Video: How to Tie a Tabou Caddis Emerger

As the former Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Whiting Farms, Steve Schweitzer has had the opportunity to experiment with tons of cool feathers, and his Tabou Caddis Emerger uses two parts of the same soft-hackle pelt to create a buggy, effective fly. The author of A Fly Fishing Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park, Schweitzer knows a thing or two about catching trout, and this pattern shows his keen eye for recognizing what fish find attractive in an emerger pattern.

This video, by Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, offers step-by-step directions for tying Schweitzer’s pattern. After hearing anglers raving about its effectiveness on a recent trip to Maine, Tim just had to twist a few up. That’s good news for the rest of us.

          Tabou Caddis Emerger
          Hook: Dai-Riki #270, size 14.
          Thread: Olive, 6/0 or 140 denier.
          Rib: Clear Stretch Round Rib, small.
          Tail/abdomen/legs: Chickabou feather.
          Wing: Soft-hackle feather.
          Thorax: Soft hack “fluffies.”
          Note: The Whiting Hackle Soft Hackle with Chickabou
          comes in other colors that will make great patterns, as well.

3 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie a Tabou Caddis Emerger”

  1. To the team at Orvis:

    An absolutely top-notch video on a simple fly. Well done and expertly tied – better than I tie them! I am humbled to have a pattern represented on this site and shared with the fishing community. I hope everyone who ties and fishes this fly has the same success with it that my close friends and I have experienced over the years. It’s not a pretty fly, it doesn’t have flyshop fly bin appeal, but it is a local guide staple here in Northern Colorado.
    – Steve Schweitzer

  2. You do not need to buy chickabou to tie this pattern.

    Substitute the aftershaft feather (philoplume) from a ringneck pheasant “church window” body feather.

    1. You are correct that it doesn’t have to be chickabou. As far as the ring necked pheasant aftershaft, I use it for some applications but it has limitations. It needs to be reinforced because the stem is very fragile, it practically disappears when wet, and it’s one-dimensional. The rolled chickabou tied in this manner makes a nicely tapered body and then leaves the longer marabou near the abdomen as legs. The result is a much more durable fly than anything you can do with a ring neck aftershaft. A better solution for your substitution idea… if you have a ring neck pheasant pelt to get those church window feathers from, there is “pheasabou” to coin a term in the rear underside of the pelt that is very similar. You could use it in the same way as the chickabou in this video and use a church window as the wing. Then use the fluff from the church window as the dubbing. Maybe reinforce an aftershaft for that front dubbing section.

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