Minimalistic Fly Tying: Peeping Caddis Nymph

posted in: Fishing, Fly Fishing, Fly Tying | 3

The peeping caddis nymph was extremely productive in New Zealand.

Catchy, easy flies to tie on a budget

Fly tying has always been something practical for me. I do not tie them just for the sake of the leisure activity but for the upcoming fishing adventures. Subsequently, I am usually on the lookout for the most efficient fly patterns that require the least amount of time and material. They should be fast and easy to tie, need as little material as possible and are efficient. Therefore, I clearly belong to the group of minimalist fly tiers. Although there is the occasional time-consuming and difficult pattern, which has just proven too crucial too neglect nor substitute with anything else. However, today I would like to introduce you to the peeping caddis jig nymph, which can be tied easily and was a killer pattern in New Zealand.

Peeping Caddis Jig Nymph

It imitates a cased caddis larva, which is among the prime food source of trout and other salmonids. On a recent adventure, I caught a brookie which was stuffed with them. Furthermore, many rivers still feature good evening hatches of caddis flies.

Fly Tying Material

  • Hook (size 10-16) preferably a jig
  • 4.5-3mm Tungsten Bead (black or natural)
  • Thread 8/0 Black
  • Chenille green or fluoro chartreuse
  • Partridge feathers for collar
  • Lead-free wire to add weight
  • Black wire for ribbing
  • Natural Hare’s Ear Dubbing à Substitute: Swissline Fox Dub or Swissline Mungge Dub (Marmot)
Fly Tying the Peeping Caddis Nymph
Fly Tying the Peeping Caddis Nymph imitating the cased caddis larva, which is a natural food source of trout

Peeping Caddis Fly Tying Instructions

  1. Put tungsten beads on all jig hooks.
  2. Form base layer with black thread and bring it to the hook shank.
  3. Add lead-free wire if required. Push lead-free wire towards bead. Secure lead wire with a couple of loose wraps of thread.
  4. Scorch the end of the green/chartreuse chenille with a lighter. Tie it in at the hook shank with the burnt end pointing away. The chenille should be the length of the straight part of the hook. Cut excess of chenille.
  5. Prepare a small partridge feather by removing all woolly fibres. Gently pull back remaining fibres (about 10 on each side are more than enough), so that they ar perpendicular to the stem. Tie in the tip of the feather where you secured the chenille. Wrap it around 1-2 times with the help of a small clamp. Secure feather with thread. Make sure to stroke the fibres backwards while tightening with a few more wraps.
  6. Attach the black wire, which should not overlap the lead-free weight. Given this fly represents a cased caddis larva, the body should be evenly thick and not tapered.
  7. Dub the body with hare’s ear dubbing or other bushy material.
  8. Rib the body with black wire before whip finishing. A couple of brushes with a toothbrush or velcro enhance the looks.

Fly tying slideshow:


The peeping caddis jig nymph sinks fast and is very attractive for trout because it adequately copies their natural food source. I usually fish it as a point fly with a sidearm pulling down a smaller and lighter nymph such as a pheasant tail.

3 Responses

    • Tom

      Hi David, thanks for you comment. It’s a pattern I carry with me all the time and if I find them under stones, I put it on. Regional variations in timing can occur, but I fished it all year round, especially when temperatures drop and the fish are deep.
      Hope this helps.
      Tight lines,

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