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Kschaefer3February 18th, 2015, 11:41 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Since I disappointed Eric by asking about nymphing, I thought I should post a question about dries, specifically emergers. :)

Last night I tied a few sulphur emergers with deer hair. In MT I had great luck with snowshoe hare PMD emergers that had a rearward facing wing, so I tied the deer hair as such. They look alright. I will fish them.

I have seen wings on emergers pointed in every direction, towards the rear of the hook (like I tied), upright, forward, laid down over the eye, etc.

How do you like to tie your emergers? Are there certain times or certain bugs best represented by one style of wing? Is one wing style more natural than the others?
MartinlfFebruary 18th, 2015, 12:06 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2928
Bugs go through different stages during emergence, breaking out of the shuck, extending wings, drying wings, etc. so the wing may show different attitudes at different moments during emergerce. Different species, and even individual bugs may show some variation in terms of how they exit the shuck. Also, trout most likely see wings in all kinds of orientations in cripples. This may at least partially explain why so many different ties can be effective. Like you, I'll be interested to see what the bug guys say about "standard" emergers, bugs that are emerging but aren't crippled. I like parachute style klinkhamers for emergers, but my preference is probably more dependent on the sequence in which I tried this style, had some success, constructed a logic for that success in my head, found it easy to tie, etc. than a real understanding of what most emergers look like. When the parachute doesn't work, I'll try something else, often either a similar fly with split wings, or a snowshoe with a rearward facing wing. I seem to recall a lengthy thread from a while back on emergers. I'll see if it can be resurrected.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
OldredbarnFebruary 18th, 2015, 1:26 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
This may at least partially explain why so many different ties can be effective.


One of my favorite quotes re emergers comes from Gary Borger's, "Designing Trout Flies"..."...during a heavy hatch, the trout become quite selective. And usually they are selective to the partially hatched adult (the emerger). Trout target the emerger for a simple reason; you can't run with your pants down. The insect in mid-metamorphosis is unable to flee; it's an easy mark for the trout." -p38

I know the book is dated, but on page 3 he discusses "What the Trout Sees" or doesn't see that may account for why Mr Brown may eat just about anything, even something with a hook hanging from it. :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
WbranchFebruary 18th, 2015, 4:32 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Kyle,

How do you like to tie your emergers?


I've tied my mayfly emergers with wings pointing out over the hook eye and I've tied them facing, rearward, on a thirty degree angle. I've tied the wings with CDC and poly yarn in a loop configuration to resemble the bulging wing pads and I've also tied the wings in varying lengths from about 3/16" long up to a 5/16" (based on hook size of course) I have had the most success with the wings facing rearward and using CDC so the wing shape protrudes over the body a bit so it will be visible from below. I've tied many emergers Quigley style (wing over eye) but often due to my head crowding I have trouble getting the tippet through the eye of the hook.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
RogueratFebruary 18th, 2015, 4:36 pm
Posts: 443
Kyle-
I tie with the wings in various stages, just to vary the presentation to the fish. Back, upright, forward, loop-wing, most of them borrowed from online research (just Google 'Images for emerger patterns' and see what turns up- LOTS of pics). Pictures of naturals help a lot- something to aim for in the looks department.

Roguerat
OldredbarnFebruary 18th, 2015, 6:47 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Eric, Tony, and I had an interesting conversation about Emergers. I know most folks like to tie them on scud hooks in hopes that the ass end hangs down below the surface. I have seen bugs emerging that actually climb above the surface tension (meniscus) and proceed to exit their shucks with basically everything above the water line. Not hanging down below the surface.

The meniscus is a physical thing and the dynamic is such that these light insects can walk on water. I have found Brown Drakes stuck in their shucks under decks that failed to complete the process and the whole bug was straight out on top of the water.

A while back someone here posted a vid of E danica, the British Isle cousin to our Brown and Green Drakes. They followed it downstream through he whole process. All the trailing shuck was still attached and stretched out behind it on top of the water basically doubling the hook size of the natural.

What say ye here? :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsFebruary 18th, 2015, 9:21 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Eric, Tony, and I had an interesting conversation about Emergers. I know most folks like to tie them on scud hooks in hopes that the ass end hangs down below the surface. I have seen bugs emerging that actually climb above the surface tension (meniscus) and proceed to exit their shucks with basically everything above the water line. Not hanging down below the surface.

The meniscus is a physical thing and the dynamic is such that these light insects can walk on water. I have found Brown Drakes stuck in their shucks under decks that failed to complete the process and the whole bug was straight out on top of the water.

A while back someone here posted a vid of E danica, the British Isle cousin to our Brown and Green Drakes. They followed it downstream through he whole process. All the trailing shuck was still attached and stretched out behind it on top of the water basically doubling the hook size of the natural.

