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Cajun Coachman
By Alberto Jimino

The Cajun Coachman was created by Tom Nixon. He tied this pattern to be fished in the bayous and marshes of Louisiana. I find it to be equally effective both in warm water and cold water. I use it in the middle of the summer when fishing for panfish and also in the fall, when brook trout can't seem to resist a pattern with some red on it. Tom Nixon tied this pattern with a lead underbody. I like to tie mine with no weight, switching between a sinking leader and a regular leader to control the sink rate of the pattern. ~ Alberto Jimeno

Materials for Cajun Coachman:

    Hook: Nymph, 1X long (In this case Mustad 3906B), size 10-12.

    Thread: Red Uni-Stretch for body, black 6/0 to finish the fly.

    Body: Rear half, red Uni-Stretch; front half, peacock herl.

    Throat: Brown hackle barbs.

    Wing: A section of black-and-white barred wood duck flank feather.

Tying Instructions:

Step 1

    1. Start the Uni-Stretch just in front of mid-shank. The Uni-Stretch will be used for the body of the fly, then we will switch to black 6/0 thread to complete the fly. Any other kind of red floss could be used; it would just have to be secured with the black thread.

    Step 2

    2. Wrap the Uni-Stretch back partially down the hook bend and forwards to the tie-in point. Secure it with one half-hitch and cut.

    Step 3

    3. Start the black thread at the Uni-Stretch tie-in point. Take a couple extra wraps to secure the Uni-Stretch.

    Step 4

    4. Wrap the black thread back to midshank and tie in 3-4 peacock herls by their tips. In this particular fly, I used three herls. Wrap the black thread forwards to about half-way between mid-shank and the hook eye.

    Step 5

    5. Twist the peacock herls with a pair of hackle pliers and wrap forwards to the thread. Secure the peacock herls with a couple wraps of thread and cut the excess.

    Step 6

    6. Tie in a throat using a few brown hackle fibers. In this fly I used brown hen. I like the throat to just touch the hook point.

    Step 7

    7. To make the wing on this fly, cut a section of a barred wood duck flank feather that is twice as wide as the hook gap. Fold the feather section in half lengthwise and tie it in using a pinch wrap to make sure it stays on top of the hook shank. Secure the feather with a few thread wraps. Shape the head with a few more thread wraps. Secure with a whip finish and clip the thread. I like to finish this fly with a thin coat of 5-minute epoxy. The epoxy protects the thread wraps and gives the fly a neat head.

I like to fish this fly using a down and across cast and letting it swing in the current. Sometimes I will let it swing on its own, other times I will strip the fly or make it "dance" in the current by twitching the rod tip. I will vary the fishing style until I find what the fish like. The Cajun Coachman has been a great fly for me and I hope it will be for you too. ~ Alberto Jimeno

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

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