Glass Bead Caddis Pupa - step by step

  • Print

Glass bead flies are not as popular as they could be. I think one of the reasons for this is that they just don’t look quite right, not to me anyway. I always think they have too “hard” an outline to them. This pattern is one solution to the problem. A bead body, but with a soft outline.
The pattern details given are for the hook pattern and size I have used. If you are using a different pattern or size of hook, vary the materials accordingly.

Instructions assume right-handed tyers

Materials list
HOOK – Drennan Star Point #10
THREAD – Olive Roman Moser Power Silk
BODY SEGMENTS 1– 3 Green Glass Beads (approximately 2mm)
BODY SEGMENTS 2 – Tan Orvis Spectrablend (or any similar dubbing, or Antron)
WING BUDS - Black Antron, Z-Lon or similar
THORAX – Dark Hare’s Ear Orvis Spectrablend (or any similar dubbing, or Antron)
HEAD – 2mm Gold Bead.


STEP 1 Slide the gold bead and three glass beads onto the hook and set in the vice as shown.
STEP 2 Attach the thread well round the bend and form a small “bump” as shown.
STEP 3 Apply a dab of Superglue to the thread bump
STEP 4 Slide the end glass bead up to the Super glued bump
STEP 5 Re-set the hook in the normal position and re-attach the thread behind the first bead as shown.
STEP 6 Apply a generous pinch of dubbing to the thread.
STEP 7 Then wind it in a narrow ball tight against the bead.
STEP8 Take the thread over the bead in one open turn.
STEP 9 Repeat the above process with another narrow ball of dubbing and the next bead.
STEP 10 Apply one last narrow ball of dubbing behind the final glass bead.
STEP 11 Use a Velcro brush or dubbing teaser to rough up the dubbed body segments.
STEP 12 Apply some dubbing to the thorax area. You can use any dubbing you want here, its purpose is to bulk out the thorax for the next step.
STEP 13 Tie in the wing buds as shown. Slightly down the sides.
STEP 14 Trim the wing buds at an angle as shown.
STEP 15 Apply a generous pinch of dubbing to the thread.
STEP 16 Then wrap to form the thorax.
STEP 17 Finally whipfinish, detach the thread and varnish for the completed fly.
From below.
From above.

Dennis Shaw was born into a fanatical fishing family at Dalbeattie in Southwest Scotland. He graduated from the local "Barr Burn", with the proverbial cane, wool and bent pin for eels, to fishing the local rivers and lochs. Now married with a son and daughter and fishing the chalkstreams of Southern England, Dennis is always yearning for "home". He has been tying flies for over 35 years yet still learns something new every day.