Posts Tagged ‘Fly Tying: Mayfly

03
Mar
12

Fly Tying: Grey Wulff Variant by Regular Rod

Regular Rod @ Dry Fly Expert presents a variation of the Grey Wulff that presents a nice, low floating dry fly to represent the large Drakes of early Summer. Lee Wulff designed the Grey Wulff in the early 1930’s for larger mayflies he encountered while fishing the Catskills region of the U.S. The larger Wulff pattern has several variations, but the basic grey was his first Wulff pattern. Regular Rod’s variation especially focuses on that front squirrel wing. Note in his instructions he does not split that front wing, but rather leaves it a single wing. I like that for its simplicity in tying. 

THE GREY WULLF VARIANT

“Lee Wulff is considered the grandfather of catch and release fishing. In 1939, Lee Wulff released the book, Handbook of Fly Fishing, where he maps out the principals of catch and release fishing. The way he puts catch and release is that there will be more fish in the rivers, so you can come back again and again and catch fish. Also he says that the fish get smarter making them harder to catch and making the fisherman have to be more accurate with his casts. The second part of the business model is setting up organizations such as Trout Unlimited and other like it to protect the habitats that the trout live in and making the beautiful places where fishermen fish stay beautiful.”   Wiki Info

13
Jan
12

Fly Tying: The Hairwing’s Versatility

This pattern style has several variations that the tier can use to move between a Mayfly emerger (Hairwing Dun) to a Caddis (Matthews X-Caddis & the Elk Hair Caddis). The Elk hair wing is central to the three patterns. The Eld Hair Caddis would have the palmered hackle and no tail. The Hairwing Dun has a modest hackle wound beneath the Elk Hair wing and still can have the tail (feather barbs or synthetic fibers).

Elk Hair Caddis (SwittersB)

Black Quill Hairwing Dun (Tim Hiltz) Here the Hairwing is a bit sparser and you see the hackle wound at the thorax beneath the hairwing. This most often seems to delineate the Hairwing pattern between a Mayfly and a Caddis.

15
Sep
11

Fly Tying: SOS Baetis Nymph by Spencer Higa

Spencer Higa’s SOS Baetis Nymph: This simple nymph pattern, reputed to be a Mayfly nymph, is a nice beginner’s tie that is also likely productive. Click on green to see tutorial of simple, beginner’s tie.

Spencer Higa's SOS Nymph. Note here that there is a bit of a wing of Krystal Flash (like one-two small pieces) and a more spikey thorax (guard hairs from dubbing create 'spikey' or leggy appearance).

31
Aug
11

Fly Tying: In The Film, Emergers

The Orb Callibaetis Emerger, SwittersB

I haven’t been able to get out much this Spring/Summer to fish due to family health issues. I am looking forward to getting out onto a lake soon and experimenting with assorted patterns. It is a part of fly tying/fishing that I enjoy…the experimenting with patterns that you know just have to be successful….but sometimes fizzle. All fun and often amazing. The Orb was hugely successful the past two seasons on lakes as an emerging Callibaetis Mayfly. Fished in the top foot or so of water, with a ‘greased’ leader or beneath a strike indicator (bobber or supportive dry fly)  it rocked. Others tie a similar pattern with a deer hair wing canted forward, plus the bead. I have not tried that…but this simpler version works also.  

22
Aug
11

Fly Fishing: Entomology & The Cat

I left the house at 7pm intending to run an errand. I noticed a big, beautiful mayfly dun on my other car. I snapped a few pics and departed, figuring it would be gone when I returned. And, so it was, kind of. I returned to find the shuck in place of the dun. Now, I didn’t get a good enough look at the time to see what was totally going on when I originally left. So now, I gently secured the shuck with the intent of photographing it. I went to the front door and opened it and out jets Penelope the House Cat. Shoot it was 0845pm and almost dark. I chased after the cat and eventually removed her from beneath my rig. Hmmm….the shuck was destroyed in the pursuit of the cat! So much for my entomological studies…at least for tonight. What is very fascinating, for me, is that there is only the smallest little spring behind my house. So, was I watching a Dun prior to the emergence of a Spinner or…….

01
Jul
11

Fly Fishing: Simple Partridge & Green Shined

Yesterday, midday, on the McKenzie River the Partridge and Green Wet Fly Shined

PMD’s and a variety of  Caddis were coming off. As the fly became tattered from teeth, it still worked just fine until it finally came undressed. Darn!  Tutorial/SBS by Oregon Fly Fishing Blog.

23
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: The Water Is Alive

For the beginning fly fisher recognizing your insects can be confusing. On a lake, the insect population is seemingly distinct and more recognizable: hexagenia, callibaetis, dragons, damsels, and of course, the other creatures of scuds (rivers too), leeches, water boatman, chironomids (rivers too) etc. Maybe, at first you might confuse a damsel and dragon. On a river or stream, the puzzle can be a bit more confusing. 

The other night, an associate was fishing the McKenzie River. There were what appeared to be bright yellow, large mayflies out over the water, “as big as a dragon fly”. There were additional yellow mayflies near shore bobbing up and down and almost like a swarm. The fly fisher saw no surface activity from fish.

This is confusing for a beginner and also for the non-beginner. But, this is truly part of the fun of fly fishing! This part of the thinking, observing, planning, deciphering, responding that makes the endeavor so satisfying….at least if you successfully sort out the puzzle. If you don’t observe to start with or if you observe but can’t sort it out then it is daunting. But, don’t let it be.

Keep it exciting and do the research, which has never been easier for the beginner given today’s on line resources: identify the river (or lake) you were fishing. You can do this before or after your fishing. What hatch charts can you find for that water? What insects are present during what months or when you were fishing? Research those insects. Find pictures of the nymphs, duns, spinners for that mayfly lets say (or caddis?).

In my friends case: what were those ‘large’ yellow mayflies? PMD, PED, Yellow Sallys (stonefly), Epeorus, Golden Stones. Color, size, hatch location, stage of life (dun, spinner), hatch method, time of day…can be important in narrowing down the insects you are seeing. Asking the local shop; writing knowledgeable fly fishers who really know that water shed and insects. The resources are there. Then be armed with patterns for several insects from the bottom (nymphs) up to the top. Remember there can frequently be more than one mayfly hatching at the same time and the duns and spinners can be simultaneously present. Recognize the busy egg laying spinners (no fish activity); the hatching duns, different mayflies from spinners (in this case there could have been the hatching Epeorus, hatching Pale Morning Duns, and egg laying PMD spinners.

In this instance, I did a little research and learned something interesting. The larger, yellow mayfly called Yellow Quills or Epeorus is a mayfly that ‘hatches’/’emerges’ beneath the surface and then moves to the surface to view. Now I know that I should have, for that particular mayfly on that river a larger yellow wet fly to be fished beneath the surface. I learned from my friends bewilderment and hopefully you will too.

So, stay patient. Study. Ask questions. Observe and keep notes. Take a picture if possible. And enjoy the puzzle! Then again, I did some more research and in Arlen Thomason’s excellent Bug Water, he and Rick Hafele arrived at Heptagenia solitaria…a PED. All part of the puzzle.




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