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This topic is about the Mayfly Genus Tricorythodes

A cult following is something to which few insects can lay claim, but the tiny Tricorythodes mayflies certainly qualify. Their widespread, reliable, heavy hatches draw impressive rises of ultra-selective trout which demand the most of a technical dry-fly angler's skills.

It is surprising that such a great hatch took so long to come to the attention of fly fishermen. The Tricos were first introduced to anglers in a 1969 Outdoor Life article by Vincent Marinaro, who misidentified them as Caenis. By the early 1970s the identification had been corrected but Swisher and Richards still wrote in Selective Trout, "Few anglers are familiar with these extremely small but important mayflies." The next wave of publications boosted Tricorythodes to its current fame. I suspect their early dismissal was due in part to tackle limitations; anglers in the 1950s had no means to effectively tie and present size 22-28 flies. Read more...

There are 7 more specimens...

The Discussion

GONZOJuly 26th, 2007, 8:50 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Louis, everyone else has probably figured out by now that the main idea behind my book was to keep everyone so busy at the tying table that I'd have the streams to myself. I'm not sure why, but obviously that strategy isn't working on you. (But, I will keep trying!) :)
MartinlfJuly 26th, 2007, 10:44 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
Smoked out at last. I had suspected, but we have it right from the Gonzo's mouth. I believe another tactic he is using to keep us off the streams is getting us hooked on the Troutnut board.

Now, back to Tricos. Running out the door slightly late for a daughter's cello lesson, to kill time during the instruction I grabbed Knopp and Cormier. Of course I turned to Tricos first, and found some interesting information. The book claims that females generally hatch "between 9:00 am and noon" in the earlier season and that the hatch becomes progressively earlier, happening at 4:00 am in August and September as "the warmer weather of summer advances the hatches to "about daybreak." Then as the weather cools the hatch progressively moves later in the day. I was aware of the move to later hatching times in the fall, but had not observed early hatching in June and July until yesterday, when I observed female duns on the water at about 9 or 10. (Probably closer to 9). The book notes that female duns and male spinners can be on the water at the same time, with the earliest females already mating by the time those slow to get out of bed are shedding their shucks. The female spinners, with their small greyish/whitish abdomens, now devoid of eggs, fall last of all. The book also recommends a hackled female dun for the hottest weather, to better imitate the rapidly escaping duns. This is really news to me, and something I'll probably try. By the way, yesterday I got into the same bunch of snots who turned up their noses at everything last time, and it was a repeat performance. I didn't try any clusters on them, but they did refuse the sunken Trico along with snowshoe wings, antron wings, hackle wings, and parachutes. They spit water at a few of these flies on their best drifts just to frustrate me and laugh as I jerked the fly into the trees behind me. I am currently engineering some lead-weighted cherry bomb flies for these fish. With antron wings.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZOJuly 26th, 2007, 11:07 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
More good stuff, Louis. Of course, you were warned about the diminishing returns of overexposure. (Although the same can probably be said about my posts, so I'll shut up about that.)

Seriously, I'm skeptical about the Knopp reasoning regarding the fully hackled duns. When this works (and I don't dispute that it can), I think it is more about the way a tiny hackled fly responds to micro-drag. (Marinaro held the same view.) Jason questions the whole "emerger to low dun to high dun" idea in a thread with a similar name, and I think he is right. Anyway, if duns are rapidly escaping the surface, why would fish focus on that hard to catch target and not on the easier and more vulnerable emergers? Again, just a thought.
MartinlfJuly 26th, 2007, 11:10 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
Knopp does mention the micro drag issue (I should have included that) but thanks for the helpful ideas. As for the snots, they live upstream of my favorite Trico hole and I've been hitting them last. Perhaps I should start on them first to change the variables a bit. I may put a hackled dun over one early in the morning one day. Or one of Matt's CDC duns. Or a nymph in the film. Hmm. Part of the problem with them has been drag. They are bank feeders on the opposite side of the stream, up against a cliff, in very flat water with eddies and current changes where they feed. Add to that the fact that my casting is not what it should be and we can see why they are giving me fits. But for now, its back to the tying table!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZOJuly 26th, 2007, 12:25 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Fish protected by tricky currents can often be more of a presentation problem than a fly choice problem, although the fully hackled fly may have some advantages in assisting presentation. The most obvious way to deal with the situation would be to try to deliver the fly from the same current band in which the fish are feeding in order to minimize drag, rather than across multiple mixed current bands, but I'm not sure if this is a possibility where those "snots" are holding. Even if it is possible, the two approaches--from downstream in the same band or from upstream in the same band--present compromises of their own. The more traditional approach, from downstream casting upstream, presents the risk of lining the fish by casting over them. The less conventional approach, from upstream feeding the fly downstream, has distinct advantages over tough fish, but hooking them is more complicated even if you can get into that position without spooking the fish. When it works, it can be magic, but if the fish doesn't take on the first drift you also have the problem of lifting the line to cast again without putting the fish down.

