Killer Caddises will be the death of me

Posted by Steve Galea at

I'm tying Killer Caddises today. I figure I'll do a dozen in all. Here's one tied on a size 14 hook. The beads are about a 1/16 of an inch or less. These flies require 12 beads each -- four on the hook and 8 somewhere on the floor.

Having said that, this is a neat little pattern that could imitate a bloodworm, caddis pupa or shrimp depending on bead colour. I don't think anyone outside of Mardi Gras drops more beads than me, however. Tweezers make the job simpler.

The pattern is as follows:

Hook Size 14 or 16 scud/caddis pupae hook

4 glass beads of appropriate size (get them at your local craft store and get lots...) Slide them on hook.

Thread: Fluorescent green or chartreuse for creating a dubbed butt. 

Green or chartreuse dubbing. Create ball at the tag end to hold beads on after you've slid them on the hook. After dubbing is applied, whip finish and cut thread. Then slde beads back snugly against the dubbing ball. (You could use many colours of dubbing but I prefer something that creates a hot spot.)

Thread for head: Wine Flymaster or 6/0

Head: Black or charcoal dubbing in front of beads.

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  • Thank you for this! My dad ties our Killer Caddis using black dubbing for the head and orange dubbing for the whole body. He puts four gold or cream colored beads on the body (maybe imitating an orange scud). This Orange Killer Caddis, a Sylvie, and the red blood worm are the only flies I need. Love that it takes 12, of which 8 end up on the floor – it’s true for him too! Since he sent me this link, I’m sure I’ll be getting this pattern ’Steve’s Killer Caddis’.

    Kris on
  • These impressionistic flies are meant to be unruly because all those wild fibres move in a current and simulate legs and gills and other indicators of life. Rest assured, we fly tyers have all sorts of dragonfly patterns too. Dragonfly naiads are much broader and bigger than this pattern though. The photo makes it look huge. In reality, it’s smaller than your baby fingernail.

    Steve on
  • Looks a little like the dragonfly nymph young William and I were reading about at Stuart Baker this morning. The nymph looked a lot tidier.

    Jack on

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