Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > emergers whats best to tye and use

AndrewFebruary 21st, 2009, 11:23 am
Surprise AZ

Posts: 6
I am looking for a general design or patterns of emergera to tye that works with all types of mayfly. I've read alot of articles but at this time still can't decide on the best pattern. so i would like to have some more opinions, patterns and advice on the subject.
Avid fly tyer, fly fisherman and bird hunter with little time to do what he loves to do when he wants to do it.working hard to fullfill my outdoor loves and aspirations.
JOHNWFebruary 21st, 2009, 11:52 am
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Andrew,
I'm not sure there is such a thing. The style of emerger is going to vary based on the specific insect as well as the type of water being fished.
If you are looking for something to imitate the "classic" mayfly emergence typified by baetis for example a slender Pheasant Tail nymph with a tuft of CDC or Muskrat fur from the thorax would work well.

However if you are looking to imitate the emergence of a Gordon Quill a wetfly might be the better choice.
Then again you have the case of Isonychia who behave more like stoneflies and crawl out onto rocks to emerege (well in many rivers that is).

With all of that being said my reccomendation would be either a wet fly design or an unweighted generic nymph fished in the film.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
MartinlfFebruary 21st, 2009, 12:11 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2902
I'd agree with John if you're just looking for a generic emerger. Some use a parachute with a nymphlike hare's ear (light or dark) body. I tie several different styles of emergers. The parachute I posted in the fly swap flies thread works on a lot of emergences also. But not all of them.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
BegsMay 22nd, 2012, 10:04 pm
Michigan

Posts: 1
I would try the parachute adams in size 16. Great searching pattern
SofthackleMay 24th, 2012, 11:49 pm
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi Andrew,
Generic wingless wets fished in the surface film are excellent emerger patterns. The best are called FLYMPHS- half fly, half nymph. The secret to their success is in the tying of the body and use of soft-hackles like those used for wet flies- hen or gamebird hackle. They are also very versatile and represent a wide range of insects.

One can use various colors of hare's ear dubbed on different colored silk thread, letting the color of the thread to show through the body. Like this one I call "Native American"



Dress the fly as if you are fishing dry, cast it upstream so it sits in the film or just under. They can also be fished as an active emerger from bottom to top using a standard wet fly retrieve on the swing or using the Leisenring Lift.

Hope this helps,
Mark

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
EntomanMay 25th, 2012, 5:42 am
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Andrew,

I am looking for a general design or patterns of emerger to tie that works with all types of mayfly.

I couldn't agree with Mark (Softhackle) more. There isn't a better all around emerger you could use than a soft hackle, and not just for mayflies. Patterns dubbed with muskrat, hare's ear, pheasant tail, peacock herl, cream fox, and olive (all in various sizes and with various thread and hackles) round out my favorites, though I'm also partial to a few all silk bodied patterns.

Here's an article our good friend wrote you may find interesting and informative.
http://globalflyfisher.com/patterns/flymphs/. Also if you google Softhackle to search in Troutnut (upper right hand corner beneath your login) you can find the wealth of information Mark has shared with us over the years regarding this essential class of patterns.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
AdirmanMay 25th, 2012, 5:57 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 490
Soft hackles imitate caddis emergers quite well also don't they? In fact, I thought they were slightly better for caddis imitations than mayfly.
SofthackleMay 25th, 2012, 9:59 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Adirman,
Standard "Soft-hackle" as well as Flymphs work very well for imitating mayflies. One can include a tail on the flymph pattern, which, to me does make it more mayfly-like. I usually don't put on a tail because it makes the fly more versatile, IMO.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
EntomanMay 25th, 2012, 2:43 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Adirman & Andrew,

While in the same general class (wet flies sharing a collared hackle, lack of wings and usually tails), flymphs, north country spiders & wingless wets are technically different styles with different construction methods & history. I lumped them together for purposes of simplifying for you under the generic name "soft hackles". For your purposes consider any wet fly with a collared hackle & lacking wings a "Soft Hackle", regardless of tying method.

Mark -

I could be wrong, but I believe Ernest Schwiebert coined the term "soft hackle" in America, though Sylvester Nemes is certainly credited with the name's popularization and Hidy wrote about Leisenring's "flymphs" decades before. Schwiebert was experimenting with derivatives of the north country spiders of English origin he called "soft hackles" back in the 60's and may have written about them in magazine articles from that era. In any event, he wrote about them at least as early as '73 in his book, "Nymphs". Are you aware of anybody mentioning this name any earlier in American print?

BTW - a fun bit of trivia... Leisenring is the german name for makers of iron rings of the kind used for holding down heavy loads on large transport wagons. How ironic that "Big Jim" created such delicate works of art on pieces of iron considerably smaller than his ancestors worked with.:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
AdirmanMay 25th, 2012, 3:53 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 490
Gentleman;

Thanks as always for the info! but of course, I have another ?: how would you classify the modern "emerger" patterns then? Are they more like soft hackles/flymphs within this group or more of a dry fly?

