The aim of this blog is to connect fly-tyers all over the world, to share, techniques, patterns, information and knowledge.

Melt Glue Caddis Pupa:

The melt glue caddis pupa has a semi transparent body that becomes extremely realistic when wet !

Keeping on the theme of melt glue I thought I would show you this pattern that has a little different technique than the Mutant. Here I combine the  material into the melt glue. It does take a little practice and time to master these melt glue techniques but the results are worth it! For more general info on caddis pupa take a look at the Bee Cee caddis in the archive.

A melt glue gun can be purchased from a hobby shop for just a few pounds.

Melt Glue Caddis Pupa:

Hook: Mustad C49SNP-BR # 12-8

Thread: Dyneema

Body: Melt Glue

Gills/rib: Olive Ostrich herl

Thorax/Head: Black and brown Antron dubbing and CdC

Secure your hook in the vice and tie in one long olive ostrich herl at the bend of the hook. Whip finish and remove the tying thread.


With a melt glue gun starting just behind the eye of the hook apply a layer of melt glue along the hook shank.

When you warm the melt glue with a lighter the glue will ‘flow’ around the hook shank. Take care not to burn the herl and you must rotate the hook (vice jaws) to even the glue.

This stage has to do with timing! When the glue has ‘set’ but is still pliable, wind on the gill rib, so that it sinks a little into the glue with each turn. This takes a little practice but works well when you have done it a few times.

The herl should be held in place by the glue! Now with a wet index finger srtoke the herl on the top of the body down towards the hook bend.

Using a water proof felt pen make one belt of colour along the back of the body as shown.

The body should now look like this!

Attatch your tying thread again and spin a sparse dubbing loop with CdC.

Wind on the CdC dubbing loop as a collar.

Now apply a little black and brown Antron dubbing mix to the tying thread and wind on to form the thorax and head.

Once the head is formed, whip finish. Now take a soft dubbing brush, I use an old tooth brush and brush out the fibers backwards towards the hook bend.

The finished melt glue caddis pupa.

13 responses

  1. Donald Wyckoff

    I don’t mean to be picky of such a Great Demo. but have you ever thought of using your heat gun w/ narrow tip instead of the lighter which I usually burn off my Peacock Herl in this process as I am old and shaky in these latter years ,, This is about the BEST SITE that I have ever found for instructions and by such Brilliant people to ,, Thx’s , keep it up , Zekietumber

    March 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm

  2. Michael Miller

    Very nnice looking bug, I will have to say. Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2013 14:20:28 +0000 To: gofishinor@hotmail.com

    March 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

  3. emil-ioan

    Superb by simplicity ! In my area ,the trout,any kind of trout,is a wonderful dream.We have chub,aspius aspius and other fishes with many little bones.A prize/bonus is the catfish and the zander.Some fishermen believe that,for zanders,the translucent materials,are the best.In this case,to adapt the MELT GLUE CADDIS PUPA for zanders it is enough to replace the coloured glue with a transparent one ?Or to replace the glue with silicone from twisters,somehow or other ?Any kind of tips &tricks,including some inserts in glue,shared to us,are very helpful.
    Secondly,a few words about shrimps,scuds,gammarus,nymphs,sow bugs…differences,relevance…
    Thirdly,in the end for now,a precise problem.How to “WELD” 2-3 feathers each other on a dry fly,when the neck is a cheap one,from India ?

    Thank you,Emil-Ioan

    March 9, 2013 at 11:51 am

    • Hi melt glue comes in about 40 colours, including clear, take a look at my Virtula minnow, that transparent body is maybe what you are looking for! When fishing gammarus/ scuds you can normally get buy with one pattern in a few different sizes and colours, see my post when the foil speaks the wise man listens. With regard to your hackle question you can tie in three hackles and wrap them one at a time to create a denser hackle finish, but I reccomend that you
      invest in a good quality neck, it makes tying so much easier…

      March 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

    • emil-ioan

      Thank you for the answer,Emil-Ioan

      March 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

  4. JosephM

    Where do you get colored melt glue? Mine only comes in clear or creamy white.

    March 11, 2013 at 6:43 am

    • Hi Joseph, the melt glue is available in at least 40 different colours with or without glitter. You can buy this coloured glue at most hobby shops. Many types are also available in different setting times. You should have no problem finding it online.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:40 am

  5. Chris Watson

    I am loving this pattern and the website. I tie a caddis pupa with an abdomen that is very similar; using an under body of either pearl or holographic tinsel, ribbed with ice stretch lace (or micro tubing) with further rib of bar dyed ostrich herl. I leave just enough space between the turns of the first rib to wind the ostrich herl (this protects the stem of the ostrich herl. It looks great when it is wet and has caught me a lot of fish.

    March 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    • Hi Chris, and thanks. I havent posted much in the last few days, I have been busy making SbS for magazines and I did a flyfair on Saturday here in my home town. David Edwards is visiting me next week and we thought we would try and do some salt water sea trout fishing but its -17 here today and the sea has frozen again, but it may change…

      March 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    • Chris Watson

      Hi Barry, I hope the conditions improve for you and David. I have got to say I think that the website is absolutely fantastic!!!! When I get a chance I will take some images of my caddis pattern and send them to you. All the best Chris

      March 12, 2013 at 7:04 pm

  6. Pingback: Melt Glue Caddis Pupa » Big Kype

  7. Another example of the Ostrich herl gills. I like it a great deal, and was glad to stumble upon this!. I particularly like that the Ostrich sinks into the melt glue, which I think is important to protect the delicate herl, as I find it inclined to break. (as per my comment on your other pattern, I have been winding it between V rib wraps to try to achieve the same). Thank you for the ideas.

    March 31, 2013 at 12:23 am

  8. Chris Watson

    I am intending to experiment with this further, using holographic or pearl tinsel underbodies, possibly organza gills and try using UV resin instead of the hot glue????!!!! Any thoughts????!!!!

    March 31, 2013 at 7:46 pm

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