May 12, 2019
I had grand plans to tie lots of flies and take lots of pictures for you. I even purchased some extension tubes for my camera so I could take some really nice close ups. Well, two things happened – like a lot of you I’m sure, life’s other responsibilities have managed to get in the way so I’ve been having a hard time finding time at the vice, and secondly, the close up tubes just demonstrated how appallingly horrible a fly tier I am! Nothing like magnification to highlight all your misplaced materials.
So – we’ll see what I’m able to put together today – I do hope to tie some – but I suspect you are mostly going to get links to patterns.
So – let’s start with the European March Brown – where there are a few flies of interest. First is Dame Juliana Berner’s “Dun Fly” –
This is a nice page (and website) that gives some history of these early flies (as well as patterns). The pattern we are interested in here is the “Dun Fly” for the month of March.
From there let’s move onto the March Brown Wet Fly. Here is a nice step by step on tying the March Brown Wet Fly:
I can’t find a link which has a good description and picture of GEM Skue’s march brown nymph. Granted it is basically a Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear – but here is the pattern and I’ll try to tie a decent one up today and post a picture.
Hook: Nymph Hook – 12-16 I used a Mustad 3906b
Thread: Red; although honestly I think black or brown is better
Tail: brown or furnace hen hackles
Body: Dubbed hairs mask
Rib: Gold Tinsel
Hackle: Brown or furnace hen hackles
Wing Case: Pheasant tail fibers
And then here are some pictures of a few flies that Selene and I experimented with last night using the new clinger mayfly heads:
Selene’s is on the far left – the grey one. She tied that with a dubbing brush – which I like and a tail of pheasant tail (all of these have tails of pheasant tail). The next two are mine made out of a dubbing loop. All of them were brushed out and then trimmed into the triangular shape. It is an interesting and fun idea, but I think still could use some further experimentation and revision.
Of course I love Don Bastian’s flies. Here is a link to his March Brown Flymph – especially good as for a Western March Brown although would do well for Eastern March Browns as well – and more importantly, his comparadun. A great fly for any of the March Brown duns.
Here is a picture of Solomon’s March Brown Floating Nymph – taken from Thomas Ames Jr.’s book Hatch Guide for New England Streams. The version tied in the book was tied by Mary Dette Clark. Mine does not exactly look like hers!
Hook: Mustad 9671
Thread: White or Brown
Wing Bulge – dyed brown hair extending to the center of the shank
Tail: Ring-necked pheasant tail fibers
Body – beige brown fox dubbing
Legs: Brown partridge
Head: brown thread or white with brown lacquer
Here’s a great picture and pattern of Preston Jenning’s March Brown Dun
In contrast, here is Art Flick’s March Brown:
where the difference between the two flies is very subtle. Preston used mallard flank for the wings while Flick used wood duck (among a few other minor differences). I dunno – from a practical perspective I just can’t get too worked up about those kinds of differences.
Here is a link to the Grey Fox
Art Flick’s and Preston Jenning’s Grey Fox are the same.