitating quiet caddis on light riffles or smooth water, try a Skaddis. ~ Skip

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.

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice