cased caddisBY TOM NOKES

(Published  February, 1992, Utah Fishing & Outdoors)

I have always been fascinated with entomology, or the study of bugs, as it was known to a boy of 10, and rock rollers were always of particular interest. They were large enough to be played with and easy enough to find and dissect.

My first attempts to recreate the shell housing didn’t go well at all. Gluing sand to paper with rubber cement looked good until you tried to attach it to a hook and wrap it around the shank. Some time later I found a caddis that had made his home out of pine needles instead of stone. That sparked a whole new idea to use hackle, and there were always plenty of hackles at the top of my necks that never got used or thrown away. Shortly, this pattern emerged.

I fished the cased caddis pattern off and on throughout several years, but only started using it seriously in the past couple. Come to find out, trout can’t tell much difference in a caddis cased in pine needles from the ones cased in pebbles.

This pattern in a size 10 took several fish on a trip to the Madison last November. It also performs very well on both the Provo and the Weber Rivers. I suspect that it will work for you on any water holding cased caddis.

Tie this one on a 3 or 4x long shank hook to give the body or case enough room to look correct. Also, use several different colors of junk hackle to give the shell a mottled look. You may want to vary the color of the body to a gray or olive. I use
Chamois most of the time.

HOOK: Dai-ichi 2220 4x Streamer
THREAD: 6/0 Brown
CASING: Large weby hackle — any junk will do
BODY: Chamois
COLLAR: Peacock

STEP 1: Attach tying thread to the hook and move it to the bend of the hook. Select four or six large hackles from the top Of any neck. Use several different colors. For example, one grizzly, two brown, two white, and one black. Junk hackle is any
hackle over a size 2, or has no other use as a wrapable feather. Tie all of these hackles in on the bend of the hook.

STEP 2: Wrap the hackles forward one at a time to the 3/4 mark of the hook. If you will wrap the hackle one at a time, you will get a better body because you will be able to fill the gaps that the first hackle left with the next one you wrap.

Once you have the hackle done and tied down, whip finish the fly and remove it from the vise to trim. The hackles need to be trimmed to about 1/4” in length, or half of the hook gap on smaller sizes. After you are satisfied with the trim, put the fly back into the vise.

STEP 3: Re-attach your tying thread and tie in a small strip of chamois. Wrap this in front of the hackles once or twice, leaving enough room for a small peacock collar. Tie in a peacock herl and wrap the collar. Tie this down, form a small head, whip finish and cement.

GO get ‘em!
Tom Nokes