I've been fishing the Missing Link Caddis for several years now, and it has won a spot in my mostly sparse fly boxes - I carry hatch matching patterns specific to where I am fishing and the time of year, and I carry a few general patterns such as this one. The more I use it, the more I like it, because it produces well. And after losing a bet to Doug this past winter, I tied him a bunch of these on comp hooks, and he loves the fly, too, because it works (and because it looks cool). It looks like it is hard to tie, but it really isn't, the trick is to tie up 6 or more at a time so you can develop a rhythm and feel for how to handle each of the materials. The other key to this fly, and most other patterns that incorporate body hair, is to use the best quality hair available. Thanks to Tim Flagler for another great job with the video production!
Hook: TMC100 #14
Thread: 6/0 Olive Danville
Body: Tying thread
Rib: Pearl Krystal Flash
Thorax: Peacock flash dubbing
Spent Wings: Midge grey zelon
Upright wing: Bleached elk body hair
Hackle: Light cree
I tied it here in olive, but you can also use tan, black, yellow or even red thread. For hackle, the original was tied with dun hackle. I should also mention that this pattern is also used successfully during mayfly hatches - just tie it in appropriate colors and sizes to match the natural.
For some background on this pattern straight from the designer, click on this link from our friends at FrankenFly: Mike Mercer on the creation of the Missing Link
Tie some up; they work...and they do look cool.
Sharpen your hooks.