Melt Glue Caddis Pupa:
Hook: Mustad C49SNP-BR # 12-8
Body: Melt Glue
Gills/rib: Olive Ostrich herl
Feelers: Two pheasant tail fibers
Thorax/Head: Cream and Black Antron / hares ear dubbing and CdC
A good caddis pupa pattern can make the difference between no fish and fish !
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 the those that make there 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 well.
When fishing this pattern, I like to dress only the head and collar with a good floatant ie: cdc oil, this also creates a perfect air bubble around the head just like the natural, and only when the pattern has soaked a little water does it begin to fish correctly. When the porous leather and dubbed underbody 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.
The trick to tying this pattern is knowing your glue! You have to have the drying or hardening time down to a fine art. If it too fluid the ostrich herl will sink into the glue and the fly will be ruined. If the glue has set too much the herl will not penetrate enough and will break when fished or slide down the body and unravel. So make a few tests first to check the drying time of the glue you are using.
Secure your curved caddis hook in the vice.
Attach your tying thread to the rear of the hook.
Select some nice long ostrich herl.
Tie in a long ostrich herl at the tail of the hook.
Choose the color of glue for the body needed and place in your glue gun. Make sure that your melt glue gun has reached temperature before you try and use it.
Run a length of glue over the hook shank to form the rear body of the pupa.
Once the glue is applied to the hook shank you have to act quickly.
Rotate your vice head so you can manipulate the body shape as it sets.
Just before the glue has set fully, wrap your ostrich herl rib in even turns just tight enough that the herl sinks a little into the melt glue.
Finish wrapping the herl at the from position of the glue. You wont need to tie this down if done correctly, the glue will hold it in position.
Attach your tying thread.
With a waterproof felt pen mark the top of the body with downward strokes.
Dubb a little cream colored Antron dubbing to the tying thread. The one I use is a Antron / hares ear mix that makes it a little more spiky.
Wrap the dubbing as the collar.
Give the dubbing a few harsh brushes with an old tooth brush. When wet this cream dubbing will create a kind of veil over the pupa body that will give the impression of a gas filled pupal case.
Now select a CdC hackle and place in a MP Magic tool or a bulldog clip.
Trim off the hackle stem leaving about 1 or 2 mm.
If you can split you tying thread to make a dubbing loop and spin the CdC.
Wind on the dubbing loop taking care to brush the fibers back with each turn. Tie off the cdc with a single whip finish.
Give the whole head a few harsh brushes with the tooth brush.
Now dubb the head of the pupa with a little buggy black Antron/ hares ear mix.
Tie in two long pheasant tail fibers for the feelers with the natural curve down and backwards.
Finish off with a little more black Antron dubbing and whip finish.
Remove the tying thread and give the whole fly a good brushing with the tooth brush.
Its when the melt glue caddis pupa becomes wet that it really comes to life, with the legs, gills and segmented body moulded into one small pupa.
The finished soaked pupa.
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I thought that you might like to see this ‘one off’ vice that was hand-made by Marc Petitjean for me! Marc designed the vice to make photographing flies easier, or should I say quicker. Once a fly is placed in the jaws of the vice, the vice head can be removed and placed into one of the very precisely engineered 4 head slots. This gives the impression of true rotary (through the camera) creating a 360 degree effect both horizontally and vertically !
Photographically this means that I can photograph a fly from above, underneath, the side and from the front without changing focus, moving the camera or the pedestal. Pure Genius!
Heres a nice little film from the science channel showing how a Regal vice is made. Although a good few minutes viewing, they could have made a better job with a little advice on how a vice is used from a real fly tyer… That being said, a good vice and a good advertisement for our craft! Enjoy.
THE SPOOL TOWER
There are constantly new tools, gadgets and other fly tying paraphernalia being launched as a must have for your fly tying bench. The truth be known, most of them are re-invented copies of existing tools or just down right useless, creating only more clutter on the tying bench for you to keep in order. That being said, once in a while you come across an item that actually does help keep things in check, the spool tower is one of them!
I was recently made aware of this storage system at EWF by its creator Herwig Haas from friends of fly fishing in Bavaria. Probably the most difficult piece of fly tying tackle to keep tidy is spools of thread, wire, floss and beads as over the years we acquire so many different sizes, colours, spools etc that can quickly create a state of chaos on the tying bench!
The plastic discs and base tool housings rotate smoothly.
The spool tower retains all the immediate spooled item that is being used of thread, floss and wire in neat easily rotatable discs that hold six spools each.
The transparent discs make finding the correct stored spool simple and the deep retaining spool hole keeps the thread end in place and eliminates the problem of them unwinding. The tower also takes small polythene spool sized tubs, that are available with or without a small hole in the lid. These make easy access and storage of beads, cone heads and other small materials that you use often.
The tower fully loaded
The towers can be personalised and extended as and when you require more levels by purchasing the extra levels needed. The discs rotate smoothly and the towers are sturdy and well balanced, even when one tower is loaded with tubs of Tungsten beads and the other with spools of tying thread. For those of you that don’t have a permanent tying bench or if you travel often with your tying kit, a tidy caddy can be purchased that the towers neatly slid into keeping everything in place when packed away.
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