Puterbaugh Caddis


Here is one of the coolest adult caddis patterns for tiers.  It is a quick and easy tie, uses only three materials (four including thread), and is very buoyant while still riding low.  The Puterbaugh Caddis comes from Don Puterbaugh “the Dean of the Arkansas”, who has been guiding on the Arkansas River near Salida, CO.  This fly is a great point fly in a dry dropper rig and can be skated on the surface to imitate active caddis on the water.  Common colors are black and tan, and change the hook size to match the caddis in your area.


  • Hook: Daiichi 1100 size 16
  • Thread: 8/0
  • Body: Foam strip
  • Wing: Elk hair
  • Hackle: Brown rooster

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Start by securing the hook in your vice and start your thread base behind the eye and advance the thread to the hook point and bring the thread back to the midpoint of the shank.

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Next cut a strip of foam, approximately 2mm wide, and secure it to the shank with one loose wrap followed by a few tight wraps.

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Cut a small clump of elk hair and stack it in your hair stacker.  Tie in the stacked elk in the same point that you tied the foam in.

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Next tie in one or two hackles and advance your thread to the eye of the hook.

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To finish the fly wrap the hackle forward to the eye of the hook and tie off and trim the excess, then whip finish and go fish.