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Most things can be substituted. A lot of folks use deer hair for caddis, you just want to find the right type (i.e. not bucktail). Take a look at Bob Marriott's (a fly shop in California). They have the most comprehensive selection of tying materials in my opinion. If you search their site for deer, you'll find many types (coastal, hock, all purpose, comparadun, etc) of deer that will work for dries.

Most trout fly materials are really cheap in comparison to saltwater materials. The one exception is dry fly hackle. I specifically ties lot of patterns that don't use hackle. First, it keeps the cost down. Second, flies without hackle float in the film, like the naturals.

Here are some easy non-hackle patterns that I have killed with across the technical fisheries of the west:

  • X-caddis: (similar to elk hair, but without hackle and with a trailing shuck).
  • Mole fly (uses CDC - need a powdered floatant while fishing)
  • chaos hopper
  • Snowshoe dun
  • Sparkle dun (will want comparadun deer for this).
  • Foam ant and beetle
Throw in a stonefly pattern and maybe a few midge patterns, and that would be a complete dry fly box in my opinion.

For trout, simple is usually better.
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