October 2012

Hyatt's Caddis

Marv Slind

Hyatt's Caddis-Yellow

"Hyatt's Caddis" with Yellow Body
(Little Yellow Stonefly)

Hyatt's Caddis-Peacock Herl Body
"Hyatt's Caddis" with Peacock Herl Body
Hook: Dry fly hook (Mustad 94840, etc.), sizes 6 through 16
or long-shank hook (Mustad 9672), sizes 8 through 12
Thread: 6/0 black (or as appropriate for body color)
Body: Color and material of your choice
Wing: Fine deer or elk hair sections
Hackle: Brown or Grizzly, or mix of those two colors
Tying Instructions and Pattern History:
This fly was developed by LeRoy Hyatt, of Lewiston, Idaho. LeRoy is well-known in the Pacific Northwest not only as a professional fly tyer, but also as someone who has taught the craft to hundreds of people in the Lewiston/Clarkston area. For many years, he had a regular column in the Lewiston Morning Tribune, which featured a variety of fly patterns. He is also the tyer featured in the PBS series, "Fly Tying: The Angler's Art."

LeRoy developed this pattern to be a good, all-around caddis pattern. He originally called it the "All-purpose caddis fly," but in the Pacific Northwest, it quickly became known as "Hyatt's Caddis." It floats well, and can be very effective when you want to use a "skittering" presentation.

By varying the hook size and body color, it can be used not only for a wide range of caddis, but also for stoneflies, and in really large sizes, even as a steelhead pattern. When fishing in the Bitterroot Mountains in Northern Idaho, I have found the yellow-bodied version to be a very effective imitation of the "Little Yellow Sally" stonefly.

The wing is tied differently than on most caddis patterns. Instead of a single clump of elk or deer hair, it is tied on in layers. Start by tying a small amount of dubbing at the bend of the hook. This serves as a base for the first clump of hair. Even the tips of a small, relatively short clump of hair, and tie it on the top of the hook, with the tips extending to the bend. Be careful not to let the hair spin around the hook. Wrap another section of body material to cover the butt section of the hair tied down in the first step, and then add another clump of hair, tied so the tips are the same length as the first clump. Repeat these steps up the shank of the hook until you have reached the area where you will wrap the hackle.

On smaller hooks, you'll probably use only two clumps of hair for the wing. On larger hooks, you may end up using three or four clumps.

Click here to see the segment from "Fly Tying: The Angler's Art," in which LeRoy Hyatt demonstrates how to tie the fly.

Photographs ©2012 by Marv Slind