Helesus radiatus and Helesus digitatus - Caperer

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Trichoptera - Family: Limnephilidae

Adult caperer sedge fly

The Caperer is one of the largest of the sedge flies found in Britain. It is seen on the wing in the evenings from mid-August until the end of October. Helesus radiatus and Helesus digitalis are macroscopically very similar, and the name Caperer covers both. Caperers are abundant on the chalk streams of southern England.

Artificial sedge pupa

The larva makes its case from pieces of vegetation, often cementing one or two long sticks along the case, which provides protection since trout cannot then easily swallow the larva case and all.

Fishing tips

An emerging sedge pupa is a very effective fly on lakes and slow-flowing rivers on summer evenings. Here is an artificial pattern devised by Davey Wotton:

For copying the egg-laying adult Caperer, a size 12 G&H sedge is a very effective imitation and is best dragged across the surface just as darkness is descending. This tactic works well for trout and for sea trout.


O'Reilly, Pat. (1997; 8th reprint 2010) Matching the Hatch. Shrewsbury: Quiller Publishing.

Barnard, P & Ross, E. (2007) A Guide to the adult caddisflies or sedge flies (Trichoptera). Taunton: Field Studies Council.

Wallace, I. (2006) Simple Key to Caddis Larvae. Taunton: Field Studies Council.

Wallace, I.D., Wallace, B., & Philipson, G.M. (2003) Keys to the Case-bearing Caddis Larvae of Britain and Ireland. Ambleside: Freshwater Biological Association.

Macan, T.T. (1973) A Key to the Adults of the British Trichoptera. Ambleside: Freshwater Biological Association.

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