A. K. Best of Boulder, Colorado, needs little introduction for most fly tiers. His books–Production Fly Tying, A. K.’s Fly Box, and Advanced Fly Tying–are required reading for anyone who is serious about tying flies for trout. He’s also pals with John Gierach, who has included Best in many of his stories and articles.
In this great video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions shows you how to tie Best’s simple, cool spent-wing caddisfly imitation. The main feature is a down wing that envelopes the dubbed body, and Tim’s method for ensuring the feather stays where it is will make the fly plenty durable. So twist up a few of these for those evenings when the caddisflies are hitting the water, much to the trouts’ delight.
AK Best Spent Caddis
Hook: Your favorite dry-fly hook (here, a Fulling Mill 5050), size 16.
Thread: Tan, 6/0 or 70-denier.
Body: Tan beaver dubbing.
Wing: Bleached Hungarian partridge or hen mallard breast feather.
Adhesive #1: Superglue.
Hackle: Brownish grizzly, trimmed along the bottom.
Tools: Plunger-style hackle pliers, fine-tipped bodkin , whip-finish tool