Ribbon Caddis



Alan Bithell created this Ribbon Caddis pattern. After he introduces the fly to us, he shows us how to tie it with a step-by-step. Alan ties custom flies under the name, Crackaig Flies. Take it away Alan!

The first time I saw a Grannom caddis fly emerge onto the water surface I prepared to defend myself! It was huge. One of the biggest flies I’ve seen on any British water. At over 1 ¼” they are the largest of our caddis flies, at the other end of the scale they are impossible to imitate on a hook.

When a caddis gets dislodged or begins its swim to the surface it is at its most vulnerable to predation by trout. Not only during a hatch do imitations of caddis pupa produce fish, they are “remembered” by trout as a good meal, so they will grab them whenever they get the chance. This makes imitations of caddis pupa great searching patterns, Often my first choice when there is no hatch going on.

If it is true that trout obtain most of their food sub surface, then it makes sense to have good imitations of larval and pupal stages of the most prolific insects. Here is a caddis pupa that ticks many of the boxes. I am presenting it here as a basic chassis of a fly for you to make your own additions to. Things like wing buds, antennae etc. can be added if you feel the need. I tend to keep them simple, just a juicy grub for the fish to snack on.


Hook: Any grub hook in an appropriate size.

Weight: (if required) A few turns of lead or none toxic wire.

Thread: Usually a neutral colour in 6/0 or 8/0. (You will not see it).

Body: Nymph Skin (available in many colours but here I’ve used yellow).

Rib: Stripped organza ribbon.

Thorax cover: Nymph Skin.

Legs: Partridge neck feather.

Thorax: A touch of loose dubbing, Here I’m using a mix of hare’s mask and CdC fibres.

The fly is finished.

Organza ribbon is available from craft stores or florists

Nymph Skin is available from Virtual Nymph


Filed under Step by Step

4 Responses to Ribbon Caddis

  1. I love this fly. When I first saw it I thought there is no way I can tie that. Thanks for the step by step.

  2. Glad you liked it. The SBS is really for creating the abdomen, feel free to dress up the thorax with any bits you like. Wing buds, antennae different legs etc. will all add your own touch. If you feel it needs the addition or change do it. Adding your own touches to it will add to the confidence you fish it with, and that’s an ingredient you can’t buy.