Devil Bug

The adult caddis hold its wings tent-like over its back. Imitations of the adult mimic this distinctive feature.

The adult caddis hold its wings tent-like over its back. Imitations of the adult mimic this distinctive feature. Art by Jason Borger

At the Edmonton Seminar that I conducted with Mike Lawson, I was asked several questions about tying the adult caddis imitations that I use. I tied the Poly Caddis, but there was not time to tie the Devil Bug. This is a modification of the Tom Thumb fly of Canada. The modification comes in the way the body is formed that adds extra flotation. In addition, I trim the head a bit shorter than that on the Tom Thumb so the fly always rides correctly on the water as I skate it. In addition, I use it for a diving caddis. The head is the correct size to allow the fly to dive and suck an air bubble with it. So, here it is, straight out of my book, Designing Trout Flies. (Art by Jason Borger.)




  1. Josh B says:

    Gary Im dying to see your formula for the caddis pupa and a “little” curious about your sparkle midge pupa. By the way I tied up this Devil and took a 16″ brown out of the Battenkill’s trophy section with the devilbug waltz! Thanks again!!!

  2. Gary Borger says:

    Hi Josh, Great. Those fish in the trophy section have certainly seen a wide selection of flies and tactics. One of these days, I’ll get up a post on the Sparkle Pupa for midges and caddises. Best, GAry

  3. Wes Newman says:

    hi gary
    a friend sent the link to the devil bug. he’d been using it as a caddis emerger on idaho’s snake river, “south fork”, very successfully.

    we met in idaho falls when you spoke at the snake river cutthroat’s trout unlimited chapter annual banquet.

  4. Tom Roney says:

    I have fished this Devil Bug all over the US and certify it is the absolute “go to” fly in my vest. On day on the Big Horn in Montana, I floated from the After Bay Dam down to the 12 Mile takeout, from 8:30 am to 5 pm following the stream and pods of huge brown trout. I used nothing but the Devil Bug the whole day having tied a suuply of them in advance. During that entire trip of 8 1/2 hours there was never a period of over ten minutes total out of an hour that I didn’t have a trout hooked and landed the entire day. I used each bug until it literally came apart and then replaced it with another and another and another and never had had an experience before like that with any one single fly. It was a cool, overcast day I will never forget and have had other days like it but not quite that outstanding. A marvelous fly!!

  5. Gary Borger says:

    Hi Tom, Knowing you as well as I do, I know this is no BS. I only wish I had been there with you to net a few of them! GB