Friday, January 4, 2013

Top flies of 2012 – tan caddis puppa

Most everyone is familiar with and fishes the elk hair caddis.  We usually see both tan and green bodied caddis on CT rivers.  The elk hair caddis is a staple in my box for small streams.  I use a tan elk hair caddis and lately have been using a peacock herl body elk hair caddis.  This year I had good results with a Lafontaine tan caddis puppa fished on top in the surface film.

This is a tricky fly to tie and it takes a fair amount of practice to get used to working with Antron to get the “bubble” formed correctly.   Tightlines production has a nice video that I found very helpful.  For the tail I pick out a few fibers from the Antron sheath with a bodkin and twist them together.  This is best done before you trim off the excess Antron after securing the sheath.  One trick I've found is that the bubble gets twisted a bit when you make the first wrap at the head of the fly to secure it.  You can "detwist" at this point to unwind it a bit (you can see in the picture below there still is a slight twist in the antron sheath) and then secure it with some tight wraps of thread.  

TMC 100 #16 or #18
Brown thread
underbody – tan dubbing (I use antron)
Antron bubble – tan antron fibers
tail – a few antron fibers picked out from the bubble
comparadun deer hair wing
thorax – brown squirrel SLF dubbing


  1. Interesting. A fly that will get some attention.

  2. Last season it worked several times when trout where rising to caddis but could not be tempted with an elk hair or X-caddis. I've been keeping a few of these with me now. You can also add a bead and fish this fly a little lower in the water column.

  3. Mark
    Excellent pattern for the Caddis---I know very little about tying because I still buy all my flies, but how would the Caddis work with a wet pattern effect? I am not sure this type pattern would imitate an insect pattern but it might be interesting to try---just a thought. Thanks for sharing

    1. Bill - this fly might not "look" like a caddis but the antron traps air bubbles which might look like an emerging caddis. It works well when wished as wet fly or it can be weighted with a bead head and fished lower in the water column (see David's comment below)

  4. Hí,
    I used this pattern with good surprises. I´m tying with with gold bead, for nymph.

    1. I tie it with a bead as well for a nymph. I'll sometimes use peacock herl in front of the bead rather than the squirrel dubbing for the thorax

  5. GOOD ARTICLE. Its really great to see your blog on fishing.