Posts Tagged ‘bead head pupa


Fly Tying: Dubbing Brush Abdomen

These are your standard bead head pupa patterns  on the curved shank hooks (size 14). The pattern is unique in that I trailed a small portion of a dubbing brush from the bend of the hook and then wrapped the dubbing brush forward to build up the abdomen. Then a wing made from a section of hen feather and a turn or two of hackle behind the gold bead. The pattern is so productive. The trailing material from the dubbing brush stays intact and is durable. 



Fly Fishing: Rising or Diving Caddis

LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa (SwittersB)

Caddis patterns are fun to fish because the take is often aggressive. Whether you are swinging a pupa pattern along bottom or swinging it up toward the surface, the takes are solid. Fish often leap out of the water on lakes in pursuit of emerging (escaping) Caddis. But, another consideration is female Caddis returning to the surface and diving down to lay eggs. This diving (sinking) presentation is less often considered, but has been successful for me on lakes. I have  seen feeding activity and mistaken it for feeding upon emerging adults. Rising or Diving, the Pupa like patterns are a good offering. Even a dry (Elk Hair Caddis/Hairwing patterns) pulled under can serve in a pinch with a bit of shot (if allowed) a foot or so above the fly, or with a sinking line, or a heavier bead head nymph above the Caddis pattern. Many of the Caddis Pupa/Bead Head Pupa patterns, one sees these days, will suffice for this presentation. Check Google Images (or Scroogle Images-less selection-if you are a rebel) for patterns and see the variety of tying options. Bright greens are attractive, as depicted here, but earth tones are always a good bet.

Bead Head Pupa (SwittersB)


Fly Tying: Pupalicious Flavors & A.D.D.

Nothing more shows my lack of tying self-discipline than a pupa pattern. On the one hand, my creative side is free to wander in reckless abandon and reap rewards of angling success for it. On the other, I hide behind that creativity with an impressionistic mantel that does not hold me to pain staking sameness of one pattern’s look. Am I that ADD? I don’t think so, but perhaps. I just love the vast possibilities of a pupa pattern and the amazing success one has with the patterns. Regardless of whether you swing, tumble, dredge, troll or suspend them, they produce. With rare exceptions, I have total confidence in these patterns and the vast array of possibilities. They produce; from the top to the bottom of the water column. Punto!

Enjoyable, simple, creative to tie. The possibilities are endless. The hook style is my choice and by no means the only one to use. Also, the bead is not required, other than I like them for getting down on streams. Go ahead, lose yourself to some reckless, unbridled tying with pupa’s. Now, these patterns are not necessarily a pupa, per se, in entomological terms, but more in fly tying terms. They could be an emerging phase or nymphal or whatever, depending upon where and how you are presenting them. They are not confined to the Caddis realm.


Fly Tying: Pupalicious Patterns (Caddis Pupa)

Just another session of not so random experimentation for a larger Caddis pupa pattern. The hook in all the patterns (save one) is a Daiichi 1130 Pupa Hook, Size 10. 8/0 brown thread and the same gold bead. Beyond that I experimented with different abdomens of dubbing’s and dyed peacock herl and a mix of thoraxes using  dubbing or a deer hair collar. All of these patterns would work just dandy. Often, as I tie, I must lapse into ADD because I keep experimenting with “I wonder if’s”…changing the pattern here and there. Not a good habit if you have been asked to tie a dozen flies, all identical for a display, silent auction or gift. But, I enjoy tying this way. It drives the more systematic/anal types around me bonkers.

A Hackle Wound at Thorax on this one. SB

In four of the five patterns, I used a dubbing blend that I had purchased at The Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene, Oregon. There is no name on the small ziplock bag to ID the dubbing blend’s name. I grabbed it because it looked interesting…and hell yeah, it is very enticing. For the beginning fly tier, the bead head pupa pattern on a curved shank or straight shank hook is a good beginner’s pattern and a great producer for hookups. The same basic tying techniques and materials for a Wet fly are adaptable to the pupa patterns. Take away from this post: experiment, let yourself go off script (or pattern/recipe).


Fly Tying: Salvaged Craft Wire Pupa

I remarked yesterday that you need to keep your eyes open for this and that, that might lend itself to fly tying where you least expect it. This morning, I was putting the finishing touches on yet another drop box, while cleaning up my mom’s home and came upon a coiled mass of fine gold wire. Not sure what it was intended for, but there it was in a pile of stuff, tangled and a mess. I immediately saw possibilities for a small sampling and use as either ribbing or a wrapped abdomen.

Fine Gold Craft Wire (SwittersB)

Craft Wire Pupa (SwittersB)

Simple pupa pattern to demonstrate the wrapped fine gold wire for the abdomen. I took five or six strands of the wire and tied it in as well as a single strand of the fine dark olive ribbing wire. Note how much heavier the fine olive wire is than the even finer gold wires. I wrapped the gathered gold wires up the shank and then ribbed that with the olive wire. A dubbed thorax completed the fly. Another example of salvaged materials.


Fly Tying: Green Demon Pupa (Yes, Another Pupa Pattern)

I understand that there are only so many ways to construct a wheel. Most of the options or constructions work. So, yet another bead head pupa? Well, this little ‘demon’ has been a great lake pattern as a diving Caddis. I offer it as yet another pattern. It works well for stillwaters and streams. I like it and tied a bunch in Caddis green with green wire ribbing. Mixing up abdomen colors, ribbing color contrast and hook size, while leaving the thorax/wing materials would provide options.

Green Demon Caddis Pupa (SwittersB)


Fly Tying: Pupa Pattern (Peacock Herl & Partridge)

Caddis Pupa (Peacock & Partidge) SwittersB

Size 14 Pupa Hook…crimp barb and slide on gold bead…3 Peacock Herls tied in at bend of hook (wrap the three herls around the tying thread half a dozen times then wrap around shank)…no ribbing…tie in a Partridge feather by tip and wrap twice, then tie off and trim remainder of feather away…tie in black Ostrich herl and wrap four times. The barring of the Partidge is appealing. The Starling feather is also a good option.


Fly Tying: Starling & Peacock Ice Dub

Not much to say about this pattern. Nothing too novel on my part. I just like the Starling feather and Ice Dub thorax.

Wet Fly: Starling & Ice Dub (SwittersB)


Fly Tying the Pupatator (Bead Head Pupa……Jack Hagan Pattern)

This originally was a larger bead head pattern in the size 10 range that was run through riffles and runs for trout or when larger, the steelhead. Fished like a traditional nymph beneath a strike indicator, it catches fish year round. Here, I have tied it smaller than the original pattern. I tied it smaller and therefore use a Starling wing. I don’t tie much of a body. Mostly a thread body or a wound Krystal flash body comprised of a couple strands of flash wound up the shank. I focus more on the thorax where I dub in a ragged thorax of Ice Dub and allow strands to trail to the rear. I tie in two goose biots right behind the bead head. I arrange the biots to angle outward at an angle and to not extend back beyond the bend of the hook. Then I take a Starling feather and tie it in at the tip. I wrap it twice and tie it off. I love Starling feathers for wings more than Partridge feathers in smaller flies.



Biot Wing Application (Prince Nymph but works for this fly also)


Bead Head Pupa (Simple Stream Pattern)


Planet Trout reminded me that ‘simple’ is not simple unless a few additional details are offered: black or nickle bead, pupa hook, black sparkle dubbing and pearl core braid (light green or rootbeer) burned and crimped at rear.

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