This is a fly that for some reason I haven’t seen tied by many people within the sites I visit. LaFontaine in Caddisflies really goes to great lengths with hours of underwater observation of this fly in action to explain why he believes its so functional. The answer lies within light. LaFontaine explains that as the pupal shell fills with bubbles the light reflects underwater changing the way the trout perceive the fly. I find this very interesting. He explains that previous pupa patterns with the emerging wing typically tied would never give off this light pattern and so trout would only passively feed on imitations. The introduction of Antron tied in such a way as to provide a space for air to be trapped simulated the bubbles and thus the reflection. When LaFontaine tested this he found that trout to conserve energy feed in a 2ft radius when holding a feeding pattern. A sparkle pupa could get trout to move up to 8ft from the feeding spot to investigate and strike. He goes on about how successful this pattern is. So here is my version of LaFontaine’s Sparkle Pupa. I’m calling mine the GlowBug.
Deep Sparkle Pupa:
Hook: #14-18 Std. Nymph Hook
Weight: Hook Shank length of .15 and 4 wide spirals from hook bend to front.
Pupal Shell: Clear/White Antron Fibers
Underbody: Green Dubbing mixed with Clear Antron Trimmings. (Note: Difficult to Dub)
Legs: Black Hackle Fibers
Thorax: Black Marabou Fibers
This fly is fairly easy to tie. Tie lead on the bottom of the hook shank to the start of the bend. Wind four wide spirals down the hook towards the eye and I stop with a 1/4 shank left for the head. Tie off and wind thread to the rear. Tie in an inch and a half section of Antron yarn in the color you want and make sure to pick the fibers free. I’ve found that a comb doesn’t work well and the fibers bunch up rather I use my dubbing pick and hold one end while working the fibers free from the opposite end. Once free tie to the rear of the hook on the top. Secure in place and to the same with another section on the bottom side of the hook right at the start of the bend. Keep the two sections separate and dub the body. Stop where the lead ends to leave room for the head. Fold both sections of antron over and tie off with a few loose wraps. I use a dubbing pick to pull the fibers loose to create the shell. Tie off tightly and clip excess. I use the excess in the next dubbing mix. Tie in hackle fibers on each side splaying towards the hook point (or as close as you can get it in my case). Tie in a few marabou fibers. Note: Fly tying for me has been about the key that less is more, this is the case here, I used too many fibers and wrapped twice. Don’t do this, use 3-4 fibers and wrap once. Tie off and whip finish.
Here is another:
Here the black hackle was replaced with Lemon Woodduck and because I didn’t have cream marabou I used dubbing which I should have picked out a bit. I will later.
Emerging Sparkle Pupa:
Hook: 14-18 Std. Nymph Hook
Pupal Shell: Green Antron
Underbody: Bright Green Dubbing and Green Antron fibers cut and mixed.
Wing: Dark Deer Hair tied Short
Head: Black Marabou Fibers
Same process minus the weight and add the more pronounced wing. The trick is getting the antron to shape around the fly. I have tried dunking them in water and in fact the antron does hold air bubbles in.