idiot here needs help

OK I used to be good at tying elk hair caddises and Stimulators but lately i dont know whati'm doing. Whenever i tie in the wing material such as elk or deer hair, whe i pull on the thread the hair follows it. It does this even after i think i have secured it with many wraps. I have tried using less hair, doesn't work. i use danville 6/0 thread. Any suggestions? i cant believe i cant tie these flies anymore. thanks


Hey 'Ball -
I ran into the same thing after a long break from using elk and deer. What I found was that I'd actually grown retarded over that time and did not realize it until it was too late. There's still a hole in my fly box where big Mother's Day caddis dries once laid in abundance.

Seriously, though, remember when you used to practically manhandle that deer and elk, pinching it unrelentingly in place on top of a thread-based shank, while making repeated tight wraps? Remember keeping the hair on top of the shank, in place, while pulling the thread at different angles, even, to cinch your wraps in impossibly tight fashion?

I'm sure you'll be encouraged to hear that I did manage to, well, regain some of my former hollow-fiber down-wing function. A big 'bow on a Sparkle Dun (of all things!) told me as much. I think I can take it from here...
I think it just taught me to.... just stay the course... stay the course.



Active Member
another idiot here needs help

I have the same problem but only with the stimulators for some reason, so I hope someone has the answer. The elk hair caddis seem to stay put if I wrap the first wrap loose, second wrap tighter, and third wrap tightest?? Being that im new to tying and have never had a class or watched a video I have no clue....everything else I have tied ranging from my steelhead flies to my chironomids are turning out better than store bought so im happy so far?? But this stimulator wing slippage is quite unstimulating for me ;-)
~Patrick ><>


Active Member
another idiot here needs help

The trick that I learned from a buddy of mine is to hold the hair bundle above the hook shank and make one or two loose wraps around the hair bundle only, avoiding the hook shank. After doing so, lower the hair bundle onto the hook shank and make a loose wrap around the bundle and the shank. Pull the thread tightly back directly towards yourself, maybe at a 55 degree angle from your flat surface. This should keep the bundle together and on top of the hook shank. You can repeat the last step a couple of times, and your wing should not move.

another idiot here needs help

If you are not doing it alread, wrap a layer of thread on the hook before you tie in the wing. Also, on EHC, wrap 3 or so wraps BEHIND the wing after you tie it in. This pinches the hair and keeps it from rolling. It also flares the wing upward to give it a nice profile.
When you're tying in a wing on an elk hair caddis, hod the wing in place, after you tie it into position, and tie some very tight wraps in front of the untrimmed butts, forcing them tightly back against your "tie-in" wraps, then do the same behind the wing, as suggested above. This is the best way to anchor elk hair wings.

On stimulator wings, tie the wing down very tightly so the the butts flare, hold the wing in place after you tie it in, then wrap the thread tightly forward through the flared butts, allowing them to spin. Trim down the mess as tightly as you can and then cover the remaining butt ends in thread wraps. That wing ain't going nowhere.
Oh do I know the feeling!

What I have learned and hard to put in words is tht more thread is not neccesarily better. I tie my hair wings basically in three stages and using dabs of glue as I go. Now I said dabs of glue not globs! I wrap a single layer of thread. Then I take about one third of the material for the wing and apply a thin coat of glue into the fibers so they kind of stick together and then lay them on the shank, and so with the next layer with a little behind and under wrap to lift the hairs and so too with the last bundle of hair. Each bundle gets a dab of glue applied to it to keep it together and tied in when the glue is set but not dry. I use minimal number of turns on the thread and will dab glue on as I go. I hope this makes some kind of sense because it does work and you get a really durable fly. It does take a lot more time to tie but that is the price. What you do get is a fly that will out last most by a remarkable ratio.
I hope this makes some sense. If so give it a TRY. I DON'T try to see how many I can tie but rather how well they hold up. If I can tie one that lasts as long as ten normals that suits me just fine!

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