A searching pattern is usually considered something of a generic pattern that can fit the bill for several insects at once. It can be a dry, emerger or nymph pattern. An Adams or Elk Hair Caddis is a good all around searching pattern as is a Pheasant Tail Nymph. A more traditional searching pattern is an attractor pattern; usually big and buoyant. Examples are Humpy’s or as I tied here, a Royal Coachman. 

The traditional Royal Coachman will have a more upright wing of split calf tail. In this instance I canted the calf tail wing forward and wrapped the two brown hackles behind it. With the elk hair tail, two hackles and calf tail wing, this is a pretty buoyant pattern best suited for riffles and seams. It is a morsel worthy of a careless fish.


The classic Royal Coachman has the peacock herl for the abdomen separated by red floss. I lost control of the brown hackle a bit, with hackle fibers trailing to the rear. But, I think it is fine. The calf tail material is cut from the calf tail and securely tied in as a post then split. You could try stacking it in a hair stacker, but I find the calf tail tips too pliable to gain much uniformity from stacking. Instead, when I prepare to cut the clump from the tail, I pull the clump out perpendicular to the tail to obtain more uniform tip alignment.

Below, you see the calf tail wing split. This is a similar technique employed in the Humpy with deer hair wings, which are split. The fly was tied on a size 12 dry fly shot hook with 8/0 brown thread.