December 2013

Sparkle Pupa

Jerry Grehl

Sparkle Pupa

Hook: Mustad #7957B, 9671, or 3906, size 18 - 10
(Note: LaFontaine recommended using Mustad's 94840 dry fly hook)
Weight:lead wire, .015 or .020. or a small tungsten bead
Underbody:Antron or suitable substitute dubbing, olive mixed with bright green
Overbody, or halo:light olive sparkle yarn, antron yarn, Z-lon yarn, or similiar material
Hackle: Grouse
Head:brown Marabou or dubbing
Tying Instructions and Pattern History:
The clerk in West Yellowstone's Bud Lilly's fly shop advised me to head for the McAtee bridge for the evening caddis hatch. It was a long drive from our campsite on Hebgen Lake but worth a try, I thought. The little fellows were popping all over the surface and the trout were eagerly slashing at the emerging pupae. I'll give one of LaFontaine's Sparkle pupa a try, I thought. There were 15 - 20 anglers lining the bank so I headed upstream, darkness rapidly coming on. I only got an hour's fishing in, but it was rewarding indeed! It was too dark to tie on a new fly so I fished the #14 Sparkle pupa until it literally disintegrated! No monsters, but those Madison brownies loved that fly!

LaFontaine's seminal work, Caddisflies was published in 1981, before many new tying materials were introduced. He lists four primary color patterns. My favorite is the Brown and Bright Green Deep Pupa. It copies the ubiquitous Brachycentrus fly quite well. Other color combinations suggested by LaFontaine are brown and yellow, gray, and ginger.

Photograph ©2013 by Marv Slind