Can you pick up a stone in the rivers you fish and NOT find them in good quantity? In ALL the rivers I fish, there are a minimum of 3-4 on every rock, often a dozen or more. They very in species, size and color. The caddis larva I see the most are either a dirty cream/grey color, or a muted dirty green color. I tie this fly in both of the aforementioned colors, in several sizes.
While I tend to tie and use attractor patterns when nymph fishing, there are times when accurate imitation is what it takes to get fish.
In an article from FLY FISHERMAN magazine several years ago, I read about what were called the "succulent series" of flies. A tier in Colorado came up with this, and several other subsurface flies that used plastic to provide a shiny, segmented effect. I tied several of the concoctions and fished them that season. The caddis larva was the most productive, and its been part of my arsenal ever since. It has proven
itself many times, even in slow water where (in my opinion) trout are the least likely to take a nymph.
Tying The Caddis larva Fly Pattern
Hook: Tiemco #2487 size #16-#10
Thread: Dark brown 8/0
Weight: .020" lead wire
Tail: Z-lon, dirty yellow/tan or olive
Rib: 4x tippet material
Back: Strip of plastic cut from an empty dubbing bag-IN CLEAR, GOOD CONDITION about 1/8" wide
Body: Tan/olive rabbit fur dubbing
Head: Dark brown rabbit/antron dubbing (Hareline)
Legs: Black ostrich herl Brown, waterproof marker
NOTE: The best way to cut the plastic strip is with a utility knife (x-acto/Olfa) and a straight edge/ruler.
Wrap lead, approx. 6-10 wraps, depending on hook size. Secure with thread, create a tapered effect so the body will look natural.
Tie in Z-lon tail, over size.(length) Note: I find that the full width of Z-lon is too much, I use about 3/4 of it.
Tie in the tippet rib material.
Tie in plastic strip, starting about where the lead wraps end. As the strip is wider than it needs to be at the tail, stretch the plastic as you wind the thread back. Begin dubbing the body as shown.
Tie in the ostrich herl, dub the head, leaving a little bit more room near the eye of the hook than you normally would.
Wind the ostrich herl forward, about 3 or 4 turns. Tie off.
Pull plastic strip forward, stretching just enough to keep it centered on the TOP of the fly. At the point where the strip will lie over the dark brown
dubbed head, mark the strip with the brown marker on both sides. Lay the strip down under a bit of tension to check for position.
Tie off plastic, trim close to the head.
Wind the tippet material forward to create a segmented effect. Try to get 2 wraps over the brown section of the plastic. It looks buggy, and is accurate as the head of the naturals tapers a bit like the tail does. Trim the tail to length, a bit irregular.
Good luck HipWaders! I think this fly is a great addition to ANY fly box.