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"Pulsating Caddis"

The Pulsating Caddis is Jim Pettis' creation. Jim is a very creative flycrafter, and a busy, well respected full time lower Sacramento River guide. I have used this fly very successfully in both stillwater situations where caddis are present, and in streams where they are prominent. The most prominent colors are tan (or, actually, root beer) and medium olive. The name "pulsating" comes from the way that the fly looks when properly tied and held up to a light source. The beads actually give it a pulsating look, which is magnified when it is moving in the water. Let's tie it in the tan color.

Hook Tiemco: 2457, sizes 12-16

Thread: 6/0 or 8/0 tan
Body: 3 #14 root beer colored glass beads
Dubbing: Paxton's Buggy Nymph in a golden color
Antennae: Wood duck flank fibers
Head: Dark brown dubbing


1. Smash barb. Place 3 beads on hook and push them to rear.
2. Build up a small thread dam for about 1/8" behind the eye, leaving a small clear space just behind eye for purposes of finishing the fly.
3. Move first bead up to the thread dam, and wrap over it, securing it in place there. Now build a dam behind this eye, and move the next one up, following the same procedure. The beads should now be evenly spaced on the hook.
4. Apply dubbing to thread loosely, or use a dubbing loop. Beginning behind the rearmost bead, dub behind and through beads, stopping just in front of frontmost bead. Take a bodkin and tease the dubbing fibers out; a piece of hook end velcro on a stick is also good. Smooth the fuzz back so it extends back beyond the bend of the hook.
5. Tie in a couple of wood duck fibers, tips pointing to rear, and extending to end of body.
6. Form a head of the brown dubbing, and a small thread head in front of that. Whip finish.

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Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.