Thanks again,

Adirman
EntomanMay 25th, 2012, 4:32 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Adirman -

...how would you classify the modern "emerger" patterns then?

As emergers - though there are different sub-categories depending on design and many could be classified in several of them. Generally, there are subsurface emergers, surface emergers, and floating nymphs. For example, a plethora of caddis pupal patterns and many mayfly nymphs with the front half in various stages of eclosion as well as many traditional winged wet flies are examples of subsurface emergers. The Quigly Cripple and LaFontaine's original Sparkle Pupa are examples of surface emergers. The floating nymph sub-category is what the name implies, a traditional nymph configuration tied without weight on a light wire hook and treated to float.

A general rule of thumb is that most designs called "emergers" are usually fished in the film or "damp", neither fully sunk or high and dry. As Mark eluded to above, flymphs and such are very effective fished in the film. Many angler/tiers use special hooks for these flies, but there is nothing wrong (and a lot right) with tying them on dry fly hooks.

BTW - As far as soft hackles being better for caddis than mayflies, I'm not so sure about that. The elegant English soft hackles (north country spiders) of Stewart & Pritt as well as Leisenring's flymphs were designed as mayfly imitations. The Englishmen tied theirs for work during and after prolific baetid hatches and primarily fished them in the film, whereas the American flymphs were designed primarily (but not always) to fish subsurface and moving at the right time to simulate the hatching of our abundant heptageniids rising to the surface. Both are deadly for their intended purposes.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SofthackleMay 26th, 2012, 12:08 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
To augment Kurt's excellent explanation, I've seen all sorts of flies classified as "emergers". Most can only be used in one way while flymphs and soft-hackles can represent a myriad of insects in different stages of emergence. Vern "Pete"Hidy first coined the term "Flymph" in 1971 with the re-issue of the Leisenring book. Pete liked up-eye dry fly hooks like the old Mustad 94842. Today, different hooks can be used to form the base structure of the fly. Pete liked to blot the fly between upstream casts so it would sit in the surface or just below and capture a bubble of air among it's hackles. He called this a "hydrofuge", and claimed it was a very effective method of taking trout. Leisenring also varied the stiffness of hackles used depending upon water speed which the fly would be fished in. Often, they preferred what was called cockerel, which came from a young rooster.

I have a friend named Nick Pionessa who developed a great imitation of an emerging Isonychia.



It sits half below the water and half out. So you see, there are many, many ways to one end.
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
EntomanMay 26th, 2012, 1:26 am
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Interesting fly, Mark. Your friend Nick has a very creative mind. The pink thread is a bit of a puzzle, though. Perhaps his local hatch has some pink in its head?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
AdirmanMay 26th, 2012, 7:11 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 490
Entoman and SH;

From the flyfishermans perspective, when on-stream and deciding to fish an emerger pattern that sits in the surface film, the fly-fisherman need not do anything special in terms of presentation of the fly correct? In other words, its already tied to sit in the film and one need not add weight or conversely, add floatant?

Thanks again,

Adirman
SofthackleMay 26th, 2012, 9:54 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Adirman,
I'd say that depends on the fly and how you want to present it. With flymphs & Soft-hackles, adding extra weight deters from the effectiveness, IMO. Using a heavier hook would be better. Dressing these flies to float and tying them on a light wire hook would be beneficial.

With the fly above-the Isonychia emerger - I'd say a little dressing on the forward part of the hook would not hurt. The materials used should also help the fly sit as it should.

Entoman,
Nick is a professional fly tier. He has created and tied flies for the Oak Orchard Fly Shop in Williamsville, NY where he runs the shop and for the Blue Ribbon Fly Shop in Montana, to name two.. He was also a professional guide. I'll ask him about the pink thread next time we talk.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
SglidsterMay 30th, 2012, 4:16 pm
Posts: 3Hi Guys,

Hasn't anyone mentioned the KlinkHamer? One of the best searching patterns, meant to represent a hatching caddis, but very effective when most flies are emerging.

Simon
WiflyfisherMay 30th, 2012, 4:37 pm
Wisconsin

Posts: 603
Hi Andrew,

I am looking for a general design or patterns of emerger to tie that works with all types of mayfly.

I couldn't agree with Mark (Softhackle) more. There isn't a better all around emerger you could use than a soft hackle, and not just for mayflies. Patterns dubbed with muskrat, hare's ear, pheasant tail, peacock herl, cream fox, and olive (all in various sizes and with various thread and hackles) round out my favorites, though I'm also partial to a few all silk bodied patterns.

