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.
Wbranch on Jul 22, 2007July 22nd, 2007, 2:14 am EDT
I just located this web site as I was attempting to get good pictures of Ephemeralla Dorothea. I live in York, PA but have a cabin on the WB of the Delaware and usually go up during the week for three days. There have been awesome Sulfur hatches everyday with varying start times from as early as 1:00 to as late as 4:00. Zillions of duns but very few fish I have seen are eating the duns. This has always been somewhat of a problem on this river but I was still usually able to catch adecent number of larger fish on the duns or a floating emerger pattern that I tied up two years ago. It is probably not anything innovative and it is kind og like a Quigley style but with a light dun poly yarn loop tied in to extend over the hook eye. I'll try and post a photo at a later date.
I was wondering if this site has a search function of prior posts to see if I can locate a fully sub-surface Dorothea emerger. Something that appears to have the full nymphal shuck attached to the emergent dun. I was on the water three days during the week and saw hundreds of riseforms but only one out of hundreds would eat the dun. I did manage three good fish, over 15", on a Flashback PT behind a dun on a 12" piece of 6x. But there must be a better emerger pattern out there that would provide more consistent results. Thanks in advance.
Welcome, Matt! (Sorry for the pun, I couldn't resist.)
Because dorothea (like many ephemerellids) hatch near the surface but not always in the surface, many emerger styles are possible. One of my favorites is called a "wet dun"--basically a wet fly based on the appearance of the duns that emerge before reaching the film. One nice advantage of this style is that it can be fished at and into dark without having to guess about whether a fish has taken the fly. That advantage is unimportant for the early afternoon emergence on the WB, but you might find this to be a worthy option to add to your emerger arsenal.
Wbranch on Jul 22, 2007July 22nd, 2007, 1:10 pm EDT
Thanks for your input on the wet fly type of approach. After reading some data from various Google searches and the material at this site I too thought that maybe a tradional wet fly, or transitional nymph/dun wet fly would be effective and likely to be a lot easier to tie than some of the patterns I found while doing a search. I was up your neck of the woods last night at the Boiling Springs Tavern. They have excellent fare and service and their veal dishes are superb. My wife and I had appetizers, salad, two veal entrees, two Cozmo's and two Myers & Coke for a tad under a C note including the tip.
You ever fish the WB or main stem? The water has been very cold, mid 40's in the early morning and getting up to the low 50's by the afternoon. Lots of Dorothea in #18 & #20 also BWO in same sizes after 6:00 p.m.
Hey, Matt! The Tavern does have good food, though I'm saving up to get a C-note right now. ;) I love the WB, EB, and Big D. It's always interesting to see what the cold summer releases do to the hatching schedules--not too many other places where you can fish dorothea in the middle of the day in July! By the way, the evening BWOs you mention, are they two-tailed (baetids) or three-tailed (ephemerellids)?
Troutnut on Jul 22, 2007July 22nd, 2007, 3:43 pm EDT
Welcome to the site. There is a search function on the right side of the blue menu at the top of every page, but it's just a Google search of this site. They do a better job than anything I probably would have custom-programmed for the site, anyway.
I don't generally have a lot of fly "patterns" on here. My approach is to provide pictures of each insect and information about which stages may be useful to imitate. That way people can apply their own tying styles or adapt their favorite patterns to match each hatch. Of course, it can be helpful to talk about patterns, but it wouldn't be very useful for me to try to catalog all the patterns that might work on this site. That's why you won't find them.
So, the thing to do when you have a question about one is to just post and ask about it (like you did). You'll get lots of good ideas tailored to your situation. :)
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Wow, Jason, all this time on this site and the search thing never even registered! (Yes, I have been searching manually.) As well as being largely computer illiterate, I can be incredibly slow on the uptake. Like Shawn, I just discovered a cool new tool. Thanks for asking, Matt!
Wbranch on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 12:48 am EDT
I'm don't count tails as I have virtually no interest in the entomology aspect of fly fishing. When I was a kid in my twenties and maybe even early thirties I read some of that and know the latin names of most of the major Eastern hatches. But you know that bug stuff is just another aspect of this fly fishing pursuit; like fly tying, leader making, rod-building, etc. Some guys don't even tie flies. I tie my patterns based on an overall concept of the bug and don't believe the trout could give a damn whether or not your imitation has two, three, or eight tails.
I used to tie split tails on many of my duns, and on some duns it does make them stay upright better. Admittedly they do look great but now I often just tie in a couple of hackle fibers, or microfibbetts, and splay them out and they catch just as many trout as splits. Sometimes, when I'm in an especially patient mood I'll even tie three tails on my smaller BWO duns and Trico spinners but only to please myself that I can still do it and so when someone looks at my box I can get the pleasure of someone complimenting me on my tying adroitness.
Over the last 5 or 6 years I've hardly used any traditional tails at all. I tie in a few woodduck fibers as many naturals have heavily marked tails and then add a very short CDC Puff to resemble a trailing shuck and it adds good floatation.
