I was recently on a fly fishing trip out to the metolius river and came across a pattern that I remember trying to tie in my youth. The Caddis Sparkle Pupa, there was nearly an entire bin dedicated to this seemingly simple fly and it made sense. It is a legendary pattern that catches fish, and why not, Caddis are wildly abundant on most western streams. I say seemingly simple to tie, because it looks like it would be straightforward. I can tell you if you tie down in the 16 and 18 range, dealing with antron yarn and trying to make a natural looking shuck gets interesting. After a couple of dozen flies I think I came up with a technique that is a winner and makes the fly fairly simple to tie and is a bit forgiving should you make a mistake along the way.
As an afterthought after tying this fly, I decided to try and take a picture of the fly wet to show how it would look to the fish. While the photos didn’t turn out particularly interesting, when I threw the fly down into a glass of water it trapped about three different large air bubbles which is really the key to this pattern. I will keep working on a a good photo but for now you will have to trust me.