Caddis Patterns

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Greg Pucilowski, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Joe Goodfellow Active Member

    Posts: 526
    DES moines wa
    Ratings: +101 / 0
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  2. Joe Goodfellow Active Member

    Posts: 526
    DES moines wa
    Ratings: +101 / 0
    Heck ya purple pink and blue are killer colors for trout! Buy some foam from wall mart for like 4 dollars you get 5 different colors they have sparkly foam to in the craft section

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  3. Greg Pucilowski Member

    Posts: 63
    Montpelier, ID
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  4. Joe Goodfellow Active Member

    Posts: 526
    DES moines wa
    Ratings: +101 / 0
    thanks man

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  5. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,992
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,561 / 0
    Guess I'm kind'a odd. The only dry flies I use to represent adult caddis are a plain ol' Elk Hair Caddis with a body color to match the hatch and version of the EHC with a Royal Coachman body and deer hair for a wing instead of elk hair.

    That approach works the best for me but I'm not really a dry fly kind'a guy.

    When it comes to a small caddis emerger, I have a story (of course) that goes along with a pattern I created.

    Long ago, I was fishing the Metolius and I met a friend (Rick Coxen) on the river who was the best dead drift nymph angler I've ever known... in fact, he taught me the technique. I was also using the dead drift, nymph pattern dropper system but wasn't doing nearly as well as he.

    I asked him what he was using and he told me a size 18 caddis emerger. I had no idea what he was talking about and asked to see the pattern. He showed me and of course, I had nothing in my box that looked anything like the fly he was using.

    I thought I committed the fly pattern to memory and set about tying the thing when I got home.... from memory.

    I tied a number of patterns using both natural and green dyed pheasant tail fibers. The next Saturday, I was back on the Metolius and used my new creation as a dropper above a weighted stonefly nymph pattern.

    It worked great! I caught dozens of whitefish and bows.

    (Some folks think the Metolius is a difficult river when it comes to catching trout. This is because the Metolius is a nymph river and not a dry fly river. If you use nothing but dry flies on the Metolius, you will catch few fish. If you use a dead drift dropper system, you'll catch many, many fish.)

    So I started using this pattern in different rivers and it continued to work if very small caddis were present.

    It worked when nothing else did.

    Later on, I was talking with Rick and told him how great the pattern he showed me had worked. He said that a Sparkle Pupa was hard to beat for fishing the Metolius.

    A what? I looked it up in a pattern book. Evidently, the day I met him on the river, he was using a LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa and it was so chewed up by the time he showed me the pattern that when I tried to tie the fly from memory, the result was nothing close to a Sparkle Pupa pattern.

    Inadvertently, I created a new pattern. So much for relying on memory to tie a fly. But in this case, it worked out for the best.

    If I fished the Metolius today, I have no doubt the incorrectly tied Sparkle Pupa would still work. The last time I fished the river (years ago), it was a still a hit. Rocky uses the same pattern when he is fishing the Metolius and he fishes the river once a year.

    So after all that build up, here is the simple little pattern I created. I tie it in sizes 16-18 and found it does not work tied any larger. Because it isn't really a Sparkle Pupa, I named it a Bubble Bug. Like I said, you can use either natural or green dyed pheasant tail fibers and it's best to tie them in both colors because one will work when the other doesn't.

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  6. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,992
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,561 / 0
    Here's an interesting fact-toid in regards to LaFontaine's Sparkle Pupa.

    He claimed that an emerging caddis somehow created an air bubble to help it rise to the surface. I've read that entomologists dispute this claim. Many have observed a caddis emerging from the bottom to the surface and have never seen any manner of a bubble. Which I tend to believe. How does a bug somehow generate an air bubble when it is on the bottom of a river or lake?

    Whatever the reason, the Sparkle Pupa and the Bubble Bug do work, even if the antron doesn't really represent a bubble. It's hard to argue with success.
  7. Greg Pucilowski Member

    Posts: 63
    Montpelier, ID
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    I suppose I'd consider my self a dry fly kinda guy. I've had plenty of success fishing with nymphs in the past but more and more I find myself only fishing dries and swinging streamers/wet flies in the colder months. I'll go as far as torturing myself watching my friend land fish after fish on nymphs while I wait for surface action.. It's really ridiculous if you think about it. It could be that I don't really enjoy fishing bugs that mess with my cast so I stick to the unweighted type?? Idk.. But I'm no dry fly purist so I'll give your bubble bug a go! Thanks again for the advice and I enjoyed your story!