Don's Fly Tying - The Elkhair Sedge

[The Elkhair Sedge]

During an early July evening, approach many of the smaller Interior Lakes where oil slicks from 2 cycle outboards have not decimated the natural caddis populations and you will be treated with a fly fisherman's delight. Rainbow trout wildly leaping and slashing at newly emerged sedges scampering across the surface in preparation for a flight to shoreline trees. This is the time that you must be equipped with a floating fly line and a good supply of dry flies, preferably sedge imitations such as the Mikulak or Goddard sedge. I prefer to tie a Mikulak pattern with elk rather than deer hair as I find that elk stands up much better to the violent strikes of large trout. Am I just story telling? You will have to try it yourself and see with the pattern that is featured in this month's article!



I blend the green and blue wool for the body so that both colors show, almost as if the fly body was ribbed. In some lakes, the sedge bodies are various shades of green, often lighter than one would expect, and I have also seen greys and brown as well, so do not hesitate to experiment with different shades for the sedge body. You can either wrap the wool or dub it on with a twisted loop in your tying thread. Again I prefer invisible mending thread as I can create a lumpy effect along the fly shank without changing the color of the body. The next step is the key to my elk sedge. I use several pieces of elk hair and start by tying the first piece just forward of the hook bend. The next piece is tied just ahead of that and keep repeating the process until you tie in the last piece near the fly head. Each piece of elk hair is cut to length so that together they form a uniform wing over the body. An option is to not bother with measured lengths and trim to a uniform length later. Invisible mending thread will allow you to tie in several pieces of elk hair along the hook shank and still show the body wool color! The last step is to wind in a full brown hackle at the hook eye, tie off, cement and you are finished. I have experienced superb dry fly fishing with the elk sedge in Hyas, Ernest and Lac des Roche to name a few. Cast to areas where fish are rising and try to skitter the fly in your retrieve by applying short but fast pulls on the fly. Then watch out for that explosion as a wild rainbow tries to tear the fly apart!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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