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
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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

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Filling some corks with soft-hackled flies

A little production tying here at currentseams HQ — as much as I can be said to be a production tyer, which is very little. But stocks need replenishing for personal use, guide trips, and maybe a few to sell here and there. First up was the Squirrel and Ginger, my favorite caddis emerger from April through mid-summer.

You drink the wine. You save the cork. You stick a dozen wet flies into it. You win twice.

Squirrel and Ginger cork

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People tend to use far too much fur to hackle the Squirrel and Ginger. Think sparse. Think less is more. Like this. Dust the thread with fur. Your next step is to form a dubbing loop, then wind the hackle, stroking the fibers toward the bend of the hook.

Fur hackle dubbing loop prep

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The same fly, ready to whip finish. Note (again) the imperfect head. Guess what? Trout don’t care about neatness. In fact, I think they like messy wet flies. Yeah, I’ll clip away that schmutz under the eye, but this fly is basically good to go.

S&G ready to finish