Most of the fly anglers that I have fished with over the years have only ever tried adult dry fly patterns. Yes, there is a time and place for Caddis dries, but fishing emergers and nymphs will make you much more successful.
I suspect that these fishermen do not understand much about the lifecycle of the Caddis fly. It is easy to think that when you see adult Caddis' skittering on the surface, you will have great success, but the fact is trout concentrate their feeding efforts on the pupa stage beneath the water's surface. Trout are efficient predators and want to expend the least amount of energy to feed as possible. They would rather gorge on the vulnerable and helpless pupal Caddis then chase the flying adults.
Gary LaFontaine's Deep Sparkle Pupa is one of the best fly patterns for imitating this pupal stage of Caddis flies. LaFontaine studied aquatic insects for 10-plus years and created the deep and sparkle pupa to match what he saw with the real pupal Caddis's. Using materials like antron, the deep sparkle pupa accurately imitates the "bubbles" caddis emergers generate to reach the surface prior to hatching.
For anglers intending on fishing this deep sparkle pupa pattern, keep in mind that during the first stages of any Caddis hatch there will be more caddis pupa along the bottom of the stream than compared to the adults on the surface. Trout will be feeding greedily below the surface out of sight. Anglers can target these trout by dead drifting the deep sparkle pupa pattern on or near bottom and watching the strike indicator. As the hatch intensifies and you are seeing more and more adult Caddis flies on the surface, trout will follow these critters and start feeding higher in the water column. At this stage of the hatch, anglers should switch to fishing the pattern higher up in the water column and adding a few twitches to drift as you retrieve your fly. Swinging or twitching your Caddis pupa at the end of your drift will help to get fish to key in on your fly among the naturals.
For those of you who have never tried the Deep Sparkle Pupa on your favorite rivers or streams, consider restocking your fly box this spring. Fishing Caddis Fly Hatches can be difficult for the inexperienced fly angler but with Lafontaine's deep sparkle pupa you won't have to worry whether the fish will like what you are offering.