Anyway, I've been thinking I should give you all a heads up about this wonderful fly called the Missing Link Caddis. Mike Mercer is the originator of this concoction and it's a winner. I've used here this past season and, of course, in Montana. It's easy to tie and covers a wide range of caddis behaviors in terms of the silhouette. The spent zelon wings and the up-right elk hair wings combined with the thin sliver of a body provides an impression of several stages of caddis - at least that's what I think, you may have another view, either way keep a few in your box and fish them.
So how do I tie this fly? Sparsely, and a little different than the originator. I like to keep it as simple as possible...................you can decide for yourself as I'll provide the skinny here:
Hook: TMC 102Y #15-17
Abdomen: Olive thread
Rib: One strand krystal flash - coat with head cement to secure
Thorax: Tan dubbing
Spent wing: Rusty dun zelon divided by the thorax
Upright wing: Elk hair
Hackle: Medium dun. Mercer wraps the hackle parachute style around the wing and the butts of the wing, standing the butts up over the hook eye. It also pulls the wing more upright. I wrap the hackle collar style where I tie in the elk hair and trim it on the bottom, and it works just fine without the craziness of trying to wrap it parachute style and tie it off. I can do it, but why, when you can wrap it otherwise and save time and get on to the next one?
Have a ball, take your time, there's always tomorrow.