My last couple of outings I have noticed many of these small exquisite mayflies dancing about the streams. With the abundance of these duns I also noticed the majority of the trouts feeding has been done sub-surface, that conclusion came from the fact that not a single rise form was seen. I'm a fisherman and not a entomologist, so please forgive me if I can't give you the actual name of the insect. I generally call them sulphurs, or white colored flies.
In Ames book Hatch Guide For New England Streams he lists several of these light colored insects as well as the flies one should use to represent them. It's a great book and should be in your library. There was an excellent fly tyer and fly fisher from New York state named Mark Libertone. Mark created two wet flies that I consider to be the best at representing these sulphurs. I put them in the same class as Fran Betters Usual. The two flies are the Genesee Jewel, and the Lil Dorothy.
The Lil Dorothy....this fly has accounted for many a trout. The last two outings I have taken a lot of trout on this fly. The recipe is as follows...Hook, Mustad 3906B....Body Orange Embroidery thread #722....Thorax, light hares ear....Hackle, Cream hen hackle. I also tie this fly on smaller light wire hooks.
Mark Libertone's Genesee Jewel another awesome pattern when these light colored mayflies are about. This fly works for me pretty much from May through October. The recipe is....Hook, Mustad 3906B....Tail, Cream Hackle Fibers....Body, Cahill dubbing....Rib, Pearlescent Tinsel....Wing, Wood Duck....Hackle, Cream Hen.
Both of these patterns should be in you fly box. Most likely you will have to tie them yourself or have them tied for you. I don't recall seeing them in the local fly shops.
I just found the Genesee Jewel a few years ago after a trip to western NY and Letchworth state park; it's a gorgeous pattern. I came back to Maine and tied a few up. Northern Maine Brookies like them, too!ReplyDelete
Mike I would think if these flies would be found it would be western NY. Mark tied these to fish on his home waters the Genesee river....aren't brookies accommodating.
Beautiful photo of the sulphur, Alan. Amazing how yellow that mayfly is. For fly fishermen, this is a magical and all too fleeting time of year with the hatches that take place.ReplyDelete
I fished with my brother and a friend on Monday at the Farmington. Even with wading staff in hand, the part of the river we fished wears me out. Taking a break at one point sitting on the bank, one of the Hendrickson emergers floated by. The wing popping out of the water film was as yellow as could be while I could clearly see the brown nymph shuck below the film. It finally escaped and off it went.
Could I ever tie a fly to imitate what I saw, I doubt it. But sometimes just sitting and watching makes for a pretty good fly fishing education.
Sam when fishing that river become quite fatigued. Even in quiet flows it can be taxing. I love the fact that you sat by for a spell and admired what a beautiful thing nature is, and when we stop and see it first hand it means so much.
Alan, very nice photo of the sulphur. The little Dorothy was probably an imitation of the smallest sulphur we know . The Doreathea is usually around a sz. 18. It is our most prolific may fly locally. Most fly fisherman around here always look forward to this time of year because of their appearance. Really like theGenesee jewel. Thankyou.ReplyDelete
Brad the fly in the last photo is tied on a size 16, which is about the size of the actual insect flying about. In my goings I have never seen these in a larger size. The Doreathea is what Mark copied to represent the fly.
Hope all's well in south east PA.
Those sulphurs look very similar to our yellow may upwing (Heptagenia sulphurea). Its nymph is a stone-clinger which,although quite common on northern spate streams and rivers, is not usually seen in great numbers as it normally trickles off throughout the day from late May until late July. We will then see the spinners in the evening - the males dancing over calm pools and females laying their eggs in the heads off the pools.
There is a myth that trout don't like these flies, but I have found a that to be untrue (certainly on the streams that run off the north York. Moors). If I see them coming off the stream I will often have success with a bright yellow bodied Bread-line emerger. However, I think I will have to try a Genesee Jewel on a dropper (washing line style).
Thanks for sharing.
Alistair the sulphurs here also come off in sparse numbers, at least on the small streams. The trout here will grab them freely and do not hesitate to show interest.
Let us know how the Genesee Jewel works for you.
Hi Alan, I generally use the partridge & yellow during a sulfur hatch. It's worked for me.ReplyDelete
John the P&Y is a good choice. Another simple choice.
"Sulphurs" vary in size and color not only by subspecies, but also by watershed. In most of the water I fish, they represent the top hatch of the year.ReplyDelete
Mark Libertone was responsible for designing and developing the soft hackle fly forum known today as the Flymph Forum, and in addition to his skill as a fly tier, he also was a superb artist and painter.
Bill I have heard that he was a very talented artist. His way with feathers and such put him in a special class.
Just tied up some #2's with a yellow body. Someone will eat it!ReplyDelete
Howard that's great. #2 what?
Alan, Sulfurs are my favorite hatch. I first tied the LTD for the Sulfur hatch on the upper Pine.ReplyDelete
Ralph they are a lovely mayfly.