Is there a way I can post pictures here? Use my Photobucket album and do a copy and paste?
I . . . don't believe the trout could give a damn whether or not your imitation has two, three, or eight tails.
Fair enough, Matt. But my interest didn't have much to do with tying tails. It was simply a way of trying to determine which BWOs you were seeing. (And that can have a bearing on the fishing, as they have different emergence/egg-laying habits.) Really, I was just wondering if the coldwater releases might have shifted the normally morning-emerging Drunella BWOs to the evening, as sometimes happens on the WB. Sorry!
Martinlf on Jul 23, 2007July 23rd, 2007, 10:23 am EDT
Matt, Gonzo is too modest to toot his own horn, but you'll find a neat wet dun pattern in his book, Fly Fishing Pressured Water. I've been fishing his flies this year and have had excellent success with them, though I haven't fished this one--yet. Early in July I did have some success with duns above Deposit, at Stilesville. (Am I spelling it right?) I fished a size 14 comparadun as bigger sulphurs were hatching, and I landed a couple of fish around 15 inches. My best fish, about 17-18 inches took a nymph dropped off the dry, though. It wouldn't even look at a dry. Let us know how your experiments go; I'm always eager to learn about things that work on the Delaware.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"
Wbranch on Jul 24, 2007July 24th, 2007, 1:35 am EDT
Actually the fly I was most interested in getting a recipe for was the Dorothea emerger. The BWO's were emerging from about 5:30 right to dark. If you didn't pick one up you might think they were a #16 because the wing is so tall compared to the actual body length. The body length is more closely replicated with a #18 Tiemco 2487 or 2457.
I tie these with a few woodduck fibers for the tail over wheich I tie a few dark brown fibers of crinkly Z-lon. The body is olive turkey biot ribbed with X-fine gold tinsel, the thorax is a shade of olive, between light to dark, depending on the natural body color and the wing is natural dark dun CDC tied in at a 45 degree angle.
Many of the duns were riding the surface for a very long period but the fish appeared to be eating both the duns and the emerger in the film. There were far more rises along the side of the river from which I was standing rather than in the middle or far side of the river. There were pods of from 3 - 6 fish just sucking in bugs one after another. The problem was the fish were rising very close to shore and since the water was skinny it was difficult for me to get into a position somewhat abreast of them as I'd make a wake as I tried to get into position. When I tried a straight upstream cast I'd invariably line a fish that was not rising and he would bolt and often spook the others for a while.
Here are a couple of Dorothea Emergers I've been tying trying to come up with a pattern that produces more consistently.
Wbranch on Jul 24, 2007July 24th, 2007, 1:54 am EDT
This may not be the proper venue to ask this question but do either of you fly fish the Susquehanna River? If so have you been having any success this year? I took my boat out twice in the last few weeks and got blanked both times. Not even one chase or tap and I used various Clouser minnows, crayfish, and poppers.
I know the river from Harrisburg south has been fishing very poorly for the past two years but was wondering if anyone is having any success anywhere. How about above Harrrisburg? It is too low to even put my jet in the river but I could walk fish if I heard any decent reports.
Do either of you guys ever go to the WB and/or main stem during the week? I'm always looking for a partner to split gas expenses. I have a cabin right on the WB just below the Methodist Camp. It got flooded last June 28 2006 but I'm very close to being finished with the re-build and may even have it completed (furnished) before the end of the 2007 season which for me is usually 30 October.
Wbranch on Jul 24, 2007July 24th, 2007, 2:03 am EDT
It may be Stilesville or it may be Stylesville but I know where you mean. Sometimes I have also seen the much larger Sulfur appearing mayfly mixed in with the smaller #16 - #18 Dorothea. I have no clue what it is since I'm not a bug guy but I just tie on a fly that I tied to replicate that size and color dun. I use a #14 with a more orange body, medium dun wings (either CDC or turkey flats) tied in Marinaro position and either cream of bronze blue dun Hoffman hackle about 2 - 3 turns and clipped on the bottom.
Up until last season I'd not seen many instances where the fish were ignoring the duns as much as they have been during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. I can remember fishing the upper or lower Gamelands and having fish eat my dun time after time. I never even fished an emerger back four and five years ago on the WB during the Sulfur hatch.
Wiflyfisher on Jul 24, 2007July 24th, 2007, 2:13 am EDT
I have had real good luck with a simple tie for dorothea emergers... a couple of wood duck barbels for the tail, rabbit fur (appropriate color mix) for the body and a CDC (or similar) short wing tied in at the thorax. (Do not use any stiff material for the short wing.) Also, I use a pheasant tail nymph too. Both patterns fished in the film or just underneath. Works great for PMDs as well.
I'm really not, Louis. It's just that whenever I do toot it, the lame "meep meep" sound it makes doesn't seem to attract much attention. So, I just choose to slip quietly through traffic, hoping that no one runs into me. ;)