This is a little cased caddis pattern that I have been playing with lately. I have, admittedly, stolen the idea for the case from Rene Harrop’s cased caddis pattern and simply added a small dubbed body with a bead and some legs. This is a simple little fly that works very well on most freestone rivers, particularly so in the winter months when the pickins get a little slim. Try this fly on the Arkansas and Roaring Fork as well as the Frying Pan (yes, I know it’s not a freestone, but it’s loaded with cased caddis). Fish this fly dead drift right on the bottom with a small midge pattern like a Juju or Poison Tung behind it. The fly imitates those little stick cased caddis you snag off the bottom of the river, with the green body and black head poking out. Creepy!
Hook: The hook in the tutorial here is the Partridge Klinkhammer Hook, which has a beautiful black nickel finish, but the sizes are so oversized I find it hard to make use of. Try a #12-18 TMC 3761 or even 200 in its place.
Thread: Black 8/0
Bead: Black 2mm Tungsten
Weight: Lead Wire, .015 diameter
Case: Turkey Tail Feather Fibers
Body: Green Dubbing to match natural. I’ve used green beaver here, but nearly any dubbing will do in the right color
Legs: Black India Hen Saddle Fibers
Place the bead on the hook and slide it up to the eye. Wrap lead wire around the shank about fifteen turns. Break off the ends of the lead wire flush against the shank.
Shove the lead wraps up into the back of the bead. Note the amount of bare shank at the back of the hook. Start the thread behind the lead wraps. Build a smooth taper from the bare shank up onto the lead. Cross-hatch the thread over the lead wire to hold it in place.
Cut a slip from the turkey feather of about a dozen fibers. Trim the tip ends so they are square.
Tie the turkey fibers in by their tip ends at the back of the lead wraps and wrap back over them to the bend of the hook.
Place a piece of fine copper Wire in at the bend of the hook and lash it down as you bring the thread forward. Yes, I just realized I left the copper wire rib out of the recipe, so I’ll give you a minute to dig that out of your material stash before I go on. //whistling//
Bring the thread up to the three-quarter point and let it hang for a second. Put a thin coat of Gloss Coat over the thread wrapped hook shank in preparation for the next step. Adding the cement here will make this fly hold up much better, but it doesn’t matter if the fly has a few broken turkey fibers sticking out…most caddis cases are a little ragged anyway. Don’t use this as an excuse to get sloppy though, ‘kay?
Wrap the turkey tail fibers forward over the wet cement up tot the 75% point. Try to get the fibers to lie next to each other forming a smooth even body. Tie the turkey fibers off at the 75% point.
Counter wrap the copper wire over the turkey fibers up to the 75% point and tie the wire off as well. Cut the turkey and the wire at this point.
Dub a short section of thread and wrap a smooth, grubby little section at the front of the turkey case up to the back edge of the bead. The body should be just slightly smaller in diameter than the case.
Peel a few fibers from a hen saddle feather and even their tips. Measure this clump so the tips of the hen fibers reach just past the front edge of the case. Hold them in place for the time being with your thread hand.
Grasp the tip of the feathers in your material hand now and make a couple tight turns of thread over them to bind the down along the near side of the hook right at the back edge of the bead.
Ought to look like this…
Peel and even another like-sized clump and tie them in as you did the first clump only this time, you are going to place them on the far side of the hook.
Now you have creepy little legs sticking out both sides of the fly. Trim the butt ends of the hen fibers as close to the shank as you can. Make a couple turns of thread over the butts, right behind the bead, to smooth things out.
Whip finish the thread right behind the bead so the thread wraps pull down to the shank behind the bead. Clip the thread.
Finished fly, side view.