Posts Tagged ‘PMD

03
Jun
11

Fly Fishing: The Pale Morning Dun (Summer’s Hatch)

For the beginning fly tier and fisher, the Pale Morning Dun is a ‘predictable’ hatch on Western rivers from June into September. It is a late morning to early evening window of opportunity  for a hatch that has a pronounced pre-hatch nymph ‘drift’ before the emergence on the surface. It is enjoyable to figure out and to fish to. It is one of several Summer hatches that are satisfying to discover and react to.

PMD Adult Wing (McKenzie River Page)

The ‘crawler’ nymphs will move from the rocks and bottom debris where they have hidden. As they move up out of the protection, toward the surface, they are now at the mercy of the currents and trout. This drift, in moderate to slower waters, can take place over an extended period of time as the nymphs drift, wiggle upward, split their wingcases atop the thorax area, wiggle further toward the surface, shed that nymphal case at the surface (emerge) and poke through the surface film (meniscus) to ‘hatch’. The adults will drift a bit further as those now upright wings (opaque) dry a bit and then they lift off into the air, fluttering and drifting with the breezes of the day, toward shore. (Is that a mega paragraph or what?)

The Clear PMD Spinner Wing

This whole process provides stages of presentation that are satisfying  & predictable: nymphs drifting along the bottom in the moderate to slower waters (careful wading, longer distance-stealth presentations?); then emerger/wet fly/flymphs/floating nymphs in the top foot or so of water to the surface; dry fly action and later spinner fall action as the females bob about in quieter side waters to lay eggs and then fall with their clear, spent wings stretched out to the sides like a partially submerged little airplane in film…drifting down in the slower currents.

So many opportunities here for presentations from bottom to top. Once you find a hatch of PMD’s on your favorite stream note its location.  Your patterns will tend toward the tan to dark tan (mottled earth tones) in sizes 16-18 over the course of the summer. You can research Google Images for PMD nymphs, emerger, dry and see a large variety of pattern options. 

 

21
May
11

Fly Fishing: the Shoreline Eddy

I was going to write the ‘back eddy’ but I think it is better to describe it as the shoreline eddy. The fly fishing literature will usually suggest the eddy is a ‘smorgasbord’ of food for trout (when did you last lay eyes on a smorgasbord?). Most eddy’s are the size of your car or smaller, with the occasional mega one. A shoreline projection into the current or bend in the river will create the eddy. Regardless of their size, food (insects) is funneled into these revolving, carousel like pools. The eddy, at some point, because it is rotating, doubles back up river against the normal downstream flow. The trapped food items are vulnerable to a trout, and your approach, if not stealthy, makes you vulnerable to a fish’s view. So, plenty of fish food and fish is exciting. But, the challenge will be the presentation. A dry, an emerger, a streamer drawn through hoping for that hit? 

This is one of those times you really should slow down with your approach (it is always said you should slow down, but often we fail to stop and study the water from the edge out). Once you spot the eddy, stop. Get a clear view. Can you back off and observe for a while? The fish will be sipping or right below the surface taking in the trapped insects. Think how you are going to present a fly into that slowly revolving window without spooking the fish. A long leader is ideal for a probably small offering. If possible and safe, can you climb above the eddy and safely, stealthily look down to study the activity?

How will you present the fly while staying low, watching your fly, dealing with possible wind, and avoiding too much drag? You will not get too many chances here so take your time to watch how the fish are/is feeding. Then consider your cast, where the fly will travel given the current and where the fish is in relation to that path. Don’t just chuck and chance it. 

Do a little research on Pale Morning Duns, a Summer time pattern that likes the quieter back waters, particularly a shoreline eddy.


03
Apr
11

Fly Tying: Biot Bodies (Smooth~Ridged)

BIOT BODIES HOW TO’s

This is my effort at a Pale Morning Dun, size 16. The tail is a few barbs from a grizzly hackle feather. The body (abdomen) is a yellow goose biot. There is a notch in every individual biot near the butt section. That notch is your guide to whether your body will be smooth (as I did here) or ridged. (Notch up = ridged body) (Notch down = smooth body).  The wing is a clump of CDC that I tied in and raised up into a vertical position with thread wraps around the base. I tied in one medium blue dun feather and wrapped it behind the CDC post and then wrapped the hackle forward, to the front.

