Sparkle Pupa

Created by Gary LaFontaine


When a caddis pupa is ready to hatch into an adult, it fills with gas which buoys it quickly to the surface. There is a moment of hesitation, at which it is vulnerable, then the adult emerges and immediately flies off.

Gary LaFontaine's Sparkle Pupa revolutionized fly fishing during caddis hatches and turned on a generation of tyers to the attractive, sparkling qualities of antron fibers.


Other caddis pupae can be imitated by using hook sizes and body colors that match the natural insect; see the caddis pages for details. However, caddis rarely need to be matched as closely as, say, mayflies. For most situations, you only need these colors and sizes (many anglers get by just fine with a green body/tan shroud):

  • Size 12-18, green body, tan shroud
  • Size 12-18, brown body, yellow shroud
  • Size 12-18, tan body, tan shroud

How to Fish

Dress the deer hair wing only. Use a floating line and a shallow nymph presentation. A wet-fly swing can also be effective. The Deep Sparkle Pupa is designed to be fished near the bottom, although many anglers just use this pattern for both deep and shallow presentations, adding split shot to the leader or using the Sparkle Pupa in tandem with a heavy fly. When fishing the Sparkle Pupa deep, use a trout indicatoror tight line presentation.



Find fly patterns by type, food, or name. Searchs can cover just Westfly's standard patterns or the entire database.

Fly Type

Standard Flies Only?   Or All Flies?

. . . or Imitation

Standard Flies Only?   Or All Flies?

. . . or Fly Name

HOOK: 2X heavy, 2X short curved shank, turned-down eye; e.g., TMC 2457 or equivalent. Sizes 12-20


SHROUD: Tan Antron "ballooned" over abdomen. Leave a few fibers trailing out the back.

ABDOMEN: Green Antron

WING: Light deer hair tied sparse

HEAD: Dark brown Haretron or marabou