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"Ron's Crystal Maggie"

Ron Rabun, who ties this fly, calls it “the ugliest fly you will fish on the Upper Sac.” According to Ron, “the Krystal Maggie October Caddis Emerger provides tremendous success during the October Caddis hatch.” Is the fly a dry fly or a nymph? The answer, according to Ron: “It’s almost both. The bottom line is that it works—I mean it REALLY works.”

The Maggie originated in the Ted Fay era as an October Caddis emerger imitation. According to Joe Kimsey of Dunsmuir, he developed this pattern in the ‘60’s as part of the “bomber” style flies originated by Ted Towendollie, Ted Fay, and Joe Kimsey for wet fly fishing on the Upper Sac and Klamath Rivers.

Over the last 28 years Ron has developed several of his own variations of the bomber style flies, including Ron’s Krystal Maggie and Ron’s Cree Spentwing Bomber.

Ron’s Crystal Maggie differs from the original Maggie in several significant ways: application of “Krystal Hair;” use of uncut deer hair for the tail and wing; and weighting to create neutral buoyancy. These characteristics help to suspend the fly and simulate the caddis emerger’s wing as it releases from the shuck during the “rocketing sedge” emergence.

Ron fishes the fly either on the point or the dropper, depending on the stage of the hatch. During the early hatch, Ron prefers to use a “Peeking” version of Bill’s Stick Caddis (a version that I have tied for many years to imitate the beginning of the emergence of the insect from its case) on the point, and a Krystal Maggie on the dropper, with two or  three size BB shot. This provides coverage for emergers from the bottom through the middle of the water column.

As the hatch progresses, Ron likes to put the Maggie on the point with a #16 Flash Bach Hare’s Ear on the dropper., using only one or two split shot. This rig fishes the mid- to top portion of the water column. The Hare’s Ear covers the smaller hatching caddis and mayflies.


Hook               Tiemco 200R, Daiichi 1260, or Mustad 9674, #8

Thread             Orange 3/0 or 1/9

Weight             4 wraps of 4 amp fuse wire

Tail                  10 deer hair fibers and 3-4 strands of orange Krystal Hair

Body                Orange yarn and burlap strands

Wing                8-10 strands of orange Krystal Hair, and 10-15 deer hair fibers

Hackle             Brown or cree saddle.

Head               Orange thread.


  1.  Wind lead onto bare hook in the middle of shank, and cover shank with thread, building a shoulder in front of and in back of the lead.

  2. Trim a small clump of deer hair and mix in the Krystal hair strands. The tail should be tied in so that it is abnormally long, equal to the length of a normal caddis or Stimulator wing.

  3. Tie in a burlap strand and an orange yarn strand at the same spot—where you tied in the tail. Holding the two together, take one wrap behind the tail to make it stand up slightly, and then wrap them forward together to a point just ahead of the lead. Cut the excess.

  4. Tie in the orange Krystal Hair strands at that same point. They should extend to the front of the tail.

  5. Tie in the deer hair wing, making it the same length.

  6. Select a dry fly quality hackle, and tie it in dry fly style.

  7. Form a neat, noticeable head of orange thread, whip finish, and glue

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Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.