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LITTLE JELLY THING



Underwater and against an overcast sky: Micro Jelly Caddis, Fat Jelly Caddis and Little Jelly Things


Smaller aquatic insects are often strongly translucent, especially when viewed from below with the light passing through them. Success with the simple Stretch Cord patterns, especially in difficult situations, has led me to conclude that translucency is often used by selective fish to distinguish food from passing flotsam and jetsam (including flies).

The Little Jelly Thing is basically a Jelly Midge with no breathers and a thorax of natural fur-dubbing containing guard hairs to simulate legs. By adjusting the relative proportions of the abdomen and thorax this pattern can be tweaked to imitate a whole host of small, translucent aquatic insects regularly taken by trout. Try a larger thorax and shorter abdomen for colour combinations most suited to small mayfly nymphs, net spinning caddis larvae (the latter have big heads) and midge pupae (e.g. brown and light green version), and a smaller thorax and longer abdomen for those imitating midge and free-living caddis larvae (e.g. the green version). This versatile pattern may be fished just beneath the surface as a pre-emergent midge or mayfly, or used in tandem with a heavier nymph for deeper lying targets. 

I once gave a couple of Green & Brown Little Jelly Things (far right in photograph) to an Australian customer to try on the South Island. A week or two later I had a call from him. He and a mate had emptied their fly boxes on the Tekapo River one afternoon, without catching a fish. In desperation he eventually tried the unassuming LJT and immediately was into trout. Within half an hour both flies had been stolen by fish, and with them went the action. While I have no idea what other patterns were tried, or what the trout were feeding on, the Little Jelly Thing is such a simple fly one cannot help but conclude that its translucency was probably the major trigger for the Tekapo’s fussy fish that day. Another customer reported similar experiences with rainbow trout on the Maerewhenua River using a Jelly Midge.



Recipe (green and brown)

ORIGINATOR: Marc Griffiths
HOOK: Light wire grub hook size 18-16
THREAD: Black 70 denier
ABDOMEN: Two strands of 0.5-0.6 mm Stretch Cord; one green and one brown
THORAX: Brown fur dubbing
Note: This pattern imitates young mayfly nymphs, net-spinning caddis larvae and midge pupae. 





Recipe (green)

ORIGINATOR: Marc Griffiths
HOOK: Light wire grub hook size 18-16
THREAD: Olive 70-100 denier
ABDOMEN: Two strands of 0.5-0.6 mm Stretch Cord; one green and one light green
THORAX: Natural Hares ear dubbing
Note: This pattern is designed to imitate small free living caddis larvae (Hydrobiosidae) and the translucent green midge larvae commonly found in running water. The thorax is therefore kept small.


Step 1

Attach both strands of Stretch Cord to the hook bend as described for the Jelly Midge. Advance the thread to the hook eye in closed turns, and then wind it back to the point where the thorax will begin.

 

Step 2

When wrapping the abdomen allow sufficient space for the thorax. Dub a substantial thorax and tie off. Trim the tag ends and varnish both the tie-in and tie-off.

 


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