Now you can use some dubbing to shape the under body as shown. This can be any old dubbing as long as it’s dubbed compact and tight. The colour doesn’t matter. Make sure that you don’t over-build the dubbed body, as it will increase in diameter when the fine tanned leather strip is wound on.
Now move your tying thread forward to the eye of the hook. Take the chamois and holding it tight, pull it towards you and hold it there before you make the first turn around the hook. Now take one of the ostrich herl strips and loop this clockwise behind the strip of chamois as shown
Run the tying thread along the hook shank deep into the hook bend as shown.
Tie in two long olive lengths of ostrich herl. Make sure that they are not damaged and have nice long fibres.
Cut a strip of chamois or fine tanned leather. This should be cut with a fine taper from 2mm to 3mm, with a very sharp craft knife or razor blade. I use a Peltex furrier’s knife; this has interchangeable razor blades.
When the caddis fly hatches into the adult insect the
species are more or less divided into two; the ones that hatch at the
surface in open water and those that make their way to the shore, where they
climb out on plants or any other structure that is available. When
this occurs and caddis pupa are on the move, this pattern fishes extremely
When fishing this pattern, I like to dress only the head and collar with a good floatant, i.e. CDC oil. This also creates a perfect gas bubble around the head, just like the natural and only when the pattern has soaked in a little water does it begin to fish correctly. When the porous leather and dubbed under body have taken on water and the head is dressed with floatant, this pattern sinks so slowly that it almost “hangs” just under the surface. I like to let it sink for 10-12 seconds or so but you should keep alert during this “free fall” period, as cruising fish will also pick this pattern up “on the drop”.
After the pupa has had time to sink, I carefully mend the slack out of my fly line and then lift the tip of my rod so that the pupa rushes towards the surface; this is when the take normally comes.
Despite the multitude of families, sub families and species of caddis flies, the only thing you have to change is the colour and size, the pattern can remain the same.
Hook Mustad C49S curved caddis #6-14
Gills Ostrich herl
Body Fine leather strip (chamois)
Under body Dubbing/Lead free wire if required
Legs Partridge hackle & CDC
Collar/Head Hare’s ear dubbing & CDC Dubbing
Tie this in at the tail of the hook. If you would like the pattern to be weighted you can now tie in some lead free wire, use this to build shape to the body.
Now pull the herl down over the chamois strip.
Loop the herl around the back of the chamois strip and trap it there by
tightening the strip around the hook shank to make the first half of the
first body segment.
Continue to wrap chamois strip around the hook making the loops with ostrich herl on both sides of the hook shank to form the segmented body. Take your time and make sure that each turn of chamois overlaps the previous one a little. Make sure that all the gills on both sides of the pupa follow the same lateral line along the side of the fly. When you have covered the whole body of the pupa, tie off the herl and the strip.
The aerial view of the finished body should look like this. Here you can see the ostrich herl gills running along each side.
Remove the short spiky guard hairs from a hare’s ear to make the dubbing.
Dub the collar with the hare’s ear dubbing.
Select a CDC hackle with long fibres.
Wind this in making sure that you comb back the fibres with each turn to form the hanging legs of the caddis pupa.
Tie on and wind in the partridge hackle as illustrated.
If you think of when wrapping a present, you pull the ribbon between the blade of some scissors and your thumb to make it curl. Do the same but using your thumb nail and index finger. This will curl the partridge hackle fibres as shown.
With a little more CDC dubbing cover the front of the head.
Tie off the tying thread.
Colour the head with a waterproof felt pen and varnish.
The finished Caddis pupa
Now you can prepare a partridge body hackle as shown.