It’s sulfur time on the Battenkill, as well as on waters across the country. One of the venerable patterns for matching these hatches is the Light Cahill. Historians don’t seem to agree about whether the pattern was designed by Dan Cahill—a railroad brakeman and fly fisher from Port Jervis, New York in the late 1800s—or if it is a version of Cahill’s pattern first tied by the great Theodore Gordon. Either way, Art Flick wrote of the pattern “To this date I have never met a fisherman who had fished any stream where trout could not be taken on this fly.” High praise, indeed.
Here’s a great extended-body version of the traditional pattern from the mind of author and blogger Matt Grobert, which uses a single wood-duck feather to create the extended abdomen and the tails. The finished product is both elegant and productive, yet it is still quite easy to tie. In this video from Tightline Productions, you’ll see how Matt prepares that wood-duck feather and then ties it in carefully to create the desired effect.
Extended-Body Light Cahill
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (e.g. Dai-Riki #305), size 12.
Thread: Olive, 6/0.
Tails and abdomen: Wood-duck flank feather.
Wing: Snowshoe-rabbit’s foot.
Body/thorax: Cream rabbit-fur dubbing.
Head: Tying thread.