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Tying an Iris Caddis

Producer: Tim Flagler  |  Tightline Productions

Matt Grobert ties a pattern authored by Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana.  As Tim Flagler, who made this video, says, “many believe the Iris Caddis to be one of the most effective caddis emerger patterns ever developed.”

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  • Jon

    Nice, but amber z-lon is very hard (read: almost impossible) to find through online retailers.  Should colorblind people like myself substitute ginger?  As for clear z-lon??  I’ve never seen or heard of this one.  Any suggestions for places to purchase for those of us who live far from any fly shops?  I have white and cream, would one of them work?  Thanks, Jon

  • Tim

    My advice is go straight to the source. They have every color imaginable.

    In addition to exceptional materials (not just Zelon), the website also contains a wealth of information and a couple of articles on the qualities that make Zelon such a desirable tying material.

    Umpqua Feather Merchants is also a distributer but I think they call it Bett’s Z-Lon. If you do a search on the Cabela’s website for Z-Lon, you should be able to find it.

    The Iris Caddis is well worth the extra effort in tracking down the correct materials.

    Hope this helps.

  • Mattgrobert


    Regarding colors – clear zelon is undyed and is essentially white.  Ginger may be too light, I would use the amber or gold/russet instead.  Your best bet is to go to the source as Tim said – Blue Ribbon Flies.

    Good luck and tie some up, they work!


  • Jon

    Thanks, guys!  Strange that using google yesterday I couldn’t find a store with amber, including Cabelas, JStockard, Orvis, etc., but found several patterns that use that particular color.  In any case, the Blue Ribbon store you both suggested does have it, so thanks for that and I can’t wait to order some and tie a few up!