Published Jul 26. 2007 - 16 years ago
Updated or edited Aug 8. 2015

Ultimate Caddis ?


Ruan's Killer Caddis,
I am hesitant to say that I invented this fly....but I actually think I did, It all started some time ago when I was fishing in the river Ipoyl in northern Hungary , there was quite a Caddis hatch , so I opted for an CDC &EHC - a great floater , but not unsinkable , especially with hundreds of bleak around ( for those of you who don't know bleak.... they are small fish +- 10cm on average whose sole purpose on earth is to sink well presented dries) , so after my EHC was sunk by a bleak I thought to myself, it has to be possible to make an unsinkable Caddis imitation - which still looks like the natural...... after a while of experimenting I finally settled for the following recipe :

Hook : 16 - 10 TMC 100
Thread: white 8/0
Body : Cream Anton dubbing
Legs : generic hackle ( i use grizzle)
Wing : 1mm craft foam , colour - Tan
Antennae : Elk hair / stripped hackle barbs

I now have a Caddis imitation which floats like a cork , looks realistic , skates across the water very well and it is very easy to tie.... what more do you need ? I now use this fly almost exclusively when fishing dries


But as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating...... here is a chub which fell for a Killer caddis

waterdog's picture

Tying steps...

Debarb the hook, and lay a thread foundation
Make a thin body with antron dubbing
Now tie the hackle feather about 1/3 from the front of the shank
Spin the hackle, 2 turns should be enough , tie off and cut the remainder of the hackle
Now cut out a triangular piece of 1mm craft foam , the size will be dictated by the hook you are using , but the foam should never extend past the bend of the hook - this will lead to fewer hook ups
The foam needs to be secured in two places, once where the hackle finishes, and again behind the eye of the hook,this avoids the foam staying flat which makes the fly twist during casting.
You can now tie in the antennae , this is an optional extra - the fly works just as well without it...
Thats it.....easy or what ? this is the bottom view, looks like a caddis to me..give it a try and tight lines & screaming reels !

Nice fly but I'm not sure...

Nice fly but I'm not sure that fish takes that as caddis but something else, or well you don't never know surely ;) But foam wing is too wide in my opinion to imitate caddis on the water surface. Check out for example some pictures from the web how the caddis looks like on the water surface, in my opinion narrow winged patterns imitate better caddis on the water suface on drift :)

One really good caddis imitation is made from deer hair like Coddard caddis but with parachute hackle and no other body than deer hair, that's great caddis pattern and floats well too.

I have noticed that using narrow wing pattern is better than wider.

Something like that on the image, body can still be however more narrow than in the image (hook size in the image is #14 and #16).


waterdog's picture

Hi Masi , ...

Hi Masi ,

Thanks , The wing can be folded or trimmed to give a different profile.

I know, and like the Goddards caddis , but after a while the deer hair gets soaked which causes the fly to sink - something which does not happen to foam , plus the killer caddis is much easier to tie....... I am a bit challenged by deer hair.... especially on small hooks.

Yes, foam can be cutted to...

Yes, foam can be cutted to give more narrow profile but less you have the foam more easily fly will sink :( I have tried foam winged patterns and not been wery happy for those, but maybe i will try it again some day ;)

I use fly floatant with my Coddard variation, it floats quite well but of course you have to false casts it to get it dry some times.

By the way I know the problem with small fish that takes dry flies, there's a lot of small fish also in streams and rivers in Finland too ;)

Tight lines!

By the way, here's one 45cm grayling with that kind of Coddard caddis variation, hook size #14:


nice grayling!...

nice grayling!

hey Masi, you tie it the way...

hey Masi, you tie it the way you want! Your version looks good enough for me and I will give it a go here in Scotland this summer. Tight lines.

Jared DuBach's picture

Peacock Caddis...

Anybody use a peacock caddis? I tie mine onto a curved nymph hook. The elk wing and hackle keep the top half on the surface at an angle and the peacock body sits curved down into the water like a caddis that's emerging, except it bridge even that fine gap between emerger and adult.

The attached photo shows my variation, but on this one I tied the wing too far back. Normally, I tie it much close to the front with just a few turns of hackle.

Jared DuBach -- Angle Lake Fly Tyers



Thank you very much for [color=blue:2e589ba14a]Step by step sharing[/color:2e589ba14a] with us !


Nice fly Waterdog, I will tie...

Nice fly Waterdog, I will tie some up and give them a go, they should be deadly scated across the Major Jones pool in the evening.
Thanks for posting the pattern.
All the best.


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