Tuesday Ties - Shop Vac – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Tuesday Ties - Shop Vac

Mayflies are the iconic dry fly. The upright wings make for an unmistakable profile. However, caddis play a much larger part in fishing, but especially in SW Montana, than people think. More so even than mayflies many are beginning to believe now. The sheer biomass of caddis in this part of the world is incredible. So, a good stock of caddis patterns in needed to compliment any flybox when fishing SW Montana. There is a story behind the creation of the Shop Vac, but I have heard several versions of it, so I’m not sure which is real anymore; however, what I do know is that it is a local pattern and it catches fish – lots of fish!

Hook: Standard scud hook
Bead: Typically gold, but everyone has their favorite
Body: Pheasant tail fibers
Rib: Ultra Wire
Wing: Antron Yarn
Thorax: Peacock herl

Click to enlarge pictures

Start out by securing the wire and several fibers of pheasant Tail down the length of the hook shank. Then wrap the pheasant back toward the bead. Tie off the pheasant fibers and use a few wraps of wire to help guard and secure the fragile pheasant fibers.

Now the ‘wing’. Not sure what else to call the white puff protruding from the thorax, but I’m convinced that much like the Prince Nymph this white accent drives the fish crazy. I mentioned Antron Yarn in the recipe because that is what was originally used, but you can use many things: Z-Lon, Poly Yarn, Widow’s Web, all a good substitutes for the Antron. Take a small bunch, not too much, of whichever material you’re using and tie it in. Now tie in and wrap a thorax out of a few pieces of Peacock herl and a few whip finishes and we’re done.