Watson’s Fancy Bead Chain Caddis

Watson’s Fancy Bead Chain Caddis

Source: FlyLife Magazine.

No other insect suits fly-fishing more than the caddis. Numerous species cover all trout habi-tats and in such abun-dance to feature regularly and often dominate the trout’s diet. Think of caddis as onmipresent — if there is water, it will have caddis in it. One of the most common caddis-fly groups is the family Leptoceridae, often referred to as “stick caddis” due to the larvae of some species building cases from plant material, like a hollow section of plant stem or stick. Their ungainly jerking swimming style is unmistakable if you take the time to observe debris floating in the water column.

The Bead (or Ball) Chain Caddis is an interesting variation from the vice of Ola Andersson, using ball chain to both imitate the caddis larva and provide weight. Ola’s home waters in Sweden abound with caddis, and stick caddis feature heavily in his fly patterns. Along with weight, the chain also provides a nice colour highlight and has some inherent movement with its grub-like wiggle.

The following is Paul Fedeles’ variant, dubbed Watson’s Fancy Bead Chain Caddis.


  • Hook – size 12 jig hook
  • Homemade bead chain – method revealed at fly tying night.
  • 10 lb tippet and glass beads
  • Lead free wire .015
  • Black deer hair
  • Various secret body yarns


  1. Eight to ten turns of lead free wire starting near the barb and going back.
  2. Tie in the bead chain hanging it over the front of the eye like a caddis coming out of the case.
  3. Stack about 15-20 black deer hair fibres and tie them in behind the bead chain. Spread them so they look like legs.
  4. Take the thread back to rear of the wire and tie in the secret body yarn. Wrap it forward and back, and then forward again. Tie it off just behind the deer hair.
  5. Whip or half-hitch finish.
  6. Option – Rough up the body and/or play around with various textra colours.

View/Download instructions

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