Pennsylvania Trout Fishing

How to Tie a Simple and Effective All-Purpose Caddis in 3 Easy Steps:


One of the greatest joys of fly fishing is fooling a trout with a fly that you’ve tied. When tying imitative flies, I have found that there are two contrasting approaches, Hyper-Realistic vs Impressionistic.

In the Hyper-Realistic approach you carefully select the right materials and delicately tie the perfect imitation, sometimes spending an hour tying a single fly.

The Impressionistic approach aims to tie shape, color, and texture that are just clever enough to fool a trout.  One advantage of this approach is how quickly you can tie several flies. The all-purpose caddis pattern below takes only a few minutes to tie with some experience.



Thread: Black
Hook: “Hopper” hook sizes 12 – 20
Body: Spun Marabou Scraps (Black, Olive, Brown)
Wings: Elk Hair (Natural Color)
Hackle: Grizzly Hackle

Step 1: Spin the Marabou


Just like you would with regular dubbing material, spin a few fibers of marabou.  Not too tight, you want the bushy appearance.

Step 2: Secure the Elk Hair


You don’t need a lot of elk hair; a small pinch is fine.  The marabou will help keep this fly afloat.

Step 3: Wrap the Grizzly Hackle


After a few wraps of Grizzly hackle, secure and whip finish.  That’s it!
This big brown trout pictured below took a size 18 version of this exact dry fly.


Easy to tie and deadly! This dry fly has produced amazing results for me and my clients, especially on smaller creeks like Spruce Creek. I have a box full of this style fly, all colors and sizes 12-20. The smaller sizes fool even the most wary wild trout.

Tie up some of these flies and click here to fish Spruce Creek this spring!