The Squirrel and Ginger Caddis Emerger tying video

When it comes to soft-hackles, feathers get all the juice. That’s perfectly understandable. But certain furs – like fox squirrel – make excellent hackling material. The results are often deliciously buggy.

Such is the case with the Squirrel and Ginger caddis emerger. This humble creation is something I made up a few summers ago. I took the Ginger Caddis Larva fuzzy nymph and swapped out the standard wet fly hook for a scud hook. Added a flashy rib. And replaced the rabbit fur thorax with a hackle of fox squirrel.

The first time I fished this fly was on a brilliant July day that was devoid of hatch activity or rising fish. The sun was high, the air was steamy, and felt a little foolish for making the drive to the Farmington. Until I started hooking fish after fish on this little caddis emerger. It was the middle fly in a team of three, and the trout stated in no uncertain terms that this was their favorite.

The Squirrel and Ginger is a fine introduction to fur-hackled flies. It is fairly easy to tie. Best of all, it’s a wet fly you can have confidence in.

Hook: TMC 2457 (2x strong, 2x wide, 2x short scud) size 12
Thread: Orange or hot orange
Body: Ginger Angora goat
Rib: Green Krystal flash
Hackle: Fox squirrel fur

The Squirrel and Ginger Rogues’ Gallery

7/8/13, Farmington River

Brown Buck 7:8:13

4/24/13, Farmington River

Bigbrown hen

7/31/13, wild brown, Farmington River

WIld Farmy Brown 7:13

4/29/15, 17″ holdover brown, Farmington River

Fat Farmy Hen 4:15

10/8/19, 20″ holdover brown, Housatonic River



25 comments on “The Squirrel and Ginger Caddis Emerger tying video

  1. Henry Hollis says:

    Where can I get some Squirrel and Ginger wet flies.
    Henry Hollis

  2. Joel Stewart says:

    Great pattern, I will give it a try. Ever use it on the Juniata in PA?

  3. Joel Stewart says:

    Gotta get me some red & grey squirrel. I have tails, need pelts. Off to Amazon, since in CA they frown on taking them in the parks, which is the only place we have them.

  4. Mina says:

    Do you ever tie the squirrel and ginger in smaller sizes for the late summer smaller caddis?

  5. Gary says:

    Nice looking fly Steve. Will have to try put this together and give it a whirl. Cheers.

  6. […] you’re nymphing with two flies, it’s almost never a bad idea to make your top dropper a Squirrel and Ginger. About half my fish came on this pattern (point fly was a Frenchie […]

  7. […] active feeders (the birds were busy, too) that kept us occupied for nearly two hours. We fished a Squirrel and Ginger top dropper, a Grey Watchet in the middle, and depending on water depth and speed, a […]

  8. […] humid air, cloud cover and water height. I tied up the same three fly wet team as yesterday: a Squirrel and Ginger top dropper, Magic Fly middle dropper, and Leisenring’s Pale Watery Dun Wingless on […]

  9. […] were open for business, and I managed three wild stunners, one on each of the flies, a size 12 Squirrel and Ginger top dropper, a size 14 Drowned Ant, and a size 12 Gray Hackle. So maybe that kind of water and […]

  10. […] I fished the four marks within the Housatonic River TMA today, late morning to early afternoon, and while the action was spotty I was able to score my biggest brown of the season on a Squirrel and Ginger. […]

  11. […] Remember that video in the flat pool l showed you? This is the fly I used, my own creation, and it’s called the Squirrel and Ginger. A very, very high confidence wet fly for me, especially when caddis are about. You can find the tying video here. […]

  12. […] If you want to catch more fish, you should be tying and fishing wet flies like the Squirrel and Ginger. […]

  13. Don Rose says:

    Hey Rick,
    Hope you are staying safe and healthy. Great looking pattern and eager to try it. Just tied a couple and had difficulty with the fox squirrel collar. Can you share where you get that material and in what form? The Fox Squirrel body patch I bought online was small fibers, while the tail was very long. Each posed challenges and didn’t look like what you are using in the video. What fox squirrel do you use? Thanks and be well.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Don. It’s Steve, often confused with Rick. 🙂

      I bought the skin off the rack at UpCountry. It’s a standard issue fox squirrel skin. The fur is taken from the body. It’s hard for me to make a call on your issue without seeing what you’re doing, but try using less fur. I also use Loon high-tack wax. That may help as well.

  14. […] then brown partridge or dark dun hen hackle. Bead Head Soft-Hackled Pheasant Tail Old Blue Dun Squirrel and Ginger. Yeah, I know. Not a Hendrickson pattern. But on the Farmington, we often get a strong caddis hatch […]

  15. […] fret about those, since the trout were more than eager to jump on the bigger flies. We took them on Squirrel and Gingers (top dropper), Starling and Herl (middle dropper), and generic bead head gray soft hackles on […]

  16. […] is going on, but there can indeed be mischief afoot underwater. Joe fished a three fly team of a Squirrel and Ginger top dropper, Light Cahill winged middle dropper, and Hackled March Brown on point. All three flies […]

  17. […] decided on a three-fly team of a Squirrel & Ginger on top dropper, with black tungsten beadhead Hendrickson soft-hackles in the middle and on point. […]

  18. Wilsoncaddis says:

    very well explained and illustrated…. thanks so much…it should do well up here in Ontario….

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