What say ye here? :)

Spence

That's as I've seen it too with surface emerging mayflies and some caddis pupae too. That doesn't mean that these bugs also can spend some time hanging beneath the miniscus. I guess there's some effort getting through and some conditions may make this more difficult.

Anyway... I'll share a couple emergers I've come up with in the past (back when I was within a few thousand km from trout water).

The first one floats on a "wad" of mountain cottontail foot hairs -essentially a finer, softer, version of snowshoe hare…uh…hairs. Leave it long for a dun/cripple look; trim short for an emerger. This one is a broken water version, a quasi-dun tied dense overall with a flu wing for visibility. It needs to be tied much sparser for flat water:


Canada goose feather patterns… posted these before but not about the emerger -on the right. It floats on a dense “dubbing ball” of the coarse goose downy fibers found on goose contour (body) feathers. The flies abdomen is of the “sheet barbs” as I call them –the stiff sheet of feather barbs the flies are sitting on in the photo. The wide dubbing-ball thorax looks like a split open shuck on the surface. The material is very buoyant and water resistant, and instantly will blow dry with a sharp puff of breath. After a fish I rinse and then squeeze dry in a small cotton or micro-fiber rag hung inside my vest, then blow dry. They tend to need a complete drying after 3 or 4 fish. Very quick to tie and realistic on the water being very buoyant and of excellent open shuck proportions:



Goose feather caddis pupa:


Sometimes I just take a big ol' split shot and sink them -any of em. Sometimes that's what it takes. (That's for you, Eric.) :)
MartinlfFebruary 18th, 2015, 10:41 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2928
Fishy-looking ties. I've been collecting goose feathers since our last discussion of these, and have tried a few ties. With I could get them to look as nice as yours.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRobertsFebruary 19th, 2015, 1:12 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Thanks, Louis. :) You need the right size feathers -the larger the better. You should have some Atlantic Canada's where you live, which have bigger feathers. The coarsest downy barbs are needed to float a hook.
CrepuscularFebruary 19th, 2015, 11:19 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Sometimes I just take a big ol' split shot and sink them -any of em. Sometimes that's what it takes. (That's for you, Eric.) :)

As long as it's not on a jig hook I can keep my food down.
Oh and I really like those flies Paul!
OldredbarnFebruary 19th, 2015, 1:27 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Eric.

That top emerger of Paul's reminds me of some of your stuff...I guess its true what they say about great minds, or some such...;)

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Kschaefer3February 19th, 2015, 1:42 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
This thread, along with the two Louis bumped for me (thanks again) have changed my perception of emergers. I long since thought of emergers almost exclusively in the vertical position (klink style or others tied on scud type hooks) or similar to an RS2, but it appears lots on here like a horizontal shuck with a bent hook, some hackle and a wing. They also tend to be pretty shaggy (not a negative, just an observation). Back to the vise I will go! Not to say I will never tie vertical emergers again (I did well on the in MT), but it's good to build a bigger arsenal.
WbranchFebruary 19th, 2015, 6:57 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Kyle,

Here is one type of emerger I tie. The first is a #22 to imitate a micro PMD type mayfly on the Missouri and the next is a #18 TMC 2487 PMD emerger. The tail fibers are soft and will easily sink and the abdomen material will sink easily. The thorax is beaver and the wing high floating CDC. The third emerger has an absorbent tail, a wire body, and an offset poly loop wing to look like a cripple mayfly lying in it's side.





Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnFebruary 20th, 2015, 9:57 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
"Here is one type of emerger I tie. The first is a #22 to imitate a micro PMD type mayfly on the Missouri"

Nice Matt. I think I ran into that smaller fly on the Spring Creeks in 1995. I have seen a miniature "Sulpher" hatching at night on the Au Sable.

One night I was in a bar in Lovells MI and they were crawling on a window, attracted to the light. It was interesting seeing them from the same angle as the fish would. Very split tails. Beautiful little bug. Maybe a Caenis? Not sure?

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Kschaefer3February 20th, 2015, 11:46 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
I like all of those a lot, Matt. Those are more near to the style I have tied, although mine are pretty shoddy in comparison...no surprise there.
WbranchFebruary 20th, 2015, 12:43 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Thanks Kyle, the #22 is a little tough because it is so small but if you tie about two dozen by the time you start the 2nd dozen they are looking pretty good. When I was your age I would only tie a couple of each pattern and just enough to "get by" for the next trip. I think most of that had to do with being busy at work, chasing women, and running errands I just didn't have enough time to tie more. But as I got older I started to tie six of one pattern and size. Now when I sit down at the desk I tie at least a dozen and often two dozen.

Three times this winter I tied four dozen of the same fly in two different sizes. I tied four dozen Rusty spinners, Sulfur CDC winged duns, and Lafontaine Emergent pupa.

