Wandering Monks fly of the month, May 2013…I tried think up a cool name for this one…but since its a three in one , somehow I had to try to come up with something…”Legend of the Rise”, “A tale of Three Aquatics”….or even “The Trilogy”…its just a basic nymph., emerger (or “still born”) and the adult “Dun” phase…as an angler that tries to tie up pertinent  patterns in  my attempt at covering the various aspects of   aquatic insects, and their phases of real  life , living in and ascending out of  the stream.

       I hope this will inspire others out there to attempt the same…many of whom are way better tyers than myself…

…there is one more fotm sbs, #4, the page will resume later this year around Christmas…

all the best…wm…

 …”The Trilogy”…

no.19a

     

     …”The Trilogy” , a nymph, an emerger  and the adult May Fly “Dun”… copied after my favorite March Brown May Fly…March Browns can have some pretty different occurence dates depending on where you are located…I wanted to match up the color of all three phases, and be able to fish whatever was happening at any given time. The concept however can be easily applied to multiple bug hatches…this pattern is also well suited for “Sulphur” & “Hendricks” imitations …increase the size a few notches, and go to darker colors and I use it for stone and salmon flies too.

         The “Ephemeroptera”  family of aquatic insects(MayFlies) are pretty similar in many respects…only color and size being the real issue a fly tyer has to reckon with. Of course there are major things an entomologist would remark, but for the average angler , this series can be used for many hatches.  Its always a good idea to have bugs tied up for all three phases…of whatever hatch you are matching…at least when it comes to May Flies and the earlier nymph and emerger phases….

      The sound of an Elk Bugling, a Wild Turkey Gobbling, a Ring Necked Pheasant cackling as it rises in front of my yellow Lab Dakota,  a pair of Mallards pitching into decoys & even days working on a Buffalo ranch…not exactly sounds or scenes you would relate to angling…but for me it is, especially when it comes to these flies…because all those experiences are locked in with these patterns…the materials I used come from all those situtions…Actually I fly fish a lot more nowadays than I do those other pursuits…but they are part of my life too…and allow me to tie up flies with materials from harvests and other outdoor experiences…

 

no.13

           

            This is an “old school” approach to the emerger…back in the late 70′s there was a small wave of tyers that were trying to imitate the “still born” or better put, an emerging May Fly that was stuck in the position of getting its wings “unfurled” on its ascent to the surface to become what is commonly called a “dun”( first stage of adulthood)…it was thought that this was a very vulnerable position for an emerging aquatic insect to be in…kind of like a paratrooper having his reserve chute not work… predators like  trout tend to capitilize on situatiuons like that… there are also some patterns that imitate a “dun” molting into a “spinner”( the last stage of a May flys life span) where the adult May Fly gets stuck in its “shuck”, which by some is the more common use of the term “still born”… that usually happens on land… but could also be an interesting pattern to attempt…

    When tying this emerger, you could have varying stages of “stuckness” , for lack of a better term. Where the wing case is even slightly larger…by just lengthening the two wing straps before securing over the excess dubbing…In the SBS below it would be easy to modify this however you wanted…possible some varying stages…never hurts to be versatile!

           In this months “fly of the month”,  I tried to make an easy tie…that is fairly realistic, that also covers the span of what an angler approachs in different phases of  “the hatch” …I used some of my favorite “homegrowns”, pretty basic materials,  Elk fur, Pheasant and Wild Turkey feathers…a little of my favorite Buffalo wool for dubbing & some dyed Mallard flanks I finished up a few weeks ago with some alcohol based dye…The SBS is below…with most of the stages in all three “bugs”being identical up to the finish of either a wing case expanded or wings and a hackle…as with my other patterns…this is just meant to be a springboard for others to experiment themselves…and come up with their own personal version…

       I tied this particular bug on a barbless size 16 Tiemco…any small scud or caddis  hook would be great…depending on your skills and dexterity, it could be used for just about any species or color phase. March Brown’s, which is pretty much the color phase I had in mind when I did this one. A size 18-20 would be good for many olive or gray species too…or even a size 10-12 for some bigger Western Stone & Salmon flies …

    Initially I tied the tail section in segments, to simulate that aspect of the critter…but when I did it lost some of the width in the abdomen/tail I was really wanting…on the final version ( the one in the SBS & photos here) I used super glue to blend the top and bottom materials…and shaped it into the curve found in nature…leaving a few sprigs tips to simulate the “rear telemetry”…that aspect of the bugs anatomy that can vary from species to species…whether it be two or three depending on the bug,  I dont think really matters for an angler…its just another visual to attempt to trick a nice trout!

trilogy_2 copy

                 …an amber looking super simple tie of the nymph…I like the legs a bit longerbthan most nymph patterns…I want to try and get some movement back in the area of the gills on the abdomen too…watch the video…and see what I mean…

