By: Tom Deschaine, MI

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

You'll find the "Caplis" a very special fly. It was named after a close friend and fishing buddy of mine, Tom Caplis, who first introduced me to the sport of fly fishing. Although I have developed many flies, this is probably the best producer of fish, ever! There are many vaguely similar patterns › but, this particular pattern incorporates the best features of each of the variations to create the almost perfect fly. It floats well, it's highly visible, and it's a very durable fly.

Recipe & Materials

    Hook: Dry fly, Sizes: 8-18

    Thread: Black, 6/0

    Tail: Red Hackle Fibers, tied short, one hook gage in length.

    Body: Peacock Herl.

    Wing: Bleached Elk Hair, tied down caddis style.

    Hackle: Furnace.


    1. Lay down a good base of thread.

    2. Tie in the Red Hackle Fibers for the tail.

    3. Tie in the Peacock Herl — remembering to leave room to tie in the wing.

    4. Tie in the Bleached Elk Hair Wing — caddis style.

    5. Tie in the Furnace Hackle, whip finish and apply head cement.

What's really neat about this fly is it's overall fish-ability. It can be fished dead drift, or used in a rapid current. It works well on lakes, streams or rivers. It can be popped, skated or dragged. It can be used for trout, bass (in the larger sizes) or even pan fish (in the smaller sizes). Brooks and rainbows are a sucker for this fly. ~ Tom Deschaine

About Tom:

I'm a retired high school science teacher, living in Westland, Michigan. I've been a hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman my entire life. But, it wasn't until 1984, that a friend of mine introduced me to the sport of fly fishing. I got the 'bug' real bad and within a year or two I had added fly tying and rod building to my list of sportsman's skills.

Although I have fished most of the great rivers in this country, my all time favorite is still, my home river, the Au Sable, here in Michigan.

My retirement is now providing me with the time I need to write a little and share with you some of the tips, tricks, patterns and experiences I've had over the years. Stay tuned.

See you on the water… ~ Tom Deschaine

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

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