Fly-fishing-bait. Breed your own.


Casters is the name given to maggot chrysalises, they make good fly-fishing-bait for a variety of fish and like maggots, are sold by the pint.(0.58kg).

They are created by halting the development of the pupae. This is done by removing the chrysalis as soon as the maggot starts to pupate and storing it at a low but not freezing temperature. At low temperatures the pupae will stop developing. Those that have been allowed to develop too much will float and be useless as bait.

You should buy casters immediately before your fishing trip as they do not keep very long. They are generally used singly or in pairs. They are quite delicate so you must be careful not to burst them when you insert the hook. They are a good bait to use when fishing for roach or dace and because of their small size they are ideal for very small fish. As with maggots they can also be used as loose bait to attract fish towards the bait hook.

Home Produced Casters

Producing your own fly-fishing-bait at home is possible but breeding casters is not a simple process. The main difficulty is one of timing. A maggot develops into a chrysalis (caster) and then into a fly, you need to halt the maggots development before it emerges as a fly. To do this with one maggot might be relatively straightforward but you will need more than one caster if your fishing trip is not to be a brief one. Judging the state of development of hundreds of maggots is going to be your biggest headache.

To have any chance of success it is necessary to start with fresh maggots. If they are fresh then they will have a visible feed spot. The maggots you use will also have to be of the same age, otherwise you will be producing casters over a period of several days rather than all at once. By adjusting the temperature you can speed up or slow down the rate at which the maggots turn. Of course, there will be some wastage as it is impossible to coordinate the development of hundreds of maggots.

The casters produced should be placed in a polythene bag, the air squeezed out and the bag sealed. Keep them in the bottom of the fridge. To identify those casters which are suitable to be used as fly-fishing-bait take a note of their colour. A bronze colour indicates a good caster, a dark ruby colour denotes a bad one which will float on the water.

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