Caddis Pupa Patterns

This post was last updated on March 30th, 2015 at 08:22 pm

The caddis pupa is frequently an overlooked fly pattern by fisherman, but it shouldn’t be! This is the stage of life for the caddis when it emerges from it’s case below the water and floats to the surface to become an adult. Caddis pupae have small hairs (and often bubbles) that appear to glisten while underwater. At this point in the caddis fly’s life they are very vulnerable to being eaten by trout because they are simply floating around, often time suspended right in the fishes active feeding zone.

Sparkle Caddis Pupa Emerger

A green caddis pupa fly fishing pattern
A green caddis pupa such as the one shown here is probably one of the most common colors you will find in rivers and in fly shops. Nearly every trout stream I have fished has had green caddis present.

The sparkle caddis pupa above is tied using green dubbing at the base and a light colored polypropylene or antron as the outer bubble layer. It is picked out with a bodkin to create the outer body. This layer simulates the hair and bubbles you would find on a natural fly.

Green Caddis Beaded Pupa

Green bead caddis pupa fly pattern
This pattern tends to work very well for me. It takes a few more minutes to tie than the variation above, but it works good when the trout are being picky.

The fly above is tied using any flashy course dubbing you have available such as mylar as the body and tail. The head is black dubbing with a black bead. and the body has multiple flashy beads to provide not only a natural flash to your fly, but perfect segmentation. This pattern is probably my personal favorite caddis pupa pattern.

Bead head October Caddis Pupa

Sparkle caddis pupa with black beadhead
This large caddis pupa pattern is also a decent representation of a cranefly larvae, making it a great dual purpose fly to have in your fly box.

Large sparkle caddis pupa with a bead head such as this one will often work well during the October caddis hatch. This fly is tied with a small maribou tail, and a black bead for the head. A nice clean patten that can be tied with a lead wrapped hook to really get down into the strike zone fast. The inner portion of the body is wrapped with black wire to give the segmented look and finished with a white antron outer body.

Black bead head caddis pupa made from peacock herl and brown hackle.
This simple caddis pupa has been good for me over the years. It is tied from peacock herl body and palmered brown hackle. It also has a lead wire wrapped hook to give it a lot of weight.

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