Friday, February 7, 2020

The Dark Cahill

The Dark Cahill wet fly. This fly has been a staple in my box for well over 25 years. Short story. Back around 1990 while heading to Rangeley Maine for our annual September fishing vacation I stopped at LL Cote's store in Errol NH. I headed to fly bins and and while poking through I came across a wet fly. Just looking at it gave the impression that it was a trout fly, to be more specific a brook trout fly. I bought two flies size 14 and 16....I went on to fish that week using the Dark Cahill and caught many fine brook trout. Since that Maine trip I have had the Dark Cahill wet fly close at hand. The flys origin dates back to the 30's and it's design is credited to Dan Cahill of Port Jervis NY. I guess there are many recipes on how to tie this fly out there but here is the way I tie it.

Hook, any wet fly...Tail, brown hackle or coq de leon...Body, gray dubbing...Wing, Wood duck...Hackle, brown.


Peacock body, woodcock hackle


Ginger Wet






16 comments:

  1. Cote's sure has changed since I was a little kid. It was always a required stop for my grandparents on our way to our camp in Pittsburg, NH. My grandfather introduced me to the Cahill wet many years ago and it's been in my boxes ever since. You've tied it beautifully.

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    1. mike
      Thanks
      Cote's is a gem in the north woods. The Cahill patterns wet and dry are classic standbys. It's nice to fish them from time to time and experience some of that old time magic.

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  2. Like all three of those ties Alan.

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    Replies
    1. billp
      Thanks
      Bill I think they would work on those mountain trout in your area.

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    2. I think you're right! I'll tie some while I'm laid up with my knee replacement next month. Just brought my wife home from gallbladder surgery yesterday. Getting old is a contact sport. :-/

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  3. Alan,
    As always, your patterns are incredible and these three above are no exception! The Woodcock hackle, Peacock thorax is an unusual looking pattern! I like it! I found some Woodcock wings the other day while prowling around my stuff! I will give it a try!
    Dougsden!

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    Replies
    1. Dougsden
      Thanks
      Doug that peacock body variant is based on an old North Country spider pattern called a Smoke Fly. Works on browns brookies and "bluegills"...

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    2. Doug,

      https://smallstreamreflections.blogspot.com/2017/04/more-north-country-flieswheres-theres.html

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  4. I think the orange part would attract the trout out here.

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    Replies
    1. Mark Kautz
      Thanks
      Mark that little orange hot spot shows up nicely underwater..they notice it.

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  5. Alan
    I'm impressed with all three, but like Mark the orange would get a trouts attention on a slow day. I'm looking forward to fishing the Sipsey with some of your flies when the water level is better----thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill you both have a good eye. The day's are getting longer and soon you'll be casting to those tailwater rainbows.

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  6. Love the Dark Cahill; They have caught me some fine small stream cutthroats, and I've tied up a bunch for this season. All of those Catskill wet flies, that is the counterparts of the dries, seem to be fish catchers. I especially like the Dark Cahil, Dark Henrickson, and Quill Gordon...The magic of wood duck flank I suppose.

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    Replies
    1. Unknown
      Thanks
      The wood duck feather is like peacock herl. When either is used in a pattern it becomes a trout taker. Your three choices should do you well.

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  7. "Quill Gordon" The very best of the best. (inho)

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    Replies
    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      No argument on your #1...now I'll have to tie a few and give them a try.

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