     The Elk fur simulates the lighter underside of the aquatic bugs I recently viewed in the video “Meet the Hendriksons”  by Tightline Productions… definetely worth checking out…it gave me a lot of inspiration for this tie…its a very informative look at the “up close and personal” world of aquatic insects…The Darker Pheasant or Wild Turkey covers the darker ” topside” of the same…I used a new technique for the legs/gillsI came up with  by flipping a clipped mallard fank…something that worked well for me…

     The Emerger version simulates a May Fly when it is very vulnerable to attack…back in the late 70′s there were some patterns being tied trying to imitate a “still born” May Fly…one whose wings were stuck in the case…the idea was that it was a desperate perdicament for this little critter to be in…and one a trout would for sure take full advantage of…

The Adult uses two dyed mallard flanks for the wings…I waxed the tips to make the pointed shape …I use a technique with the hackle of trimming the tips of the hackle from 4 o’clock to 8 o’clock ( as you look at the fly straight on) to assist the fly to lay in the right disposition…its not foolproof, but it does really add a bit to help the posture on the water properly…letting the hook be down, the tail pointing up slightly and the wings balanced like the May Fly does in nature…

     This is not meant to be an end all…but a springboard for others to experiment with some different materials and come up with their own “Trilogy”…wm

trilogy…also my favorite ELP album…”in the beginning”

materials list…

size 10-20 scud or caddis hook…(SBS is size 16)

Elk Fur for lower abdomen and tail section….

Pheasant or Wild Turkey Tail for wing case & upper Tail/ abdomen section…

dyed Mallard Flank for leg/gills…

Buffalo wool or similar for thorax dubbing…

Pheasant or Wild Turkey tail for wing case…

gold or tan dyed Mallard Flank for wings…

ginger or brown rooster for hackle …

I used a brown nylon thread…

no.1

 All three versions start out the same way…take a clump of Elk fur and wax it…I like the clump to be a bit irregular with varying lengths…tie it on loosely at first to get the orientation correct…then tighten up…I like to put a drop of super glue on here too…note the width of the tail here…

no.2

 next take some Pheasant or Wild Turkey barbs and tie onto the Elk fur…I put a drop of super glue on here too…and start to give the “upward” curve shape to the tail section…

no.3

   …leave the extra material for the wing case…this will get tied on after dubbing and legs/gills…

no.4

 here is some buffalo wool…I like it because you dont have to spin it on the thread like most dubbing material…I twist it…tie it on , and spiral it around for the thorax section…

no.5

…after spinning it on, tie it off good …at least two half hitches…leaving enough room on the hook to still tie off the wing case etc…

no.6

 

I take a mallard flank and trim out the very tip…then clip it off at the line I have shown,(the center of the quill only!) right where the center of the quill meets the line…so the two sides both “flair” away from the stem… it will go on the thorax section with the curve down…if you want to “thin” down the legs/gills later , just remove a bit alternating barbs to make for a thinner leg etc… a good sharp pair of scissors is a real asset there…

 

no.7

 

…tie down the tip of the dflank for the legs/gills…then pull over the wing case and tie it off also…

no.9

 

… trim the legs & gills to what you want…taking the scissors to the base as close as possible…clean up the head…and put a “primer” drop of “hard as hull” or similar to the top of the wing case…work out the final shape and length of the tail too…that will complete the  nymph…after the “primer” is hard, repeat until you have a nice “glossy” dome over the wing case…

 

no.10

 

…in the case of the emerger , I leave some more material on for the wing case section that with the nymph…I used some Wild Turkey here…I also leave the dubbing leftovers on too…this gets used to “puff up” the area for the emerging wing section…you can see the tag of the legs / gills too…trim that without harming the leftover dubbing…

 

no.11

 

…loop the dubbing and tie it off with a half hitch…and now trim away the excess, and finish off the head …

 

no.12

 

                            …split the remaining wing case material and pull it over one section at a time and tie off…depending on the look  you like more wing case material can be used…

 

no.13

 

 …trim off any excess, and put a drop of head cement on the final whip…

 

no.14

 

…for the Adult May Fly you can pick up at the  point of the nymph prior to tying off the wing case and dubbing…select a matched pair of flanks…trim off the webbing and wax the tips to a slight point…I don’t put on any legs/gills here since the hackle does that too…they can be added if you like…Also I sometimes add a small piece of foam for more flotation if I want to use this fly in a “hopper /dropper” or as an indicator for fishing it in a combo with the emerger or nymph as the dropper…

 

no.15

 

…tie off the wings at about a 45 degree angle, so the two are in a “tent” to one another, trim off the tags and whip the head off…

 

no.16

 

 …pick out a rooster hackle, with the length about half – 3/4 the height of the wings…I like them large…some like less…fielders choice…

 

no.17

 

…tie off the trimmed hackle at the very rear of the remaining head…

 

 no.18a

 

