Posts Tagged ‘Pupa Pattern


Fly Tying: Twisted Sister…….

In fly tying, there are many ways to form an abdomen/thorax area. In the abdomen region (rear 1/2/ to 2/3’s of hook shank/fly) you can dub fur, hair, synthetics; wrap wool yarns, threads, quills, tinsels, silk and chenilles.

One technique, I like, is to tie in strands of a material, twist it into a fairly tight noodle and wrap it forward and tie off. What you get is a nice segmented body. I pointed to this technique awhile back it is depicted below with strands of Krystal Flash twisted and then wrapped.

green bead head pupa SBThe Twisted Sister (my quaint name to work in the word ‘twisted’…but you can use it too) is a bead headed Pupa Pattern with the twisted abdomen, a dubbed thorax region to provide some flash and leggy material on a size 14 pupa hook. This sub surface pattern is dredged and tumbled along the seams near rapids, riffles and pocket water. It is a touch too big here to be a dropper pattern, but this size can be reduced down: smaller bead, smaller hook, fewer strands of twisted fibers for a more slender abdomen.


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 Tying: Caddis Pupa Pattern


Hatches Magazine provides a very nice pattern (S-B-S/pics) for a Caddis Pupa that uses a latex product, Nymph Skin, to form the abdomen. A nice pattern of the bead head pupa variety. Good visuals.


Fly Tying: Pheasant Tail Antennas/Wings

Diving, sinking or tumbling, I am not sure a fish will ever extract the niceties of the barbules of a pheasant tail feather barb. Many synthetics, today, grab the movement or flash that suggest movement/life for an offered replica. But, for a natural material that has just the right color, edginess and durability, Pheasant Tail barbs are a wonder material.

Pheasant Tail Antenna/Wing on BH Caddis Pupa (SwittersB)


Fly Tying: Thread Body & Wire Rib (Segmentation)

Yesterday, I presented a fly pattern with an abdomen created from a piece of twisted, synthetic fibers (Zelon or Antron). The twisting of the fibers and careful wrapping up the shank creates an impression of segmentation. In the below photo, I am showing what I often use, which is a tying thread body with an overlay of wrapped wire ribbing, which also shows segmentation.

What is missing are the fibers that suggest life from dubbing, yarns, ostrich, peacock, pheasant tail etc. Considering that many of these pupa/emerger patterns are tumbling through riffles, it is debatable if it is required. Tie the stiffer patterns like this one and add animation in the thorax. In other patterns add life in the abdomen with materials to suggest gills (like the Fuzzle pattern yesterday). This pattern simply shows the ease of a thread body. The thorax is a little beefy and the thread abdomen could have been tapered larger as it neared the thorax. Still, looks ok. Beard is starling feather barbs and collar is black ostrich.  Hook: Size 14. Dubbing: Ice Dub (Peacock)

Thread body and wire ribbing (SB)


Fly Tying: Czech Nymph or Scud Pattern

Czech Nymph, Scud, Pupa, Larva Imitation~SwittersB

A great beginner’s pattern and it will catch fish world wide. Most often considered a Czech Nymph, mine is slightly different in that I don’t include an under-ribbing (see GFF tutorial). It seems to get lost for me, so I stay with the more traditional scud tie of a single ribbing over the shellback.

The hook is a large scud/pupa hook: size 12 (this can be tied large (8) to small (16)). The thread here is 8/0 tan. The ribbing is tied in first at the bend. The ribbing is 4# clear mono. A tan scud shellback is then tied in at the same spot as the wire ribbing. Both the ribbing and shellback are allowed to hang to the rear. The abdomen material is tan rabbit fur, which I twist/dubbed onto the thread. I then wrapped the tan dubbing up the shank 2/3’s of the way. Then I dubbed with a blend of a little peacock Ice Dub and green rabbit fur for the thorax area and made it slightly thicker than the abdomen. Note many Czech Nymphs are usually uniform in thickness rear to front. Then I gently pulled the shellback over the top of the abdomen/thorax out over the hook eye to impart a little stretch (don’t pull too tight and snap the shellback). Tie off the shellback with your off hand and cut off the excess. Make sure the thread wraps are tight enough to secure the shellback. Now wrap the ribbing up the body in equidistant turns and tie it off at the head. Then form a nice thread head and finish.

