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Peeping Cased Caddis Larva
  • Hook: #12-20 Nymph
  • Thread: 70 Denier Black
  • Case: Cream Hen Soft-Hackle
  • Body: Caddis Green Dubbing
  • Legs: Black Hen Hackle
  • Head: Black Thread

I tied a bunch of these attempting to imitate the various Caddis larva found in our Driftless Area streams. The hen hackle that forms the case was palmered very tightly/thickly. The hackle is then trimmed to shape, here I attempted to create a square case, nature is difficult to imitate. After the fly was finished I colored the case with Bic Mark-It Permanent Markers to match similar colors found on stream.

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Peeping Cased Caddis Larva (Variant)
  • Hook: #12-20 Nymph
  • Thread: 70 Denier Black
  • Rib: SM Silver Ultra Wire
  • Case: Cream Hen Soft-Hackle
  • Body: Green Ultra Chenille
  • Head: Burnt Chenille

The only change with this pattern from the one above is something I’ve seen done many times before, simply adding a small section of Green Ultra Chenille after the rib has been counter wrapped and tied off to form the larva body. The head is formed by lightly singeing the end with a lighter, be careful not to burn too much of the chenille. I also lifted the chenille up and tied my thread off underneath giving it a permanent lift and clearing the hook eye at the same time.

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Peeping Cased Caddis Larva (Beaded Variant)
  • Hook: Mustad 37160 #16-20
  • Thread: 70 Denier Black
  • Rib: SM Copper Ultra Wire
  • Case: Brown Hen Soft-Hackle
  • Body: Olive Beads
  • Legs: Black Hen Hackle Fibers
  • Head: Black Thread

We have a wide variation in the size, shape, and color of the cased caddis larva that inhabit our waters as with most streams. This is an attempt to imitate some of the larger fatter curved cased caddis larva that I find frequently on some of our streams. I used Olive colored beads for the body of the peeping larva and although I’m not confident the color choice was correct (I will be taking samples and finding out the proper color for the larva in the coming months) I do think this will catch trout. The case is formed again by palmering hackle then trimming it to shape afterwards. I love the Mustad 37160 and felt the amount of curve I wanted would not come from a standard scud hook so I turned to my stash of 37160’s to do the job, this hook rocks.

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Cased Caddis Larva
  • Hook: #12-20 Nymph
  • Thread: 70 Denier Black
  • Rib: Pearl Krystal Flash
  • Case: Cream Hen Soft-Hackle
  • Head: Black Thread

This pattern was left un-colored for assessment later on stream. I’ll carry a few markers with me and make a color choice when in the field and adjust this fly accordingly. I used flash rather than wire for a rib simply for variation, the wire will likely hold up longer but I’ll loose the fly for some unforeseen reason long before the flash rib breaks. Keeping it simple I left out the peeping portion of the caddis, they are not always sticking out of the cases and in fact most cased specie of caddis seal themselves inside the case during the initial phase of pupating.


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  1. One stream I fish here in AZ has a really prolific Mother’s day hatch. Prior to the hatch the rocks are covered in those cased caddis. The brown trout just gorge themselves on these nuggets. I was taking my large stonefly nymphs and cutting off the back tails to try and match the casing. I really like your ties much better. I’m going to have to steal some of those ideas and tie up a batch. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Thanks Ben, I like the look that the soft-hackle makes for the case. Without going to the trouble of say gluing rocks to a hook in an attempt to make a very realistic looking case, I think this does a fairly good job of imitating the look and feel of some of the cased caddis that inhabit most streams where trout reside. As for stealing? Nothing I’ve done above is really anything new, just doing what someone who knows more than me figured out a while ago I’m sure. Everything is fair game, I do try to give credit to specific people if I know the pattern orginated from a sole individual like John Barr’s Graphic Caddis. Take care.

  3. Nice bugs! Caddis are always a great “go to” pattern anywhere trout are found.
    The burned chenille is a nice touch.
    I know a few guys who utilize the abandoned rock cases of the october caddis and dub a little spiky black fur in front. I’ve yet to try it. Looks good though.
    BTW, Thanks for the link.

    avatar Jim

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