charlie's flybox

Barr Net Builder


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step: 1
Pattern Description
This neat little caddis larvae pattern comes from the inspired mind of the ubiquitous John Barr. Stealing from a common scud pattern, John has derived this lifelike caddis pattern that really looks like the real thing. I like to tie this pattern on the skinny side, with a slender abdomen and thorax, to more closely match the naturals I find in Colorado rivers. The Net Builder imitates a net spinning caddis specifically, but crosses over well for a variety of other caddis species that are free living, as in, no cases. I fish this fly along the bottom of the river in the summer months, as it seems the trout really get on the lookout for them during the warmer months. I like to use this as a searching pattern because I believe fish are always seeing these little bugs along the bottom, and being opportunistic, they can't pass up a tasty bite. Tie up a few Net Builders and keep them in mind this summer. Don't forget to tie a few different color variations too. Chartreuse, olive, tan, amber and cream are all good colors to try. The new pattern of Thinskin, Fly Specks, adds a new element to this fly as well as the addition of the flashback. feel free to substitute materials as need and availability dictate.
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 2457 #10-18 Thread: 8/0 UNI Dark Grey Tail: Ginger Z-Lon Rib: 4X Monofilament Shellback: Olive Fly Specks Thinskin Flashback: Medium Mirage Tinsel Abdomen: Natures Spirit Emergence dubbing, Caddis Green, or color to match naturals. Thorax: Brown Ostrich Herl
step: 2
Attach the tying thread just in front of the halfway point on the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Tie in about a half a strand of ginger Z-Lon at the midpoint and wrap back over it to the middle of the bend of the hook, as shown at right. Wrap tightly forward to secure the Z-Lon back up to the tie in point. Clip the excess Z-Lon off the front end of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Clip the Z-Lon at the back of the hook into a short brush as shown. This will imitate the claspers found on the rear of the real insect. Tie in a six-inch length of 4X tippet material at the front end of the thread underbody on the far side of the hook shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Wrap back over the tippet to the base of the tail, keeping the tippet along the far side of the hook as you go. Return the thread to the tie in point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Cut a strip of Thinskin from the sheet that is a little wider than half the hook gap. Remove the Thinskin from the paper backing. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Lay the Thinskin in along the top of the hook and bind it down with a few tight turns of thread. The trick to this is to let the Thinskin curl and buckle around the hook shank. Wrap back over the Thinskin to the base of the tail. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Return the thread to the tie in point, forming a smooth thread base as you go. Note how the Thinskin in buckled around the bend of the hook in this photo. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Tie in a strip of Mirage tinsel at the tie in point and wrap back over it to the bend as you did with the Thinskin. Be careful to keep the Mirage centered on the top of the shank as you wrap. Return the thread to the tie in point again. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Dub the abdomen from the base of the tail to about an eye length back from the hook eye. The body should be markedly thinner at the back than it is at the front of the body. Overlap the thread back onto the front end of the dubbed abdomen about a quarter of a shank length. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
Tie in a single strand of ostrich herl by its butt end at the seventy-five percent point. Bring the tying thread forward to just behind the hook eye. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Wrap the ostrich herl forward with three to six turns and tie it off at the back of the hook eye. You can either spiral wrap the ostrich to leave a bit of space between the turns, or butt them closely together to create a slightly denser thorax. Clip the excess ostrich herl at the eye. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Pull the Mirage tinsel forward over the back of the fly and tie it down at the rear edge of the hook eye. I was gonna leave you hanging there, but if you thought that last step was gonna be simple, you're about to find out that balancing a narrow, slick piece of mylar on the soft dubbing ain't all that easy! The trick to this is to NOT PULL the mylar too tight over the back before you tie it down. Leave a little slack in it and make sure it's centered over the dubbing. The mono rib will take up any extra length you have later and the slack will allow the tinsel to stay on top of the fly. There, I feel better now. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Pull the Thinskin taut over the top of the mylar and dubbing and tie it down behind the eye as well. The wider strip of Thinskin will lay much better over the top of the fly than the mylar did, and requires no special efforts to keep it there. You do want the Thinskin to buckle down around the shank, cupping the top of the body. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Wrap the monofilament rib forward over the body and Thinkskin up to the eye of the hook and tie it off tightly. I like to make the ribbing wraps closer together at the back of the fly and spread them out a bit once you get toward the front and thorax. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 16
Clip off the remaining Thinskin as well as the ribbing material and build a small, blocky head. Whip finish the thread and clip. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 17
Finished fly, side view. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 18
Finished fly, quartering top view. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 19
Finished fly, top view. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox