Fly Tying Tutorial by Nate Camp
A couple years ago I bought a few elk hair caddis to try and found myself not exactly happy with them. I liked the stiff hackle palmer on the body, the deer hair intrigued me and such a simple fly begged to be fished on the fixed line. I sat down at the vise and decided to make something of my own that checked the boxes for what I wanted. I remember having goals while playing around creating this dry fly and it needed to be; simple, sit low on the water and look buggy, while being visible in the current.
I tied up a few simple versions and took off to test it. After a few productive visits with the local trout, I started to share the final fly with friends. One of those people, Nick (NorCalTenkara) got a virtual one-on-one instruction to tie his first. “That’s sick. What’s it called?” When I told him it wasn’t named he asked me to let him know when I thought up a handle for it.
After a while and before I put much thought towards it’s name, Nick asked if I’d have issue with him using the pattern in his drops sold through ikari. Letting him know I had no problem with him selling the pattern, I then told him I only really thought of it as “my dry fly”. Henceforth, it has become the “Camp’s Dry”.
I encourage you to try this pattern out and tie it to your own liking with any combination of material and colors. (As I write this, another friend is trying out the pattern, using pheasant tail in lieu of deer hair.)
Camp’s Dry Recipe
To tie this fly, my go to combination of material is:
- Nymph Hook, size 14 (Barbless)
- Midge body thread, Golden Olive
- Grizzly Hackle, midge sizes
- Deer Hair, Natural
With your hook set in your vise, start the thread at the eye and touching wrap to the hook bend.
Using the hook of a whipping tool, separate just enough hair to fill that bend and cut it off close to the leather.
After removing the curly underfur and stacking the hair, measure a shank’s length of the hair to extend past the securing wrap.
Tie in with three firm overlapping wraps and then two tight wraps directly against the underside of the hair.
Forward of these two wraps, tie in the bare stem of the grizzly hackle on the near side and advance the thread to an eye length from the start of the thread base.
Pass the hackle over the shank, touching the underside of the deer hair, then make five open wraps to the hanging thread.
The last wrap comes up from under the shank in front of the hanging thread, which is then wrapped around both the stem of the hackle and shank three times to secure.
At this point the hackle is broken away and the deer hair butt ends are gathered together.
While holding the deer back, flatten the grizzly barbs on top of the hook to either side.
Bring the deer hair down to the shank, securing with three firm wraps around and then two in front of the underside of the butts.
Holding the excess hair back out of the way, make a five turn whip finish to the eye of the hook.
Cut or break away the thread and gather the waste hair tightly in an upright post.
Cut the hair with an eye length protruding from the dressing like a head.
I hope you give the Camp’s Dry a go and find that it is as productive for you as it has been for those who’ve already tried it out!
Nate Camp is a New England based outdoorsman, Marine Corps Veteran, Chef, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Member, and Tenkara Adventure Outfitters Ambassador. Often found exploring the surrounding rocky streams, rivers, nearby wild areas, hiking trails, and practicing outdoor skills. When able, taking an occasional escape to destinations deep in the back country chasing adventures and fish in secluded waters. Nate is eager for others to find the joy of the outdoors; whether it’s by fostering a love of wild places and adventure with his young daughter, sharing his own adventures through writing and photographs, cooking for the crew in camp, or investing in the development of new outdoors lovers from all backgrounds. Nate’s Linktree Link
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