This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is a Al Troth’s Elk Hair Caddis.

Elk Hair Caddis|

I’m continuing a theme from last week about repeating a TBT fly from the past. The Elk Hair Caddis was a fly I removed from a nice Madison River Rainbow Trout the other day for a fellow fly fisher. He had hooked the fish and it ran downstream on him into the hole Karen and I were fishing. No big deal. We were sitting on the bank and the fly fisher was apologizing for ruining our fishing.

We yelled “no worries” and he continued to fight the fish. I wondered how he was going to land it and was about to offer assistance and he asked if I could help. “Sure”, I said.

I’ll spare you the long details of another run or two and him backing up the bank asking me to scoop the fish.

Somehow, I was able to bring it to the net without knocking the fish off.

He was still up on the bank, so I removed the fly. Turns out it was an Elk Hair Caddis.

I always try and listen when the river gods speak to me, so today’s TBT fly is a repeat performance.

I wrote about this fly pattern back in 2014. It was one of my first TBT flies and I really didn’t do the fly justice. I was finding my own way and obviously didn’t research the fly much. I’ve change a lot since those days, so here is more information about the Elk Hair Caddis.

Al Troth (1930-2012) was born in Monessen, PA. . After graduating high school, he worked at Pittsburgh Steel Co. until joining the navy for four years. He returned to Pittsburgh Steel Co. as a metallurgist while attending college at California State Teachers College (California, PA).

Al taught Industrial Arts for 15 in north-central Pennsylvania. He fished summers in Montana and in 1973, moved to Dillon, MT where he was a guide and fly tyer.

The fly was created this fly in 1957 and Al fished it for the first time in Pennsylvania waters.

I’ll bet you’ve fished one of these flies and have a few in your own fly box.

I found this short video which is an interview of Al and his son Eric. It’s from the DVD “A Tribute to Fly Tying”.

For more about Al’s full life, here is a link to his obituary

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  1. Love your blog and read it every day, a great mix of where to, when, what fly to fish with and great photography…thanks for taking the time to create this every day. Pete “Duck” Fowler

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