The Spent Partridge Caddis is an elegant, yet relatively easy to tie caddis fly imitation. Here, fly tier, author and blogger Matt Grobert is going to tie one on a size 16 TMC 100 dry fly hook.
For thread, he's loaded a bobbin with 6/0 olive Danville. Start your thread about 1/3 of the way down the hook shank and take wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag.
For the abdomen of the fly, Matt uses ginger Hare Tron Dubbing. A small pinch is all that's needed to create a thin dubbing noodle on the tying thread. Take wraps rearward so the dubbing starts just above the hook barb. Then take adjacent wraps forward with the dubbing noodle to form a nicely tapered abdomen that ends at about that 1/3 point back from the eye.
For the underwing, Matt uses Caddis Amber Straight Zelon. A 2 inch long strand that's been split down the middle is all you need. Fold the zelon around your tying thread and bring it up to the top of the hook shank. Take a couple of wraps to secure it and then fold the front half back and take a few more wraps. This forms a really nice underwing that kind of kicks up a little bit. Using the back edge of the hook for measurement, snip the wing off at an angle.
The over wing is formed with 2 feathers taken from the back of a Hungarian Partridge skin. Strip the lower fuzzy fibers free from the stem and, while keeping the tips aligned, measure the feathers to form a wing just slightly longer than the underwing. Collect the fibers of the 2 feathers in a bundle and place it on top of the hook shank at the desired length. With a pinch wrap, secure the partridge over top of the wraps that secured the underwing. Take wraps forward using the partridge fibers to form a little ramp down to the hook shank. Lift the butt ends of the 2 feathers up and snip them off at an angle which will extend that ramp all the way down to the hook eye. Then take thread wraps to cover them up.
For the thorax of the fly, Matt uses natural Hare's Ear dubbing, but this time, he's going to touch dub it onto the tying thread. He begins by pulling the fibers apart several times to roughly align them. He then applies a light skim of Ultra Sticky Loon Swax to his tying thread. Pulling out only a small slip at a time, he touch dubs the Hare's Ear dubbing. This takes a good bit of practice to get right but, once mastered, it's a great technique to have in your tying arsenal.
With about an inch and a half of thread covered, start taking wraps to form the thorax of the fly and, yes, it's supposed to look this bushy. Carefully pull the fur back away from the eye and make a few overlapping wraps to hold it back.
Once you've got the eye clear, do a 5 or 6 turn whip finish and then snip or cut your tying thread free. This fuzzy thorax both helps the fly to float and gives it a super-buggy appearance.
Give the Spent Partridge Caddis a try, particularly when more aggressive caddis patterns are being ignored.