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Antennae / horns on caddis pupa


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12 replies to this topic

#1 chugbug27

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 03:00 PM

Caddis pupa antenna - Really for the fish, or purely for the fisherman? I've had seeming success with them, seemingly real success, but only limited experience so I can't be at all sure... Any believers out there? Also, also any noticeable differences between feather (brown mallard, pheasant tail) or hair (horse mane, moose body hair)? I looked in Benchside Reference, and they don't seem to even mention the subject (but it's a big book and I could easily be mistaken)
cb27

#2 flytire

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 03:06 PM

i'm a believer that they are not needed for the fish taking into consideration on how many hundreds of fly patterns that omit them and still catch. 


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#3 Piker20

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 03:10 PM

Not necessary for the fish.
Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

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#4 Philly

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 07:31 PM

I don't think they're necessary.  At least individual ones.  A soft hackle pupae would be enough to create the illusion of antenna and legs.


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#5 deaddrifter

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 09:37 PM

Needed? I would argue no. Look cool? Absolutely.

#6 SuperiorFlies

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:59 PM

If you have the extra time (20 seconds?) to tie them in, it can't hurt. As deaddrifter stated, they look cool. I tie them on my flies because, from a business standpoint, it's just as important for my flies to catch the angler as it is for my flies to catch fish.


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#7 mikechell

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:21 AM

Anything that moves with little or no "jiggling" from the angler can help the fish decide to hit.  Will the lack of antennae prevent the fish from hitting, probably not.  

 

But if a fish it looking at two similar shapes in the water, and one of them shows a little movement, I'm thinking that's the one it will attack.

 

When you think of a big fish hitting a 20 or smaller fly ... you can't then argue that small details on a larger fly are irrelevant.

Necessary?  No.  

The trigger that gets you one more fish?  Probably.


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#8 spiralspey

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:40 AM

I've tied caddis dries with them and without. I saw little to no difference in the number of fish I rose with either variation, so now I usually omit the antennae. Caddis are pretty active bugs and don't stay on the surface long, so fish don't usually gently slurp them, they take them aggressively and are seldom picky. Early morning when fish are feeding on dead bugs is the exception, but I seldom do the early morning thing because I find much more reliable dry fly fishing in the evening or midday.

I use hair for my antennas, feathers, especially pheasant, are just too brittle and don't hold up.

#9 whatfly

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:19 PM

Needed? I would argue no. Look cool? Absolutely.


Deaddrifter hit it on the head. Only dry pattern I use them on is the Goddard, and considering how prominent they are on the Mother's Day caddis, I like them for that hatch too. Definitely more prominent on some caddis than others.

Must confess I also use them on nymphs. Are they an effective trigger? Dunno. Do the flies work with them? Yes. Hardly a trial to add them. YMMV.

#10 spiralspey

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:16 PM

Revisiting this thread I realized chugbug was talking about pupae, not dries. Just showing my dry fly bias I guess? Anyway, I have used horns of mallard on some of my subsurface flies, mostly because I like the way they look. I so seldom have found fish exclusively feeding on rising pupae that I really can't say they make a fly more effective. However, you'll fish a fly you like more effectively than one you don't, so I say add horns if you like 'em and you'll probably catch more fish in the end.

#11 SilverCreek

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:42 AM

Here are caddis pupa from a trout I throat pumped.

34915034473_79ff109095_z.jpg

 

Here are caddis pupa from Rick Hafele:

caddis-pupa-brachycentrus-swittersb-hafe

 

From Troutnut:

picture_1003_large.jpg

 

The main feature are the wings and legs folded along side the body and not the antennae. Although antennae are also folded back, imitating the wings and legs, also imitates the antennae as seen in these patterns.

 

caddis-pupa.jpg

grannom_pupa__46934.1502311784.jpg

Realistic-Caddis-Pupa-Light-Green-8020.j


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#12 chugbug27

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 04:27 PM

Thanks for these great pics and thanks to everyone for chiming in on this one. I've only recently (this spring /summer/fall) started tying and fishing pupa specific patterns and have been pleasantly surprised by how well they fish in a wide variety of conditions. If the trout don't get selective I think they still get excited by the easy target and extra protein. I've had a lot of success on different streams with a variety of Caddis pupa patterns, both during /around hatches and even when nothing seems to be going on hatch-wise. My own gut tells me that the caddis pupa look so different in so many ways from the nymphal stage of bugs (big bright body, clear dorsal segments, swooping legs and wings on the ventral, big eyes, big antenna), that no single factor does it so long as the overall look is different in that pupa kind of way.
cb27

#13 Don_P

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 11:23 PM

I put the antenna / horns on my caddis pupa patterns because I think it makes them look more realistic (to me at least) and when fishing that pattern it instills an additional confidence in me.  Do the flies with them result in more takes, I can't really say because I've never tied them without them.  They just seem to work well with them and it doesn't take but a minute to add them.  The next bunch I tie I believe I'll try a synthetic (paint brush bristle comes to mind) and see if it's more durable than the last batch I tied with moose mane.