…spin on the hackle and tie it off behind the eye of the hook…put on a few half hitches and apply a drop of head cement…trim the hackle at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock( as you look at the fly head on)…this helps the fly float properly when it lands in a presentation( preventing it from “rolling over”)…I did pull down a few barbs of the wing with a bodkin to simulate some legs on finished version of the adult….in lieu of adding the mallard flank as in the emerger and nymph…these can be trimmed a bit or just left alone…trimming does tend to help the fly” righting” itself well…

I am working on the “spinner” of this for another month…more pronounced tail/abdomen with segments and the wings in a proper “dihedral”, and an attempt to tie in the lower wing section too for the final phase of the May Fly.

trilogy_1c

 

 …here is the trio…I like to fish them  single or even in a dropper rig sometimes … when I use the adult “Dun” as an indicator and top fly I like to add a small piece of foam to the Adult to help floating a bit better, especially with a weighted nymph underneath 20-24″…a “Czech” style rig with all three would be interesting, using a blood knot or Orvis style tippet knot for the emerger and the nymph below, and use the dry as an indicator…not exactly the method as described…but kind of a hybrid…with 20-24″ pieces of tippet between the two knot’s…kind of a “progression rig” portraying the aspects of “the hatch”…

         With various colors of materials and sizes of hooks you can make multiple versions of the trio…everything from small BWO’s to even largest Stone & Salmon Flies…

golden may fly3 copy

         …Here is a version I tried out the other day…I segmented the tail section on this one…but decided to leave that off on the “dun”, and maybe try a version like this with a more flattened out wing trying to copy a “spinner”…

golden may fly1 copy

the weer1 copy

 …yours truly on the right trying to help an angler friend with the best selection for that day…

previous FOTM’s…

erin_go_braugh_a1

wm pattern  #1 /erin go braugh

pws_bronze1

wm fly of the month #2…“pocket water sedge”

…upcoming ” flies of the month”…

brown_stone_fly1 copy

“High Country” Stonefly Nymph…

 potm-3
 
                 …segmented golden/brown May Fly nymph…
          pattern motivated by “Meet The Hendriksons” video
                                  to imitate “swimming” nymphs…
 
                           check out Tightline Productions
 
 
curt_gowdy1 copy
 

 

 
 
 
                    The “Curt Gowdy” special…
           a super simple dry pattern for size 12-20 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
mosquito_1 copy
 
 
 
 
 
                     …  ‘lil skeeter…
   a mosquito pattern great for trailers in a hopper/dropper rig
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
pws-hun2 copy
 
 
 
 
 
 
                      …the wet hun…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

buffalo_brown3 copy

 
 
 
 
 
                                ” the brown buffalo”
   my all time favorite wet fly…from something tied 100 plus years ago
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

IMG_4434 copy

 
 
 
 
 
 
                     Gunnison Stone (dry version, wings down)
 
imitation of the huge fly that hatches on the Gunnison in early june…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
shellback_stone1 copy
 
 
 
 
 
 
                      ” shell back salmon/stone “
         another fly for the big stone and salmon hatches
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 here are some suppliers I use for my hooks and  other tying ingredients…also a few great resources for  materials…fur and feathers…

AO Feathers a place that has quality materials, and some hard to find items like double hooks and items used by those devoted to classic patterns…a small family business. Aaron has become a friend, and shares the same faith as I do…

Fly Fishing The Sierra a great site for not only purchasing quality materials for tying flies…but also a great library of patterns with a list of mterials needed…something Steve sells too…this is probably one of if not the most complete fly angling sites out there. Everything from detailed fliy patterns(and materials available) but also tactics, basic angling knowledge and even a campsite directory…great job Steve!

   here are some links to sites that offer excellent SBS’s or youtubes…  a few folks  whom I consider master tyers ,and some step by steps to tie flies…or  with you tube videos…also just some good resources worth looking at… 

Charlies Fly Box ,  Charlie Cravens siteArvada, Colorado…I sold a lot of his patterns in a shop I worked at in Colorado…he is not only creative, but also a super tyer, and a great guy…the original, Mr SBS himself…

Hans Stephenson from Dakota AnglerRapid City , South Dakota…Hans is a great tyer and has the youtube thing down very well…many new styles and materials…

Davie McPhail….an oustanding tyer from Scotland…all manner of trout and salmon flies…he has many youtubes done on all sorts of patterns…a real magician… 

Fly Anglers Online is a great resorce for tying tutorial’s for all manner of flies…trout to salmon…here is a very good link for tying Dee Style flies…browse their pages for a lot more…

Salmon Fly.Net… this is an all around great resource for fly tying and fishing in general for Salmon and Steelhead…I get a lot of ideas from studying these pages

     Trout Nut.com a really comprehensive site about all involving hatches and various species of aquatic insects…

 
 
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