Here's an article our good friend wrote you may find interesting and informative.
http://globalflyfisher.com/patterns/flymphs/. Also if you google Softhackle to search in Troutnut (upper right hand corner beneath your login) you can find the wealth of information Mark has shared with us over the years regarding this essential class of patterns.

Regards,

Kurt

Ditto... what Kurt said.

Mark, the Iso nymphs in the Upper Midwest crawl out of the water in the shallows to emerge so an emerger really isn't effective in most situations.

By the way, I guess Jim S. will be out there with you for the Wingless Wet gathering in June. I was with him all last week.
John S.
https://WiFlyFisher.com
EntomanMay 30th, 2012, 5:15 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Sglidster -

Thanks for mentioning it. Yes, the Klinkhammer is also an excellent emergent imitation in the right circumstances and also a very good searching pattern. It certainly could have been included in the short-list of examples. Though apparently arrived at independently (and for a different purpose), it is essentially the same as Mike Monroe's No-Ass Paradun developed back in the late '70's and published in FF magazine articles from that era. What's changed since then is the advent of round-shanked hooks.

BTW - It should be pointed out that the need for emergers usually presupposes very selective fish and the need for close imitation. Our use of words like generic, universal, and general in connection with "emerger" is probably a bit oxymoronic. I have to admit favorites for certain circumstances and hatches and there's nothing universal about them. The closest to being universal that I carry are the tailess soft hackles which aren't technically emergers.

John -

the Iso nymphs in the Upper Midwest crawl out of the water in the shallows to emerge so an emerger really isn't effective in most situations.

That's true in my experience with this genus as well. But if there's anything we can all agree on in this crazy sport, it's that very little is absolute.:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WestCOAugust 12th, 2012, 3:17 pm
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
I cut my teeth tying and fishing Barr's Emerger. Its good because it has a dubbing abdomen so you can change it for different may flies. As I posted in another thread I've been working with a lot of Rene Harrop's patterns in an attempt to do better with transitional emergers. That's good reading and it helps you understand why fish target certain foods over others. Through doing seine samples I have confirmed what everyone has always said but what I had to see for myself, fish love to eat transitional emergers on the film. So a pattern with a Z-Lon shuck coming from the tail and a bit of CDC to keep it on the film works great. And as someone else posted, there are hooks that are more suitable for a better trapped angle where the fly floats more upright. I'm bad at remembering all the numbers but I believe the TMC 200 is designed specifically for that purpose.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
SayfuAugust 12th, 2012, 4:55 pm
Posts: 560
I use the Klinkenhimer (sp?) design with a white post as a searching pattern when floating the river a lot. My feeling is a trout can see it better as the fly approaches with the abdomen below the surface. I use them in bigger sizes on the caddis/pupa hook..maybe a #12 with a #14 the smallest. Angler can see the white post easily enough.

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Emergers
In Fly Tying by Fishingguru
3Feb 8, 2008
by Dano
Re: Fishing emergers
In General Discussion by Adirman
1Aug 29, 2018
by Martinlf
Re: BodyColor?
In Capniidae Stonefly Adult by DarkDun
12Jan 11, 2007
by Softhackle
Re: emerger fishing
In General Discussion by Turboboy
4Oct 28, 2011
by Sayfu
Re: The vanishing wet fly
In Fly Tying by GoofusBug
2Jan 7, 2009
by Softhackle
Re: LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa/Emerger Related Topic
In General Discussion by Goose
1Jan 10, 2012
by Doublespey
First Post from TX....
In Beginner Help by FFTX
0
Re: Help with Mayfly identification
In the Identify This! Board by MItroutbum
5Jun 14, 2008
by Wiflyfisher
Re: Griffiths Gnat
In Fly Tying by Mcflyangler
1Jun 20, 2016
by Flytyerinpa
Re: Montana Trout love Yorkshire wets
In Fishing Reports by CaseyP
5Mar 26, 2008
by Wbranch
Most Recent Posts
Re: Fly fishing etiquette
In General Discussion by Red_green_h (Jmd123 replied)
Re: Site updates from September 8, 2019
In Site Updates by Troutnut (RleeP replied)
Re: Looking for advice
In Fly Tying by OldHasBeen
Re: Site updates from September 13, 2019
In Site Updates by Troutnut (Martinlf replied)
Re: Site updates from September 11, 2019
In Site Updates by Troutnut (Martinlf replied)
Re: Site updates from September 10, 2019
In Site Updates by Troutnut (Martinlf replied)
Re: Ice dub versus sparkle dub
In Fly Tying by Brian314
Site updates from September 4, 2019
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Re: Ophiogomphus occidentis
In the Identify This! Board by Millcreek (Troutnut replied)
Re: Summer to fall - What's happened to the fishing :)
In General Discussion by TDMunro (Partsman replied)