Apr 30, 2018
I don’t happen to have a good picture of a nymph … I although I know I have one in my collection … I just can’t seem to find it right now. Which, how I can misplace an insect in my collection … well, that’s a whole other conversation.
But here is an adult female Ephemerella subvaria – aka a Hendrickson.
Note the leading edge of the rear wing – how it takes a sharp backwards turn about 1/3 of the way up. That’s one good clue you are looking at a Hendrickson.
Here is a male – aka a Red Quill. Dig those turban eyes…
Ok, let’s talk imitations.
For the nymphs – I tie what are basically gold ribbed hairs ear – with whatever material I want to imitate the local color. In this case it is a combo of hare's mask and american opossum mask. I LOVE the translucence of American Opossum. It is definitely not used enough.
Here’s a version made of red squirrel. I use the back for the tail and body and lighter belly for the light spots. Note this is a bead head. I could argue that the bead is to represent the gas bubble under the exoskeleton that helps the nymph rise to the surface. In reality, the hook I pulled out of the hook box already had a bead on it from a previous fly tying session…
Here’s a nice pattern Selene tied from Mike Holt’s page of Kennebec River insects (http://www.maineflyfishing.com/bluedun/bigpicture.htm)
Hook: Mustad 94840, 10-12
Tails: Mallard flank fibers
Abdomen: Gray Brown fur
Ribbing: Brown Monocord
Thorax: Dark Gray-Brown fur blend
Wing Pads: Dark Brown Quill segment or poly yarn
Legs: Brown partridge tied divided
As I’ve said, I often tie emergers using whatever nymph pattern I like and then either adding a dubbing ball, a foam wing pad, parachute style or CDC.
Here's an example of a hare's ear parachute tied with that same American 'Possum.
For those who like specific or more detailed emerger patterns, here’s a nice one from Selene:
Trailing Shuck: Antron
Tail and body: Pheasant Tail
Rib: Gold Wire
Thorax: Hendrickson pink dubbing
For adults, same idea. Identify the colors you want to imitate, and then tie the pattern in multiple styles (flush fishing or high riding) for different conditions. Here’s an example using Flick’s pattern:
A standard Catskill Art Flick Hendrickson:
Mustad 94840, sizes 12-14
Wings: Lemon Wood Duck or Dyed Mallard - upright and divided
Tail: Medium Blue Dun hackle fibers
Body: Pinkish fox fur - remove guard hairs
Hackle: Medium Blue Dun
And in contrast a Comparadun style:
I didn’t mention this in the podcast but there is another fly floating around out there (no pun intended) called the dark Hendrickson. It uses darker muskrat dubbing for the body and darker blue dun hackle. This just acknowledges the color variations you see with this critter.
Lastly, just to round this out, here is a rusty spinner style fly.