Anglers often encounter packsaddle caterpillars when these despicable worms fall from the branches of trees directly into the collar of their shirt. Packsaddles are the larva of a moth common to southern trout fishing country. Other parts of the world call these caterpillars “saddlebacks,” but in the South they are typically referred to as “packsaddles.” Harmless looking, these caterpillars have a prominent white-ringed center that resembles a saddle. A pair of fleshy horns that along with body hairs secrete an irritating venom and causes a painful, swollen rash and sometimes nausea.
Trout are not negatively impacted by packsaddles that occasionally drop into the water. Like other meaty terrestrial meals that hit the surface, packsaddles meet a swift end.
Hook: Usually a streamer in 2X to 4X size 12 – 8
Body: Olive chenille
Hackle: Stiff grizzly saddle hackle
Tail: Red yarn