The importance of Legs

above photo: Biot wing caddis dyed ginger with knotted legs
Trout like many aquatic predators zero in on specific silhouettes in the surface film. Even small aquatic insects such as Caddis and Mayflies have very recognizable leg profiles. In an age where many are focused on legs on terrestrial insects, the aquatic bugs are a wee bit on the back burner when it comes to delineating legs and integrating them into specific patterns.
 above photo: double knotted pheasant tail legs
With with simply two sets of knotted pheasant tail legs you can create more floatation, stability, and surface profile giving an impression of the natural. Legs do make a difference I have found over the years especially for selective trout in shallow clear waters.
                        ~Clint Bova


The Zen of the Biot Wing Caddis

The biot is a highly versatile material that has become one of the most important components of my fly tying repertoire. In the midst of all of today's technologies and mind numbing levels of information the simple biot keeps me focused on whats most important. Tie lots of flies, and focus on the most simple and basic materials. Make it a daily ritual, and practice it like a discipline. The biot is the epitome what's right in the world today. As in any material, fly tying or other, if you put your mind into a resourceful state of being, doing, and making anything is possible with...VERY LITTLE.

Over the years my fly boxes are paired down and much simpler. I carry less and less flies every season, and I use less materials to create what I need.

Biot Wing Caddis
Hook: TMC 531 14-26
Body: SLF Spikey Squirrel
Rib: Clear Mylar
Wing Case: Dyed Biots, (left and right wing feathers)
Legs: Double knotted Pheasant tail
Thread: Veevus 14/0 or 16/0
Hackle: Dusky gray, or medium gray
Antennae: Stiff hackle fibers or Coq De Leon
Under Wing: TMC Aero Wing Dry Fly medium dun

Tie in clear mylar rib and dub in SLF to create a hothouse carrot profile. Now tie in TMC Aero Wing Dry Fly for under wing material. Tie in two sets of knotted legs on either side of the body three quarters up the hook shank just below thorax area.

Take one biot from each corresponding feathers one on right side one for left side. Rib should be facing up on wing case on both sides. Clip an angle profile of the caddis wing and chamfer the bottom edge by cutting an opposing angle. The cupping of biot faces in towards the body forcing all of the body materials into a neat contained channel under the biots. Slip both biots over the hook shank and tye them in three quarters up the hook shank in thorax area. Push down with your index finger on top of wing case this wil help seat and level out the wings.
Clip off both tag ends of the biots. Now tie in your hackle collar. Leave enough space behind the hook eye to tie in the set of antennae.

This has been a highly versatile fly for me over the years, it may not be the easiest to master but with a little focus and practice it can be a killing fly that will save you on the river when all else fails.
~Clint Bova