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.
Melt Glue Caddis Pupa pattern recipe
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
How to tie Melt Glue Caddis Pupa
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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