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Caddis Nymphs

Caddis Pupa (Nymph) Patterns

Even when a Caddis hatch is on, one of the most effective ways to hook trout is to use soft hackle flies and other wet fly patterns that mimic Caddis pupae. During a hatch, the pupae will be everywhere from the river bed to the surface film, from mid-stream to the riffles and shallows – and they present a very easy meal as they emerge.

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More about Caddis

The life cycle if the Caddis fly is fascinating. The larvae of many species spin homes from silk: some make tents, others build cases from sand, tiny pebbles, or wood, or vegetation. Some carry their cases (or even swim) with them at this stage; others use their tents as a base; others still spin tiny fishing nets. Before becoming adults they convert their home to a cocoon by sealing it with silk, and transform to a pupa. The pupae leave the cocoon and make their way to the surface or shore, where a final transformation takes place as the adult fly emerges from the pupa. Some Caddis pupae make straight for the surface; others drift for miles before being triggered to ascend by the right water temperature.

How to fish Caddis larva or pupa patterns

Trout and other fish do eat larvae, but pupae are a particularly good food source because they are vulnerable whilst drifting and even more so when emerging. Patterns that imitate larvae are best bounced along the bottom with the current to mimic a dislodged insect in its weighted case. Soft hackle pupa patterns can be fished to pass for a drifting Caddis pupa waiting for the right temperature to ascend, but are generally reckoned to be most effective when presented as a pupa making its way to, or just reaching, the surface. Caddis flies are at their most helpless whilst they are squeezing out of the shuck and unfurling their wings on the surface film – and trout look for this.

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