Caddisflies are one of my favorite insects to imitate. In fact, the first rainbow I landed on a fly I tied myself came on the ubiquitous Elk Hair Caddis. Getting a hit on top is exciting, however if you want to increase your chances for catching fish, consider tying on a caddis pupa instead.

Emerging caddis pupa often spend a great deal of time drifting in the water before they make it to the surface. Dead drift this pattern near the bottom in the riffles or drift it near the surface.

When designing the MKCaddis Pupa, the goal was to create a semi-realistic pattern that was fishable but also simple to tie. The MKCaddis Pupa may be tied with or without weight depending on how you want to fish it.

HOOK: curved caddis hooks
THREAD: 8/0 olive
RIBBING: sheer craft ribbon
BODY: latex strip
COLOR: prismacolor markers in olive
UV RESIN: Deer Creek Diamond Flex
DUBBING: mohair (California Leech)
ANTENNA: 2 strands of pheasant tail olive

Step 1: To make the ribbon ribbing , cut off about 3 inches, then cut it in half length-wise.

Step 2: Remove the length-wise strands to make a ribbon hackle.

Step 3: Thread the hook.

Step 4: Tie in the ribbon hackle.

Step 5: Tie in the latex strip. Next, build a body with the thread, making it a little more thicker in the rear.

Step 6: Wrap the body with the latex strip.

Step 7: Color the fly.

Step 8: Apply a light coat of Deer Creek Diamond Flex (this resin is for soft bodies and will cure without hardening the fly). DO NOT CURE IT YET.

Step 9: Next, wrap the ribbon hackle around the fly over the resin, then tie in.

Step 10: Cure the resin. This will secure the ribbon on the body and leave a nice coat on the body. It will also protect the color and body, making it a more durable fly.

Step 11: Trim the ribbon strands.

Step 12: Add dubbing.

Step 13: Tie in 2 stands of pheasant tail for the antenna – making the length approximate to the hook bend.

Step 14: Add more dubbing in front before whip finishing the fly.


A caddis pupae is my go-to fly on virtually every piece of freshwater I fish when I don't have a specific gameplan in mind.

From the looks of it, this is one of the nicest patterns I've seen. I'm not so sure about the easy to tie part, though. :)

Thank you! You should give this a try - it is really quite simple. I have prepped all my my latex strips (that I cut from a latex swimming cap -paid $1 for it ) and ribbons for future use. =)