“Caleb’s Cased Caddis”
Hook: TMC 3761 #8-14
Weight: Tungsten bead (you can use brass for a lighter version) and .020-. 025″ lead wire
Body: Peacock crystal chenille
Case: Molted turkey
Last October I made a trip to the backcountry of the Smokies to hunt up some brown trout. Jim Estes, a local of Bryson City and expert smokies fly fisherman recommended that I try some cased-caddis patterns (which he called Chimney Cased Caddis). While in the larvae stage , these caddis build elaborate square-shaped cases to live inside of before entering the pupa stage and hatching into an adult.
Here are a couple websites with photos of these insects:
Back to my camping/fishing trip… the short story is that I came up with this fly pattern to imitate the cased larvae and ended up smoking the fish which included scoring an 18 inch brown!
The thread rib tends to limit it’s durability (the fly typically lasted me about 15 fish before getting chewed up although the fish liked it even after getting shredded) and a wire rib didn’t give the same look. Feel free to improve the pattern and be sure to post any suggestions you may come up with!
Here are some step-by-step tying sequence photos:
1. After sliding the bead on the hook and wrapping the lead wire on the shank, secure the wire with thread and tie in the chenille just behind the bead. (Don’t wrap the lead wire all the way to the hook bend.)
2. Make 1 1/2 to 2 close wraps with the chenille and tie off.
3. Now, wrap your thread to the back of the hook behind the lead wire. Tie in three slips of molted turkey feather (two one top, and one on the bottom), butts toward the rear and leaving the tips 2x the body length.
4. Secure the turkey feathers down along the body. You can trim most of the fibers off behind the chenille, but be sure to leave a few for legs! Now using thread, build a taper up towards the front of the fly before coating the body with cement or any type of fingernail polish.
5. Pull each slip of turkey up one at a time and tie each one off just behind the chenille.
6. As you tie the turkey down, make sure they are tight.
7. Wrap the thread back over the body to creating a rib and tie off at the very back of the fly. Finally trim the turkey feather butts off, taking care to leave the legs underneath intact. When trimming the butts off at the front, don’t trim them too close (this will give the illusion of the opening of the case).
8. The finished fly. Coat the thread wraps and tie-off point with cement.