23
Jul
10

Fly Fishing: Hatch or Mating/Spinner Fall?

As I arrived on the river last night, I saw a few Caddis fluttering about. I had tried this spot recently and felt the time would be better spent after the sun moved behind the trees and the shadows covered a stretch of water forty yards long and twenty yards wide, gliding between the grassy shoreline and a rolling riffle. I sat smoking my briar, studied the water and decided to study the vegetation a few feet away. It was around 6pm.

Turbo Insectology (PMD & Friends) SwittersB

This is a good practice, as beneficial as turning over rocks in the stream or seining a stretch of water to identify how bugs look…color and size. Notice the pic above…the Pale Morning Dun in transition to Spinner.

I moved out to fish, once I noticed a few rises and that the shade had hit the water. A fly fisher arrived behind me and remarked about the hatch behind me, near the shore. I noticed mayflies bobbing up and down near the grassy shoreline. I waded over to talk and observe.

What was evident all around was  multiple events of insect activity: a few Yellow Sallies, a black micro Caddis, a larger tan Caddis, a smaller mayfly hatching with several gliding down the stream, wings upright. And, the bobbing mayflies, yellowish-tan in color. Beneath them spent mayflies, clear winged, on the surface like ditched airplanes…wings outspread. A spinner fall.

I looked downstream and looked for additional activity. With all the activity, I looked for some form of sips, slashes, slurps or boils. Reality check. Perfect conditions. Multiple hatches. Only a few visible signs of fish and they came quickly to an emerger pattern.

SwittersB Made in the Shade

Still a pleasant evening and another puzzle approached, but there seemed pieces missing to what I anticipated being an easy puzzle to piece together.

21
Jun
10

Fly Tying & Fishing: Pale Morning/Evening Duns

Now until late October, the slowly rising light colored mayflies will rise from the edges of the quieter water of streams. A pleasant certainty on many streams is the late morning & again late afternoon hatch that sputters out near evening time.  As with all these hatches, there abounds comprehensive info with scientific names re the PMD’s, PED’s even Pale Afternoon Duns. Have at it if that terminology gene is clanging away demanding more info. Check out Trout Nut or similar bodies of work by Hughes and Hafele. In the meantime, in a more practical application tie or buy the necessary svelt brown crawler nymphs and cream-tan colored  emergers, adults and spinners.

06
May
10

Fly Tying: PMD~Sulphur Nymph (Split Wing Case)

PMD~Sulphur Mayfly Nymph by Josh McFadden (Hatch Hunters)

SPLIT CASE PMD~SULPHUR MAYFLY NYMPH

This is a dandy little pattern, with attention to detail in the wing case split concept. Note the pattern calls for 14/0 thread and very thin yellow foam on this little gem.

24
Jan
09

Pale Morning Dun (and emerger, nymph, spinner)

A freestone Summer staple in many Western US streams, the PMD is so available that one should take the time to tie up nymphs, emergers, duns and perhaps spinners. The PMD nymph is a blocky clinger that I think is easily matched by GRHE’s or a pudgy PTN. Sizes 14 to 16 are usually appropriate. Like the Callibaetis, the PMD gets progressively smaller as the season advances. Start larger (14) in June and tie on smaller (16) as you move through July into August. The nymphs are going to be in faster currents and subject drifting. Fishing the nymph alone or as a dropper is the norm. I have used the general purpose Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear and a Copper John. The emerger pattern is so enjoyable to fish that I would experiment with all the regulars (Klinkhammers, Quigleys, or an in the film unweighted nymph). The dun pattern has been for me a tannish/cream dun, either a parachute or standard dry with a dun colored wing. I mention  spinners because they are do fall in the evening and a few are always a good idea. I know this because I am often without them and hence unprepared (I have had this problem with Callibaetis spinners as well).  I am by no means an expert re mayflies and only know what I do from observations and studying Westfly, Troutnut, Worleybuggerflyco. I do know that they are necessary on Western US rivers.

Hare's Ear (GRHE)

Hare's Ear (GRHE)

pmd

PMD Nymph

PMD Nymph

 

PMD Emerger

PMD Emerger

PMD Emerger

PMD Emerger

pmd_dun_300

PMD Parachute

PMD Parachute

PMD Comparadun

PMD Comparadun

 

 

PMD Sparkle

PMD Sparkle




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