Saddle-Case Caddis

Common Names: Igloo caddis
Scientific Name: genus Glossosoma

These little guys build a dome-like case from pebbles and attach it to a large rock in a riffle or a run with moderate to fast current. They are so firmly attached and protected that cased larvae are rarely found drifting in the current.

However, a larva will outgrow its shelter and leave it to build a new one. This happens often enough that uncased larvae are regularly seen--and eaten--by trout. So a creamy larva pattern dead-drifted near the bottom is a reasonable tactic in waters that are rich in saddle-case caddis.

Pupation occurs in the same water that the larvae lived in. During a hatch, dead-drift a pupa pattern near the bottom using trout indicator or tight line tactics; present the fly in riffly water or just below riffles. An unweighted pupa pattern can also be drifted near the surface, or you can present a Soft Hackle with a wet-fly swing. Another good strategy is a dry fly with a pupa pattern as a dropper or trailer; the dry fly acts as an indicator and sometimes is taken by the trout.

After the hatch, errant and unlucky adults fall onto the water, and a dry fly is the right choice. Bankwater downwind or downstream from overhanging trees is a good place to cast your dry.

Females swim or crawl underwater to lay eggs. You can fish a dry at this time, or go subsurface with a Soft Hackle or Diving Caddis pattern.

Characteristics

LARVA COLOR: Tan, cream, yellow with pink tinge

PUPA SIZE: 3-7 mm

PUPA COLOR: Body--Tan or green. Shroud--Tan or light green shroud

ADULT SIZE: 3-7 mm

ADULT COLOR: Wing--tan, brown, or gray wing. Body--Tan or olive-brown

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS: Larva lives under dome-shaped case made from small pepples. Body, wing, and shroud colors can vary, so it's always best to check a natural insect where you are fishing. Colors will darken when the insect is ready to lay eggs.

 

Click on the fly name to see the pattern. Click on the presentation to learn how to do it.

STAGE PATTERN SIZE/
COLOR
PRESENTATION WHERE
Larva Hares Ear 14-18
Cream or pinkish
indicator, tight line Riffles, fast runs; just below these
Pupa Soft Hackle 14-18
Body: tan, green
surface swing, shallow nymph Riffles, fast runs; just below these
Z Wing Caddis 14-18
Body: tan, green
surface swing, shallow nymph Riffles, fast runs; just below these
Deep Sparkle Pupa 14-18
Body: tan, green Shroud: tan, light green
indicator, tight line Riffles, fast runs; just below these
Sparkle Pupa 14-18
Body: tan, green Shroud: tan, light green
indicator, tight line, shallow nymph Riffles, fast runs; just below these
Adult Elk Hair Caddis 14-18
Body: tan, olive-brown; Wing: tan, brown, gray
standard dry fly Bankwater near foilage
X Caddis 14-18
Body: tan, olive-brown; Wing: tan, brown, gray
standard dry fly Bankwater near foilage
Goddard Caddis 14-18
natural
standard dry fly Moderate to fast runs, riffles
Egg-layer Soft Hackle 14-18
Body: tan, olive-brown; Wing: dark brown, black
surface swing, shallow nymph, rising nymph Riffles, seams, backeddies below riffles
Diving Caddis 14-18
Body: tan, olive-brown; Wing: dark brown, black
surface swing, shallow nymph, rising nymph Riffles, seams, backeddies below riffles