This is a fly you should have plenty of in your fly box tied in a variety of sizes and colors, bead-headed, and non-bead headed. The Birdís Nest is one of those ďwhen in doubtĒ flies because it represents a little bit of everything but nothing in particular. It is one of the best caddis pupae imitations I have found and it is often fished with that idea in mind. You can tie it shaggy, as is shown here, or keep everything much cleaner with a slender profile. All versions catch fish, but I prefer the shaggier version to the clean one. This fly is fished best on the dead drift but can be swung with amazing results. If you tie some without a bead or lead in them, they can be greased and fished as an emerger in the film too.
Tie this fly in sizes 8-20.
Here is a list of materials I use when tying this pattern.
Hook: TMC 3761 sizes 8-20
Bead: Gold to match hook size
Weight: .015 (20 minus the hook size gives the number of wraps)
Thread: Camel 8/0 Uni-Thread
Tail: Lemon Barred Wood Duck
Ribbing: Gold Wire Meduim for sizes larger than 16, Fine for 16 and smaller
Abdomen: Paxtonís Buggy Nymph Lt. Hareís Ear
Legs: Lemon Barred Wood Duck
Head: Paxtonís Buggy Nymph Lt. Hareís Ear
Slide the bead on the hook, with the small hole facing the eye of the hook, and wrap some lead on the hook. Slide the lead under the bead until it will not go any further. Start your thread behind the lead and wrap up to the bead to secure the lead. Now wrap your thread to the bend of the hook.
Next tie in a clump of wood duck that has the tips evened. The best way to even the tips is pull the fibers that you want to a 90 degree angle off the stem, once the tips are all even rip them off the stem in a downward motion. Tie these in at the bend of the hook with the tips facing away from the eye of the hook. The length of the tails should be 1 Ĺ times the gap of the hook. Now tie in a chunk of wire for the ribbing, it should be extending off the bend of the hook also.
Dub a tapered body from the tail to the bead. It should be the same diameter as the bead when it hits the bead.
In 4-5 evenly spaced wraps, bring the wire towards the bead. Tie the wire off approximately a beadís width from the bead. The legs will be tied in here.
Now pull another clump of wood duck off the stem, but leave it spread out. Hold the clump up to the fly, on the near side, so that the tips extend just past the end of the abdomen. Once the length is measured use your left thumb, if you are right handed, to hold the fibers against the fly. Use your right hand to make a wrap with your thread around the fly. Once this is done strip off another clump and repeat this process until the wood duck completely encompasses the abdomen.
Now dub a scruffy head on the fly up to the bead. The easiest way to accomplish this is to make the dubbing on the thread extra thick and then once the fly is done use the tips of you scissors or a dubbing teaser to pull some of the dubbing back to give the scruffy look. Whip Finish behind the bead.