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> > March Brown or Gray Drake?

Jesse has attached these 2 pictures. The message is below.
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JesseApril 25th, 2012, 10:00 am
Posts: 378
Ive had people tell me both, but im thinking it is a March Brown.. What do you say?
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
EntomanApril 25th, 2012, 11:12 am
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
I say you are right. This looks like Rhithrogena morrisoni (Western March Brown). It's a male subimago.
"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
CrepuscularApril 25th, 2012, 3:28 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Cool mayfly!
EntomanApril 25th, 2012, 4:01 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Yes it is, Eric. It is the only heptageniid I'm aware of that still provides blanket hatches. I've fished over them on the middle Rogue in OR in unbelievable numbers. Some of the huge eddies would have them covering every square in. for 50 yds. or more. Thousands and thousands of flies... And it's usually the only bug on the water so the fish can get fairly picky about imitations.
"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
JesseApril 25th, 2012, 5:36 pm
Posts: 378
The day these pictures were taken i was fishing Rock Creek. Water was high with decent visibility. Fishing nymphs in the morning hours was productive, but when these guys started really coming off the fishing turned from productive to excellent. I managed to catch almost 60 fish this day alone. A truly amazing day on the water that this mayfly deserves the credit for!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
EntomanApril 25th, 2012, 6:11 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Most of the time an Adams parachute works pretty good if the fish are on the duns. When they get picky though, here's a fly that gets it done. Iv'e found the slanted speckled wing in the right shade can really be a trigger.

Slant-wing Thorax Dun, #12 W. March Brown

"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
PaulRobertsApril 25th, 2012, 6:28 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Kurt, you tie some beautiful flies.
CrepuscularApril 25th, 2012, 7:28 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Kurt, you tie some beautiful flies.

Yeah what he said!
Is the wing wood duck?
EntomanApril 25th, 2012, 9:05 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Thanks guys,

No, it's not woodduck - it's natural gadwall flank and the match is the best I've found. The shell-back is turkey tail. I use woodduck for the Summer Cahills. The back-swept wing works really well for heptageniids - if for no other reason that it's different from what they're used to looking at.:) Fine tipped coastal deer works OK if you don't stack it, but I prefer the flank.
"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
WiflyfisherApril 25th, 2012, 9:39 pm
Wisconsin

Posts: 603
Kurt, we are thinking pretty close to the same thing. I used this pattern the past 2 years...

John S.
https://WiFlyFisher.com
PaulRobertsApril 25th, 2012, 9:57 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
It's the body proportion that really stands out for me. Is that dubbing ribbed with thread?
EntomanApril 25th, 2012, 11:42 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
John - Ha! Yes, we have been.

Paul - Thanks for the compliment. I agree that proportion and consistency are vital. For years I was really critical and if I needed to tie a dozen of something, I'd tie 15 so I could take the blade to two or three of them, whether they needed it or not. It's surprising how quickly the eye is developed when having to judge which flies in a pretty good group don't measure up in some small way. One of the biggest hindrences to improvement is settling, because learning the subtleties are never really ingrained. Some will spend too much time trying to construct the perfect fly, but that doesn't work. Tie at a reasonable speed and cull.

As to the rib, I prefer monocord for how smooth it is. Some theorize that only the belly color counts, others feel the darker back has some influence on the overall color as perceived by the fish. I tend to be in the latter camp and usually mix for a blend of both unless the difference between dorsal and ventral is really dramatic. Trout rarely approach from straight below and when they come up for an eyeball close inspection, I think a shellback is one more subtlety to stoke the "eat" urge. For slack water MB's where fish have the time (and fishing pressure) to be choosy a usually shell-back 'em.



"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
CrepuscularApril 26th, 2012, 4:52 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Kurt I tend to agree with you about the dorsal portion of the abdomen being an important consideration when considering dry fly design. Not only do fish rarely come at the fly from directly below it like you pointed out but also fish will at times, focus on cripples or struggling duns which no doubt have portions of the dorsal abdomen visible to the fish. Although I don't tie with a lot of synthetics this is an example of where Gonzo's flies really shine! His use of poly yarn is a great solution(but not the only one) to imitating species that have contrasting dorsal and ventral abdominal coloration. Big flies like eastern and western March Browns, and some of the burrowers are prime examples of this. You would have to think that the opportunity for a fish to see all portions of the abdomen on flies like those would be frequent.
WiflyfisherApril 26th, 2012, 8:12 pm
Wisconsin

Posts: 603
IMHO, the Midwest March Brown dun is not extremely important. They hatch very sporadically all day and mostly along the shallows. Where as the March Brown spinner is extremely important when you hit it right at dusk.

At midday, my favorite choice is sliding a Gray Fox Variant down through the pools.
John S.
https://WiFlyFisher.com
EntomanApril 26th, 2012, 8:50 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
All good points Eric, except I disagree with the following.

poly yarn is a great solution (but not the only one) to imitating species that have contrasting dorsal and ventral abdominal coloration

I prefer quill sections for a lot of important reasons besides its more natural look, texture & color variegation. I tie it in by the butts before dubbing the thorax and simply hold it down tight over the body when winding the ribbing forward and trim the tips flush with the last abdominal seg. Because it's tied in by the butts, it slims up real nice and follows the tapers of the segs pretty well (see dorsal photo). It also allows for a thinner body. Much faster, easier and better tapered (and more natural looking) than poly tied in under the abdomen dubbing and pulled forward.

The problem with poly (besides not looking as natural) is the way it has to be tied in and its lack of taper and inability to compress. Having enough to form a good shell-back means a pretty thick abdomen with rather bulbous terminal segments. To avoid this, I've tried it using my method of application, but it still doesn't cover the upper segs as well or trim up as nice at the end. Also, being slick, it can slip out pretty easy from the end wraps of the ribbing.
"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
EntomanApril 26th, 2012, 9:53 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
IMHO, the Midwest March Brown dun is not extremely important.

That's what I've heard, John. My experience back East is about the same. Nothing like the hatches of the western March Brown. Duns are usually more important than the spinners. I've seen sections of river where you could fill up a skimmer bucket pretty quick.:)
"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
CrepuscularApril 27th, 2012, 8:10 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Quill sections are an excellent choice, like I said I don't realy use alot of synthetics when I tie. I have used turkey biots tied in flat which a really nice mottled look to the dorsal aspect of the fly. Also I've been known to take a couple Pantone markers to the dorsal side of a fly to give it a more imitative look. If I get a change i'll take some pictures.

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