FLY TYING - PERFECT MAYFLY EMERGERS, DUNS AND SPINNERS
Author: James Marsh
Publisher: James Marsh Productions, Jul 2007
Tie our 7 "Perfect Mayfly Emergers, Duns & Spinners". By varying hook sizes & colors of materials you will be able to tie highly effective specific imitations of all the important mayfly species that trout feed on from coast to coast. 90 min.
Learn to tie our 7 "Perfect Mayfly Emergers, Duns and Spinners". By varying hook sizes and colors of materials you will be able to tie highly effective specific imitations of all the important mayfly species that trout feed on from coast to coast.
If anglers are to be consistently successful on a variety of trout waters, their imitations must look & act, like the real bugs throughout their lifetime activities, on & in the water. That is what the "perfect fly" concept is all about.
Imitation can only represent the emerging insect at a specific stage at a specific time during this short interval of time. Trout take advantage of the emerging mayflies during this transition time, eating them with ease. Some mayflies emerge on the bottom or somewhere in between the bottom and the surface, and swim to the surface as duns. Our "Et" or emerging combination nymph and dun, has the shuck still hanging or trailing on the "almost" emerged dun. The Et nymphs resembles a mayfly taking a jump suit off. Our "Ea", emerging adult or wet fly imitation, represents those mayflies that emerge below the surface.
Fully emerged adult mayfly duns, our "D" patterns, have two main upright divided wings like real mayflies. They do not have a single wing or just totally lack wings like some mayfly imitations. When upright, these wings sit back at an angle to the body, not straight up like the few imitations that do have wings. We don't go so far as to add the tiny hind wings for those species that have them, but we do think the main wings, which represent almost half of the total configuration or silhouette of a mayfly, should be somewhat realistic.
Mayfly duns have six legs, not sixty like some impressionistic patterns suggest. The trout can't count them but the shape and configuration of 60 legs looks quite different than 6 to the trout. The duns float, depending on the size and species of mayfly, more or less flush with the surface film, not high out of the water standing on their feet like imitations tied with traditional vertically wound hackle. Depending upon the smoothness of the water, the legs and tails leave an imprint (as anglers usually call it) on the surface, but the silhouette of the fly as the trout views it varies greatly due to many factors.
We have two basis types of dun patterns, a biot version that represents the majority of the species and an extended body version for the large mayflies. Both the biot body flies and the larger extended body flies, have small amounts of material, usually soft hackle, tied in a horizontally wound parachute style to represents the mayfly's legs. In other words, all our duns are parachute style flies, but we do not use a post. Finally, mayflies have either two or three tails, not ten or fifteen like many imitations. We know that the tails are used on many standard imitations to help float the fly, but it is not necessary to have more support than the tails we use to float our dun patterns.
When mayflies become sexually mature, they lose their dull outer covering and become what anglers call spinners. Our "S" patterns represent the spinners. Although some specie of these spinners may die and fall in ripples and faster moving water, they eventually wind up concentrated in eddies or smoother flowing water such as pockets and the tail end of pools. This is usually where the trout go to take in the easy offerings. Again, our "Perfect Fly" imitations are selected to catch trout in the type of water that trout feed in depending upon the particular species of mayfly. Presentations made in turbulent water will drown most of our spinners. In that event, you probably presented the fly in the wrong place, but even so, that is exactly what happens to natural spinners that fall in turbulent water. They get drowned and even then, your fly is properly imitating the natural. The wings of spent spinners lie flat on the water, not upright like the duns. This fact, added to the fact that spinners float low in the surface film, make them difficult to see even in the best situations, especially the smaller spinners- the real ones and the fakes ones. Spinners are yet a different body and wing color from that of the dun, sometimes drastically different. They are thinner, slimmer and usually have clear or transparent upright wings and a tail that is usually longer than the duns tail. The female spinners are either involved with the mating process and are generally not available for the trout to eat; or they are in the process of laying their eggs and may or may not be available for the trout; or they have collapsed after laying their eggs with spent wings and a body that is void of eggs. The male spinners may or may not be available, depending on where they die, on water or on land.