Love those flies!! Along with photos, could those who don't mind post recipes or links to recipes? I just happen to have full directions, which I'm posting below, but simple recipes would be welcome too, of course.
This caddis is easy to tie with a little practice, and it has taken some very picky, hard-pressured fish on Tulpehocken Creek in Pennsylvania. It is based on the Tulpehocken Creek Outfitters’ CDC pattern often used on the stream, but it is tied upside down, with the hook entirely hidden in the wing. For smaller flies 16-24, you can use a Daiichi 1640, and a Tiemco 2488, Dai Riki 125, or similar hook would also probably work. If you can get them, I like a Varivas 988 midge hook for the strong light wire and wide gap but this hook is hard to find now since it is discontinued. For larger flies, 14 and above Tiemco 101 will probably work fine, though I haven’t tried them extensively. I give a lot of detail in the directions that many will not need, but if you’ve never worked with CDC it may save you some headaches.
Tie in a short sparse ginger antron or z-lon shuck, dub the body with an appropriate color for the abdomen, and then switch to a bit of darker dubbing nearer the eye. (From time to time I rib the abdomen with crystal flash.) Leave an eye length or two of the hook bare just behind the eye for tying in the CDC. Then turn the hook over so the point is up, select three or four CDC feathers, hold each by the tip and stroke the fibers out perpendicular to the shaft, then stack them on top of each other, keeping the curves of the feathers the same so they will nest right on top of each other. Then holding the feather ends with left thumb and forefinger, strip off fibers on one side with the right thumb and forefinger. Next find a way to turn the feathers over in your left hand, keeping them stacked and lined up. (Holding the stripped fibers between thumb and index finger, I make a Star Trek Vulcan split between the ring and index finger of my right hand, flip my left wrist over to flip over the feathers, slip the body end of the feather shaft in the split between my ring and index fingers, clamp down, and let go with my left thumb and forefinger. Then I turn my left hand over to regrasp the stacked feathers which are now upside down and in the same position the feather barbs were when I did the first strip.) Then, carefully raise the right thumb, making sure the stripped fibers stay down on the right forefinger with gravity’s help. Move your left hand to lay the fibers on the unstripped stack right down on the stripped fibers, tips to tips, butts to butts, with the shaft of the feathers right over the stripped butts. The better the butts line up from the stripped and unstripped barbs makes all the difference. Grasp the tips of all the fibers with your right thumb and forefinger and strip CDC fibers off the other side of the stacked feathers. Roll the thumb and forefinger of the right hand away from the butts of the stripped fibers and grasp the butts with the left thumb and forefinger to gather them together. This takes some practice, and results in a few messes before you develop a way of doing it, but you should ideally end up with a nice bunch of CDC, with butts all together. Repeat several times to work the fibers into a “paintbrush” of CDC with all the butts together. Then pinch tie this bunch, butts forward over the eye, tying down just behind the eye with a couple of turns of thread. Then lift the butts and lay down some wraps back right against the first couple of tie down wraps to bind the wing in tightly sandwiching it between the initial wraps over it and the next ones under coming back. Next, whip finish under the wing butt fibers just behind the eye and trim the butts to expose the hook eye. Cut carefully to avoid cutting the thread. A tiny drop of superglue on the butts makes the fly bombproof, though I rarely use it except when tying flies for other folks. Then angle your scissors to cut the CDC tips forming the end of the wing at a slant, to imitate a caddis wing shape, cutting the wing about even with the end of the shuck, leaving the wing a bit longer than the hook.
For Grannoms, I sometimes skip the shuck, sometimes add a thread rib, and use dark grey, black, or brown dubbing (I fished flies with each last season, and it didn’t seem to make a difference. I tied some flies at my brother-in-laws and used his black ice dubbing blended with a little black fur or superfine (can’t remember which) and these seemed to work. Last time I tied Grannoms I used dark grey dubbing, with a black thread rib, then dark brown squirrel for a spiky thorax, tying the flies on a Tiemco 101, which I think will work just fine. I used a bit of high viz for the shuck, and tied it up into the bend so it would actually blend with the wing to help hide the hook and give the wing a bit of sparkle. You could use a sparse bunch of CDC for this also. I’m not sure the shuck is needed on Grannoms. For fish this early in the season I didn’t tie many Upside Down Grannoms last year, and am not sure it’s necessary, especially with this early hatch. This style of fly can be adapted to a mayfly dun (or perhaps a cripple) by shortening the wing. You can use a shuck or split microfibbets. As a mayfly it doesn’t work all the time, but it can be a Godsend in extreme glare because you can really see the fly. I’ve had luck with olives, Hendricksons, PMD’s, and sulphurs with this pattern, and it can be swung on the top (can you say, “it’s not always bad when drag sets in”) or skittered during an emergence with deadly effect at times, especially with olives and dortheas (the small tan fly works well for these).
Most if not all of you will know this, but just in case: Don’t use standard floatants with CDC. They will matt and ruin the feathers. I prefer Frog’s Fanny, but Harrop’s CDC floatant, and some silicone floatants like the old Simms pen style silicone floatant are OK. I hear Tiemco makes a stick that works well also. First squeeze all the water out of the fly with a tanned deerskin patch, chamois, amadou, samadou, or other dry absorbent material. Blow to fluff out, then apply floatant. With Frog’s Fanny you can revive the fly many times this way. When you can no longer get it to float, replace it and let it dry thoroughly.
Reverse parachute Trico
My standard Trico is based on the concepts promoted by Al's trico,(see below). It lets me get an Al's Trico silhouette with a much more visible parachute fly. For all my Tricos I use a short shank hook, (Tiemco 500U, Tiemco 2488, Tiemco 921, Daichi 1640, or best of all. if you can find them, a Varivas 988). After winding two or three layers of 10/0 thread on the shank for the abdomen (black for males, white, green, or chartreuse for females. With females, I whip finish the thread, then tie in black just at the bend and finish with black thread), I tie in a white high vis post near the bend. Other materials may be used, and black, pink or orange posts can be seen in glare sometimes. I use Gary Borger's method, slipping the high vis under the shank and pulling both ends up to create a post that can't pull out. A few X wraps under the hook to secure the post, a tiny drop of super glue at the base and some more quick X wraps and posting wraps at the base of the post and up a bit, and the post is ready and won't slip around later. Then I strip some barbs from an oversize grizzly hackle, tie in it in along the shank and then wrap the stem up the post to to reinforce and stiffen the post. Next I wrap a small ball of black dubbing for the thorax, wrap the hackle around the post and tie off (I wrap clockwise and whip finish under the hackle on the post with a few wraps and a ultra-mini drop of gorilla glue on the loop pulled in to lock it all in permanently. Or you can wrap the parachute counter-clockwise and tie off on the shank, just behind the thorax, whip finishing along the shank.) Finally snip off some hackle barbs just above the bend to create the illusion of two wings to the sides, and your’re done. That’s right. No tails. The high vis post makes the fly much easier to see than Al's Trico, and it can be left long or trimmed/flattened if the fish seem to mind it. I haven't noticed that they do mind the post, though some fish seem to want a different style of fly sometimes. Hard fished Spring Creek trout in State College took the parachute readily the last time I tried it on them. It's often the first pattern I tie on, switching around to other styles if the fish won't take it. The parachute trico can be used as a midge imitation also. I use this pattern, reverse style as above, or with the parachute near the eye for larger spinners as well, though I do add tails for these usually.
for Al's Trico see http://www.littlelehighflyshop.com/generic3.html
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"