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PVC caddis larva

by Elaine Cook – fly tying Chairman

Caddis larva are available to trout year-round. They protect themselves in an interesting way. They surround their bodies with pebbles or twigs and move around with their heads and legs sticking out the front of this tube. This pattern simulates the larva out of its protective casing which occurs when they have outgrown their last one or they are ready to ascend to the surface as a pupa. Some caddis larva are free floating without a case. The PVC in the name of this pattern originated on the lower Owens River when former club member, Walt Robinson, speared one while fishing. We sat down and devise this fly then went out and successfully fished it all week. The type of thread used for the body is very important. Because of its thickness and shinny properties.

HOOK: TMC 200,2312, or 100  sizes 14–18.    Crimp barb

THREAD: kevlar, in natural (light cream)or olive color.
  • Attach thread 1/8 inch behind eye for smaller hooks, 3/16 inch for size 14 hooks.
  • NOTE: During all thread wraps keep thread flat by spinning counterclockwise.
  • Touching thread wraps toward rear of shank while holding tag at 45° angle.
  • Cut tag before end of shank.
  • Reposition hook with head lowered downward. This will make it easier to apply thread to rear of hook.
  • Continue rapping partway around bend of hook
BODY: same thread as above.
  • Keeping thread flat as described above, wrap thread forward to starting position. Then back to within one short of prior thread wraps. Repeat one more time.  NOTE: at this time you will have six wraps of thread on the shank that is slightly tapered at the rear.
  • Repeat one more time if tying size 14 hook.
  • Now make wraps to mid shank and back again to tie in. NOTE: at this time a tapered body has been formed.
  • Bring thread onto shank with one wrap.
  • Whip finish, cut thread.
  • Apply Zap-A-Gap or similar glue to entire body, let dry.
HEAD: Black 8/0 thread, AND peacock herl.
  • Attached thread behind eye.
  • Select one strand of peacock herl for small flies and two for size 14 hooks, that have barbs of moderate length.
  • Pinch off fragile tip.
  • Tie in tip back to body.
  • Advance thread to eye.
  • Wrap hurl forward using 4 wraps.
  • Tie off, cut excess, whip finish, cut thread.
  • Glue to tie off threads.