There are a multitude of color combinations. I did not weight this pattern, but it is normally heavily weighted and fished as a dredging pattern…short line and dredged along setting on any bump. I have posted several earlier posts about Cz Nymphing. Search upper right for all kinds of info…also look at the Vladi Worm for an interesting pattern that will challenge your materials securing skills.


Fly Tying the Simple Dubbed Pupa for beginners

Caddis, Chironomid, Mayfly, Scud…the simple pupa pattern is simple in silhouette and design. The basic fly then lends itself to the bead and/or the wing. Keep it sparse and the pattern can be tied in different colors, although I have a proven comfort with green.

The pattern can be tied on hooks ranging from size 10 to size 18. Today I tied size 16’s and 14’s for the bead heads. I used the curved pupa hook, but you could use a straight shank hook.

Limerick Bend

Depending upon the size bead you use, you may have to crimp the barb down, which you would anyway if practicing C&R. For straight shank hooks be certain the bend of the hook is a sproat bend, a more circular bend, which allows the hook to slide up around the bend and up the shank to the eye. A more confined bend (Limerick) will thwart the application of the bead.

I used 8/0 black thread. The dubbing was a synthetic blend of sparkle dubbing with no spikiness. Insect green (Caddis Green) depending upon the manufacturer and black were used. I dubbed to the thread as opposed to a dubbing loop and was careful to dub sparsely. A copper wire rib was used.

How To For Basic Non-Beaded Pupa:

Put hook in vise…attach thread..wrap to rear at bend…tie in copper ribbing…dub abdomen with green dubbing…wrap copper wire ribbing up abdomen spacing wraps to give segmented appearance. If wraps dig into dubbing and disappear then counter wrap over dubbing so that wire lays over top of dubbing wraps or grooves…tie off wire and cut (not with tips of scissors, further down on blades)…dub black thorax same thickness as abdomen…tie off the head.

If you were going to add the bead head then it is the first thing to do…slide the bead on and then apply thread and tie as described above. If a wet fly is desired then the starling or partridge wing is wrapped just ahead of the thorax (allow enough room for this and don’t crowd the eye). If you want a bead head-wet then the wing goes on as a last step right behind the bead. The rest of the fly is the same…built upon the basic dubbed pupa. Excellent Dubbing Information.

Fished alone or as a dropper in smaller sizes, the simplicity does not detract from the fly’s effectiveness. More is not better, except in our obsession to over tweak every pattern. There is a reality of the simple fly, well presented and attended to does catch fish. Most adornments beyond that are for our appreciation and artistic bent.


Romanian Tutorial On Pupa de Scorobete


Pupa~Lucian Vasies

Pupa~Lucian Vasies

Straight forward visuals on how to tie this pupa and rough up the abdomen for scraggily bug life like (movement) appearance. As always, Mr. Vasies’ photography is exceptional in its clarity and effectiveness. I made an effort to define ‘Scorobete’…not sure if place, person or ???.


Czech or Polish or ??? nymphing (historical development of great flies)

Drifting Czech Nymph

Drifting Czech Nymph

 “From what I can gather the Czech Nymph has been around since the mid Seventies.I wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to who invented the original but I suspect it was developed as an alternative to dead-drifting weighted spiders. Originally, I presume they were tied as a general representation of shrimp,caddis etc. The most important thing is too keep profile slim which helps sink rate. This was achieved by using square-cut lead.With todays materials the worlds your oyster.”

“The Czech method requires flies that will sink rapidly, such as heavy and slim Czech nymphs. These nymphs imitate caddis larvae or gammarus.”

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