Swedish version


Cased Caddis, by James Matthews

Cased Caddis
(originally devised by Steve Thornton)
by James Matthews

  Much has been written over the years of the Cased caddis, from Hans van Klinken’s Leadhead to Oliver Edwards’ Peeping Caddis, both unique grayling deceivers in their own right, and many more (fishcatching) variations may be featured here later.

  In this article we’ll look at another variation which you may not be familiar with: Steve Thornton’s Cased Caddis.

  The most striking feature is the way the case is constructed, using lead wire in steps and stages, flat floss and freestone caddis coating. It also features a pen lid (stroke of genius!) It’s quite simply the most realistic caddis I have come across to date. Remember, although Steve designs realistic flies, first and foremost they are fishing flies. These flies do look fantastic in a frame, but their rightful place is at the bottom of your favourite stream.

  You can copy a whole host of caddis patterns with this style, for example, large cinnamon sedge (potamophlax latipennis), brown sedge (anabolia nervosa – I’m on the pills for that one!), caperer (halesus radiatus – use mouthwash for this one) and many more. I don’t want to bore you with Latin any more, but as the Greeks would say;

"O Kadis mou einai pano sto dendro", which translates as "My caddis is up a tree". Oh bugger.


  For this fly you will need:

Thread: Powersilk, Dyneema or any other fine GSP thread.
Hook: Mustad 80050 (check the caddis you’re trying to recreate to decide on size of hook, but could be around size 10-12).
Legs: Golden Pheasant centre tail or plucked ostrich herl.
Grub head: Nymphskin or Flytyers Designer Skin.
Colouration: permanent markers or Dylon dyes.
Abdomen: lead wire, flat yarn, Freestone Caddis Coating (available from Virtual Nymph outlets), black Bic biro pen lid (available from stationers or your office supply cupboard!)


  Clamp the hook in the vice and nip down the barb.

  Tie on your thread behind the eye and wind on for 5 or 6 mm – measure this, it’s crucial.

  Tie on your nymph skin by the tip, ie the corner (no angled cuts for this one). Obviously make sure it’s tied in securely.

  Cut a thin sliver of lead sheet or your preferred underbody (I’m currently playing about with tungsten lace). If using lead sheet it should be 1.5mm or slimmer.

  Then wind on to build up an egg-shape (think buzzers!) with a neat taper. Wind your thread forward, covering the underbody.

  Take your nymph skin, stretch it and wind forward to the hook eye, then tie off just before the eye. Four or five turns should secure.

  Whip finish and snip off the tag.

  Dye your thread with a permanent brown marker. Build a small head and whip finish again.

  Wind backwards and add Veli Autie style legs for the first three segments on either side. Tie off and snip off your thread.

  Take a Bic biro pen lid and from the tapering end cut off 5mm with a scalpel blade.

  Take the fly out of the vice and push the pen top, wide end first, over the hook, to cover the tail end of the peeping grub. Secure with epoxy with a dubbing needle.

  Tie on your thread behind the penlid. Build up a tapering effect with the lead wire, ie thinner at the back end, becoming thicker in three steps.

  Take your flat yarn and tie in just behind the plastic pen lid. Tie in all the way down to the thinnest segment of lead wire, then wind the yarn over the lead segments, following the tapers quite securely – no lumps or bumps!

  Coat the yarn and pen lid with Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails (Boots the Chemist), then sprinkle on some freestone caddis coating. Rotate the vice and cover all but the peeping grub evenly.

  Give it a try – you’ll love it (grayling love it even more – a real crunchy mouthful!)

  Just be careful near the trees.

James Matthews, Ayr November 2004  ©




To get the best experience of the Magazine it is important that you have the right settings
Here are my recommended settings
Please respect the copyright regulations and do not copy any materials from this or any other of the pages in the Rackelhanen Flyfishing Magazine.

© Mats Sjöstrand 2004

If you have any comments or questions about the Magazine, feel free to contact me.

Mats Sjöstrand

Please excuse me if you find misspelled words or any other grammatical errors.
I will be grateful if you contact
me about the errors you find.