The pattern I have decided to share I call the” Scaly Caddis Booby “. This fly derived from fishing for scalies in the Mooi River area and watching them swim around in the tail ends of the pools. After hours of trying to entice them to take nymphs and Jigbuggers for a day I went back to the vice and came up with a Booby! I needed to get the fly to the bottom and move it around a bit, but at the same time be able to control the fly. So deciding to “lift” the fly I decided to make a “ tadpole “. This is because they were everywhere and the fish where feeding on them along the edges. And so the “ Scaly Caddis Booby “ was born. The Caddis part of the name came from using a Caddis hook for the job. This kept the fly body short and with the hook being bent it made the fly wobble around when pulled thru the water. I tied fly with some golden-brown marabou and black foam for the eyes as this colour was working with the jigbuggers the weekend before.

The following weekend saw us back on the stretch of water and I went straight for the bottom end of the pool to see if the fish where still doing the same as the weekend before. I tied the Booby behind a jigbugger “ NewZealand style “ around 30cm behind the jigbugger.

First cast I gave it time for the jigbugger to get to the bottom and then just twitched the fly along the bottom slowly so the booby could look like a injured tadpole. I landed a fish on that very first cast and was successful with the same method during the rest of the day. To say the least I have since tied the fly in black and olive and have had good fish on those colours as well. I have tied the fly for a friend of mine, and he fished it in the Buffalo River using the same method and he swears by it. Today that fly has a permanent spot in my fly box.


To tie the fly, you will need the following.


Pic 1

Cotton, I use 18/0 or 30D Semperfly Nanosilk in black, brown or the copper. Depending on what colour you tie.

~ Whipping tool for obvious reasons.

~ Golden brown Marabou.

~ Sharp scissors.

~ Caddis Pupa hook #14 I like using the Grip 14122BL

~ Foam cylinders in black. The thin one. I cut my own out of 6mm foam sheet.

~ Lighter.

~ Flashabou accent in electric blue for black or the root beer for the browns.

~ Thin wire in gold.


Pic 2

Now to cut the eyes either you going to cut 6mm length from the cylinder or cut your own out like I do from 6mm foam. Carefully take the 90° edge from the 2 ends of the cylinder with your scissors, not a lot, you just want to take the sharp edge of at a 45° angle. Now stick your bodkin into the cylinder as can be seen in the pic and very light burn with the lighter. This will form a nice round shape to the ends of your eyes.



Pic 3/4

Lay the cylinder down on the table and press lightly with the bodkin in the centre of the eyes and roll forward and back so that you create an indentation almost like dumbbell eyes. This will help with securing your eyes to the hook shortly.






Pic 5/6/7

Secure your cotton to the hook and bring it past the bend as can be seen in Pic6. Go back to just before the eye of the hook and secure your foam eyes. Take care not to pull down to tight as you will cut thru the foam. Secure in such a way that you leave a small gap to secure your thread later when finishing the fly and not to cover the hook eye.




Pic 8/9

Secure some marabou where you ended with your cotton down below the bend and trim just behind the foam eyes. Then add one strand of flash on either side and secure your thin gold wire. The flash is not that important as I have fished this pattern plenty of times now without anything but the wire to help hold the marabou. Cut a second batch of marabou and secure this where the first batch was tied. Once secured take your thread to just behind your foam eyes.


Pic 10

Take your second batch of marabou and twist together to create a spiral. Carefully bind around the shank and work your way to the front and secure just behind the eye. You can trim the excess of now if you like. Go back to your thin gold wire and wind that forward but in the opposite direction as the marabou and secure just behind the eye. Whip finish between the foam eyes and hook eye and put a dab of your favourite UV glue.


And there’s your fly.

Pc 11

Just a tip when tying!

I leave the tail of the fly fairly long and when the fish are a bit slow I just trim on the water.


Fritz with 64cm Natal yellowfish (Scaly) from the Mooi.



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