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Angler's Entomology Podcast

Welcome to the Angler's Entomology Podcast.  On this podcast and blog, I am documenting my re-entry into the world of entomology.   Join us as my wife and I explore the environment in which trout live and the insects and other creatures that live in and share that space.  This is not just a dry recitation of facts, I hope to bring these creatures alive - show you how they live, what makes them fascinating in their own right, and help you understand how they interact with trout in ways that will help your fishing.  So, please join us.  I hope you enjoy the program...


Selene's Blog and Page for Classic Streamers; and you can finder her interview on the podcast the Liar's Club. 

Angler's Entomology Quizup


Ep. 33 - Pics and patterns for March Browns

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.