It has been such a cold winter and my wife and I hate the cold so much that I have been spending all day in my man cave upstairs tying and watching TV. I go downstairs twice a day, once for breakfast and once for dinner. My wife has been hanging out in our home theater room with the door closed and a space heater on reading and working on her laptop.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfFebruary 20th, 2015, 1:27 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2928
Nice ties, Matt! The tail fibers on #2 are interesting to me. Soft hackle fibers? I'm going to tie a few like this with a bushier tail that might look like the shed husk.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Kschaefer3February 20th, 2015, 1:38 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
When I was your age I would only tie a couple of each pattern and just enough to "get by" for the next trip.

This is my MO. Partially because I am busy with work and other things, but partially because fly tying is draining for me. I'm getting better, but it still wears me out. I am a perfectionist, so when I tie, each fly takes a long time. Most the time patterns don't look like I want and I get really pissed about it. That cycle gets tiring. A I said, I'm getting better, mostly because my tying is improving. I've also been tying with friends, which takes my mind off of it and allows me to enjoy tying for longer time periods. I hope to some day be able to sit down and pound out a dozen or two of the same fly, but if I tie more than three in a row now, I switch patterns.
WbranchFebruary 20th, 2015, 3:40 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Kyle,

but partially because fly tying is draining for me. I'm getting better, but it still wears me out. I am a perfectionist, so when I tie, each fly takes a long time. Most the time patterns don't look like I want and I get really pissed about it. That cycle gets tiring. A I said, I'm getting better, mostly because my tying is improving. I've also been tying with friends, which takes my mind off of it and allows me to enjoy tying for longer time periods. I hope to some day be able to sit down and pound out a dozen or two of the same fly, but if I tie more than three in a row now, I switch patterns.


Everything you wrote sounds so familiar to me! When I first started to tie I was much younger than you are now, maybe only 14, and I had the most primitive tools and materials. Actually my very first vise was one of stamped metal that had been cadium plated. There was a type of basic cam lever on the side that I pushed down once the hook was in the jaws. When I think back to that vise and those initial flies it is amazing that I stuck with it. Now I tie all of my #18 - #24 flies with my HMH vise with the midge jaws. I tie everything else with my Regal, even flies as small as #16.

I'm a perfectionist too and sometimes I'd get frustrated and lash out at the fly in the vise and bend it really badly or take a razor blade to the fly and slice it apart. I remember one instance when I was 21 years old and had seen an article in Outdoor Life about Tricos but I remember at that time they called them (incorrectly) Caenis and they were frigging small and I was all thumbs and after about four attempts I finally got one complete where I could still put the tippet through the eye.

For many years I would get ansty at the vise and my mind would wander and it would be very hard for me to tie more than three flies before getting up and quitting for awhile. Another thing I used to do, which I think is okay, would be to tie 2 or 3 of the same pattern then get bored and tie a completely different pattern.

I wouldn't worry about how long it takes you to tie a fly as long as you are having fun. If however it is taking a long time and you are frustrated then maybe you just aren't tying it correctly and you might need to watch a tutorial or have somebody show you how they tie it.

I've said this before but one of my biggest hurdles and stumbling blocks was that often I didn't have the right materials to tie the fly according to the recipe. But as time went on I kept accumulating various materials until I had pretty much everything I needed to tie most any trout or steelhead fly I wanted. One great thing about fly tying material is for the most part once you get something it does last a very long time unless of course you tie professionally. I've got eight Metz #1 dry fly capes that I bought back in 1978 and while the "sweet spot" (#12 - #18) is pretty well picked out there are still plenty of hackles for bigger dry flies. The Hoffman saddles I bought back in early 1990's have an average feather length of 8" and each feather can tie 6 - 8 flies easily so they too last a long time. Ditto for pieces of deer and elk hair. It might take a while to put it all together and it will cost between $800 - $1000 exclusive of your tools but it will last for years and the only purchases you will be making are maybe hooks and special new synthetics.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PlanettroutFebruary 21st, 2015, 1:45 pm
Los Angeles, CA / Pullman, WA

Posts: 53
I have probably learned more about tying Emerger patterns for Mayflies, Caddis and Midges from this book than any other source:

< />

Take a "look inside" at some of the various patterns...

http://www.amazon.com/Tying-Emergers-A-Complete-Guide/dp/1571883061

This pattern has become one of my favorite Emerger patterns over the past several years...

< />

It is the Bat Wing Emerger that was designed by Tracy Petersen and I tie it for an entire range of May flies...they may be fished from the bottom of the water column to just under the surface and is especially effective for clingers...


PT/TB :-)




Daughter to Father: "How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

http://planettrout.wordpress.com/
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