Fly of the Month by J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Son Tao, Army Master Sergeant, Infantry Branch.

The Coachman Caddis is a spin on the famous, classic Royal Coachman. It utilizes the color scheme of the Royal Coachman is a great dry fly for cutthroats and brook trout. I initially tied the Coachman Caddis for brook trout in the famous Au Sable River in Michigan but it has proven itself as a great pattern for cutthroats in Colorado and Montana. It’s very easy to tie and the choices of colors is only limited by your imagination. This step by step will cover the classic Coachman color scheme but other colors that work well are purple, green, orange and blue.
Materials Used:
Hook: Hanak H300BL or similar (TMC 2488 is another good choice)
Thread: Semperfli 18/0 Nano Silk or UTC 70 in white or red
Body: Red floss tag and peacock herl thorax

Step 1:
Start the thread and take it to the half way point on the hook
Step 2:
Tie in a single strand of red floss and take the thread to the half way point on the bend. Bring your thread back to where the floss was originally tied in.
Step 3:
Wrap the floss to the tie in point and trim the excess floss.
Step 4:
Tie in 1-3 pieces of peacock. I used 2 on this size 14. Base the number of herls on the size of your hook.
Step 5:
Wrap the peacock herl to the half way point on the hook and tie off. Trim off the excess herls.
Step 6:
Stack a small clump of deer hair. Do two loose collecting wraps and cinch the hair down. Do 3-4 more additional thread wraps to ensure the deer hair is secured in place. Then continue cinching down the deer hair all the way to the eye. Trim the excess deer hair to form a small head similar to an elk hair caddis. Be sure to do a few wraps in front of the head. If you have any stray hairs, just trim them with your scissors.
Step 7:
Prep a brown dry fly hackle by stripping off the webby fibers. Strip a few additional barbs on the opposite side of the hackle (see photo). This will force the hackle to wrap in the correct direction.
Step 8:
Add a small amount of brown superfine dubbing to your thread. Less is more. You just need enough to cover the thread. Begin wrapping the dubbed thread all the way to the head. The dubbing will get covered by the hackle but it provides a great foundation for the hackle to bite into.
Step 9:
Wrap the hackle to the just behind the head and secure with your thread. Trim off the excess hackle. Apply a small amount of head cement and you’re finished!


  1. I never thought of the Coachman as a caddis imitator, but this variant with its angular head-trim and tailless long-wing silhouette looks like a great and easy-to-tie caddis pattern. I’ll bet it floats high too. I have a buddy who uses the classic version (and the Wulff version) in Colorado and swears by it. This version ought to have all the same benefits but in a caddis flavor. Is it good as a high-vis indicator fly? Do you ever add antennae?

    I think I’ll tie up some of these. Thanks Son, a great suggestion.

    1. The Royal Coachman dry fishes real good on a spring I visit in late May. This is a great pattern which I will tie up and use. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. This looks like an interesting new take on that traditional caddis formula. I will have to try this soon.

    Also, is that a Chris Barclay glass rod I see in one of your photos?

  3. Tying up a few dozen for samples to give out at the lake……….looks similar to something I tie………wow I’m impressed………CWebb

  4. I’ll try this on the Fire Hole 413.. I fished these coachman style emerges on Castle Creek and Maroon Creek in Aspen CO last summer/fall, and the natives went nuts.

  5. That beats anything I have seen in fly-tyer in a dogs age……GREAT PATTERN….thanks….a tyeing I shall go

  6. This looks great should be just the ticket for
    A big brown on the Arkansas river in Colorado great looking fly thanks for sharing

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