The most common patterns for Dark Hendrickson duns note Wood Duck flank feather for the winging material. However, pictures of the real dun all show a darker grey shade for the wings. Any wisdom on this color variance?
I'm inclined to use dun- or dark dun- turkey flats for wings since I'm getting into thorax-style dries.
The Dark Hendrickson and Sulphur hatches are due any day now on my home stream, The Rogue, which is back to near-normal depth and flow for the season. 2 weeks ago it was over the banks, the roads, and nearly the bridges...wild!
I'd go with the darker material and see how you do. Perhaps a grey quill wing? The Red Quill calls for wood duck flank wings, but I have tied them with grey quill wings and I think they look more like the naturals. I have tied up Light Hendricksons with grey mallard flank instead of wood duck and have had luck with them too. Just my 2 cents...
P.S. Your conditions sound just like ours here in northern lower Michigan! Water was way high and cold last week but has gone down almost back to normal now. And hatches are just starting around here too, saw quite a variety today but no big numbers yet...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Many of the old patterns are not exactly accurate in regards to color. But, because size and presentation often trump exact color, the old patterns often work if presented properly. One of the best dry fly fishermen I know uses dun turkey flats for his Hendrickson thorax style wings. He also prefers sparse, undersized hackle.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"
Thanks guys, I'll go on tying Dark Hendricksons with medium dun turkey flats AND keep my hair...(it's such a nice one, hate to lose it).
I also tried a 'clumped-hackle' pattern recently, sort of a thorax style but with the wings at mid-body and the hackle tied to push the fibers up and around the wings. I'm planning on heading out Mother's Day afternoon, after paying proper homage to Mom-in-law of course.