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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 9, 2014March 9th, 2014, 7:41 pm EDT
My new improved Brown Drake emerger pattern for 2014. I am not sure this will be any better until it's trout tested. I have often observed a lot of Brown Drake duns flopping around in the surface film while trying to get their wings upright and dry. So every year I try to create a more effective soft hackle pattern for the Brown Drake hatch that will be more deadly than the previous design. I also try to keep patterns simple and not too complicated.



I am using grouse hackle, Pearsall's olive silk thread for a ribbing, and the body is a mixture of golden wool color and natural hare's ear on a size #6 Mustad #3906 hook.

What do others use for this?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 9, 2014March 9th, 2014, 11:28 pm EDT
It's funny how two guys see a fly so differently! my Brown Drake Emerger. I guess my nomemclature is incorrect. I fish it dry as an adult out of the shuck but with the wings not yet vertical.

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Green Drake emerger (incorrectly labeled Brown Drake Emerger)

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Green Drake Dun

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Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Mar 10, 2014March 10th, 2014, 5:59 am EDT
Matt, that Green Drake looks great! (Actually they all do...)

John, those soft hackles look pretty tasty too. I bet they would work for march browns too.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 10, 2014March 10th, 2014, 1:09 pm EDT
It's funny how two guys see a fly so differently! my Brown Drake Emerger. I guess my nomemclature is incorrect.


Matt...I don't think so. They are just two different "styles", yours is dry and John's is wet. Your fly reminds me a bit of Harrop's transitional dun.

IMHO, these will take fish, no problem...

Your last one there Matt I would toss for the Brown Drake, but maybe only change the wing color. There is a fair amount of yellow in our Brown Drakes (the Robert's Yellow Drake from Grayling is spot on) and a rather difficult carmel/honey brown that's not so easy to duplicate...In the neighborhood of your abdomen.

John...I have posted here before a time I floated the North Branch of the Au Sable during the Brown Drakes and we found piles of stillborns in the slack water under a small dock. My guide friend would remind me, when my drag-free-floats became too drag-free, that the process of emergence for these larger bugs isn't a dainty thing...They disturb the water. A wet fly is killer during these times.

Eric...There is a wet fly in Nemes' "100 Years of the Wet Fly", or whatever it's called, that is great during the March Brown hatch. It is the one in there with a couple wraps of brown rooster hackle just behind the Partridge...It helps flair it out some. It also has a tail of PT fibers.

I had a wonderful day with this fly a couple years back. I fish it more like a dry than a wet...The next morning I ran in to Gates' Lodge and whispered this to Josh there...He smiled and walked me over to the fly bins and reach down and pulled something out of the Brown Drake bin that looked a great deal like what I had tied.

I guess that there really isn't anything "new" under the sun. :)

Thanks for sharing guys!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 11, 2014March 11th, 2014, 4:24 am EDT
Matt, mine is not a dry fly like yours. For a dry fly pattern I prefer a Brown Drake Comparadun with the wing slightly slanted back.

I guess that there really isn't anything "new" under the sun. :)

There are so many variations for most patterns today it is difficult to remember what the heck the original patterns even looked like.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 11, 2014March 11th, 2014, 5:13 am EDT
My two dry emergers are tied on #8 & #10 hooks. I like to fish the upper East Branch in early June because of the intense BD & GD emergences - they overlap. I see many duns half in and half out of the nymphal shuck with the wings unfolding that I figured I'd try a dry emerger.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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