Tying Kevin's Caterpillar

I designed this fly in 1997 while building my house in Pisgah Forest.  While on the roof working I noticed that there were thousands of saddle backs (tent caterpillars) crawling all over the roof.  I thought if there was that many on my roof that some had to be landing in the stream.  After collecting a few to study, I went back to the house we were living in at the moment and tried to create a fly as close to the caterpillar as possible.  On an outing with my fishing buddy John Brinkley the next day.  I decided to use the fly up in the day when we got ready to go.  It ended up saving the day; as a matter of fact John even climbed a tree at one point to get our one remaining fly back.  This fly works great from late July until the heavy frost in October.


Materials Needed:

Hook:  Mustad 94831 or Tiemco 200R size 6-14

Thread:  Black 6/0 Uni

Body:  Strung peacock herl

Hackle:  Golden Straw Saddle*

Antennae:  peacock herl

Underbody:  Black floating poly yarn**


Step 1:  Place Hook in vice and make a thread base on the hook.


Step 2:  Tie 4 pieces of peacock herl on the hook just behind the eye, allow the ends to extend about 3/8” beyond the eye of the hook.  Wrap the thread to tying in the peacock while you go stop at a point directly above the barb of the hook.  Clip off the excess peacock leaving 3/8” extending back from the point above the barb of the hook.


Step 3:  Wrap around the base of the peacock antennae like a parachute causing them to stand up at a 90 degree angle to the hook.  


Step 4:  Divide the antennae into two groups of two using a figure 8 or a couple if needed.


Step 5:  Repeat steps 3 and 4 to form the front antennae.


Step 6:  Return your thread to a point just behind the rear antennae.  Now tie in 5-6 pieces of peacock herl, and the golden straw saddle.


Step 7:  Wrap your thread to the eye of the hook.  Now palmer the peacock herl to the eye of the hook, wrapping around the antennae as you go. Tie off the peacock and clip off excess.