Filling the boxes for the rivers of eastern Norway. I will need a nice selection of mayflies, because many species hatch in the different rivers.I like these simple patterns. They are easy and fast to tie, and the color variations are endless. They can off course be tied with nice tails, but I do not think the fish will care. With a possible exception of the largest species. Fish in fast flowing water do not always have the time to study the menu…
I have been obsessed with using mallard in the wings for duns and emergers lately. This is an attempt to make a sbs of the CdC Dun. I apologize for the poor quality photos. But they will at least give you a general idea. For this pattern you will need a splitable thread. You can use Dynema, Serafil or Petijean threads.
1. Tie in a tail of rooster or Coq de Leon fibers. Make it a bit longer than normal.
2. Now prepare the peacock quill and tie it in. I do not use UV (yet), so i just use standard varnish. Choose a bunch of mallard and gather them to make the impression of a wing.
3. There are lots of tools for this purpose out there. The best are, without a doubt, the ones from Marc Petijean, but an old-school paper clip will do the trick as well. Choose two cdc feathers, a mix of grey and black is usually a good choice. Cut them close to the stem.
4. Split the thread and spin the cdc to make the hackle. Pull the fibers bacwards and wind the cdc as a hackle.
5. The end result should look something like this. The colors can off course be changed to suit all mayflies…
The Able Mabel is a less known Catskill-pattern,maybe because it is relatively new and not part of the canon. It is presented in Mike Valla´s book as first tied by Ed Van Put in 1992. The occasion was to honor a founding member of “The Woman Fly Fishers Club” Mable Ingalls, on the clubs 60th anniversary. I have never tied neither fished this pattern before,but I will try it this summer. I think the colors on the Able Mabel are great and we know that this style of flies works. The original pattern called for amber thread for the rib,but this is the closest I had today. Oh,how I wish to go to Catskill heartland. It would be sort of a pilgrims journey…some day,some day! This one is a size 12 TMC 100.
In my early years of fly tying I thought that parachute patterns was the best imitation for the dun stage. That was also what I learned from the magazines,books and the more experienced anglers I knew. The truth is that a parachute fly really imitates the change from nymph to dun. It also works great as a drowned dun in rough waters or weather conditions. I find myself fishing the emergers and spent spinners way more than I do the dun stage. To our eyes the parachute may look as the perfect imitation for a dun, but it’s really not.
That’s why I carry a bunch of classic hackled flies in my boxes,in addition to parachutes and all the other oddballs I may create during the winter. I absolutely prefer the Catskill patterns for this purpose,but using ordinary dubbing and antron yarn in the wings makes it easier and faster to tie. I find this style of flies to be very durable as well as easy for the beginner. I normally tie the wing using V-style, but don’t make them to thick, as this will disturb the balance of the fly. If desireable one can use fluorescent color for the wing. It seems to mean nothing to the fish…