The Black Caddis steelhead hair wing

If you’re the sort who likes things neatly categorized, you can divvy deer hair winged steelhead flies into two groups. The first would be the waking dries, shrimp flies like the Grease Liner and all manner of skating caddis. The second would be the subsurface streamers/wets like the Muddler Minnow or the Muddler Daddy. I took a decided path toward the latter with the Black Caddis.

The Black Caddis

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Hook: 1x short, 2x strong wet (this is the Orvis 1641) size 8-12
Thread: Black 6/0
Body: Lagartun chartreuse mini braid with grizzly hen hackle, palmered
Hackle: 2-3 wraps of the grizzly hen, continued from the body
Head/Wing: Black deer body hair

Tying notes: Lagartun mini braid is easy to work with and comes in a range of spiffy colors. Like a Muddler Minnow, the Black Caddis has a head of clipped deer hair; the wing is an extension of those fibers. Because the fly is intended to be fished below the surface, I’ve kept the wing and head sparse. To form the head and wing, make a few taut wraps of thread to secure the wing, then, while wrapping the thread forward, bind down tightly on the hair (give it 3-4 good wraps). The wing should behave itself, while the hair for the head will flare outward. On your next thread wrap, carefully move the flared hairs up and toward the rear of the fly with your thumb and forefinger, while moving the thread under it and forward to the eye. Whip finish. Trim the hair to your liking.