You've chosen a very difficult target in those fish, Louis! I'm not surprised that they have been testing your wits and will. But I also understand the irresistible challenge they present. You go, boy!
MartinlfJuly 28th, 2007, 7:22 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
Matt, I tied up some of your Trico duns and love the way the biots replicate exactly the segmentation I noticed on the duns I looked at last time out. I'm certain that presentation is the most important issue with Tricos, but the look of your pattern satisfies me, and I'm sure if I present it properly the fish will like it too.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchJuly 29th, 2007, 6:30 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2483
Louis,

I'm glad you like the appearance of the Trico dun. I did not develop this fly but saw it elsewhwere about eight years ago. However I have never seen it tied commercially or in any fly shop catalog so it is pretty much unfished by others.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfJuly 29th, 2007, 6:48 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
Matt, I'll bet your fly works well as an emerger, with the CDC wing holding the body just in the film or below it. I'm also thinking about tying some other emergers for hatching duns. One idea is to tie a nymph pattern but use Quigley's pull over method with hackle to get an emerging leg and wing illusion at the head of the fly. I may use something like a Tiemco 2488 to get the body lower in the film. Another possibility will be Gonzo's shucking dun, which works very well on baetis--if I can tie it small enough. Again, I fool around with these things partly for my own amusement, and partly to see if a change of pattern works for ultra selective fish. Another fun thing with smaller wild fish. Some are very tough, and even harder to hook because they spit the fly so quickly.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfAugust 9th, 2007, 10:11 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
I'm sticking this back up for Grabbit's perusal. I had pretty good luck on Spring Creek with my standard reverse parachute a week back.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GrabbitAugust 10th, 2007, 10:32 pm
Columbus, OH

Posts: 21
Louis, I would like to see the reverse para pattern, sounds oh so intriguing, if you would please post a pic I would quite grateful. I have used Al's fly pattern for trico spinners and they work well.

thanks much.....Grabbit.....

definition of FLYTYING: to tinker with little things which may or may not be of great importance to a trout. or.... making a controlled mess upon a hook and desk then running to a river before cleaning up.
Fishing with nymphs is for fat little kids... man up and throw a dry.
MartinlfAugust 11th, 2007, 6:05 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
Grabbit, I'm a complete Luddite with digital photos, and my daughter who has the camera and is a whiz with them is at the beach. Sorry. If I remember, when she returns, I'll try to get some photos up. But the upside down fly is very simple to tie as described above. The main difference is that the hackle is trimmed on the top of the fly so it flips over and the hook rides up. I've been tying it both reverse style like Al's Trico, with the thorax near the bend, and like a standard hackle fly, with the thorax near the eye. With the latter, I add tails. (I also tie it right side up, just for laughs.) For my standard fly based on Al's trico, imagine an Al's Trico silhouette in a parachute. I use a short shank hook, varivas 988, Tiemco 2488, or Tiemco 921 (for all my Tricos, actually) and after winding thread on the shank for the abdomen, I start with a high vis post reverse style near the bend. I use Borger's method, slipping the high vis under the shank and pulling both ends up so the post can't pull out. A drop of super glue at the base and some quick wraps and posting wraps at the base and up, the post is ready and won't slip around. Then an oversize grizzly hackle, a ball of dubbing for the thorax, wrap the hackle and tie off (I do this under the hackle, and whip finish on the post under the hackle with a few wraps and a ultra-mini drop of gorilla glue on the last loop pulled in to lock it all in permanently. Or you can tie off on the shank, just behind the thorax and whip finish along the shank.) The high vis post makes the fly much easier to see than Al's Trico, and it can be left long or trimmed/flattened if the fish seem to mind it. I haven't noticed that they do mind the post, though some fish seem to want a different style of fly sometimes. Spring Creek trout took the parachute readily last week. It's often the first pattern I tie on, switching around to other styles if the fish won't take it.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfJune 7th, 2008, 10:07 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
This thread should possibly go in the Fly tying Forum, but there are several Trico patterns here for the upcoming Trico season.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Chris_3gJuly 10th, 2008, 9:42 am
Posts: 59So, I just got done fishing a somewhat weakened trico spinner fall (due to wind), and I just wanted to applaud Al's Trico! I don't know Al and it's unlikely that I will ever meet him, but great job!

I spent some time tying up trico patterns with three hen hackle barb split tails, moose hair abdomens, dubbed black thoraxes and white poly wings: a pretty standard pattern, but a little tricky for me in smaller sizes. The fish appreciated it enough at a #22, but after I lost a couple of those flies, I decided to try Al's Trico, which took me all of three minutes to tie. I landed as many fish in half the time, and the spinner fall had significantly died down! One of these was a richly colored 16" brown that I was kind enough to drop my camera in the stream for, or I would have provided a link to a picture of him.

Anyway, despite its simplicity, Al's Trico is a great pattern, and as a relatively new fly tier (< two years), it is nice to see that you can still get away with patterns that aren't dead on the money imitations of the natural!

Chris.

P.S. This stream does receive a decent amount of pressure due to ease accessibility.
MartinlfJuly 21st, 2008, 6:10 am
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
Glad it worked for you Chris. I may have a post on this above, but I sometimes tie an Al's Trico and clip the hackle off the top so it flips over and rides upside down. A few of us nutty types think this may make a difference at times on highly pressured fish. Use a wide gap hook if you do this, though.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
DreedeeJuly 27th, 2008, 3:28 pm
Posts: 16This is a terrific forum of highly informed anglers. The photos are terrific, as well.

The trico is my favorite and most reliable hatch. I tie a version of Al's trico, which is a fine fly. I've even succeeded with a #22 Adams. However, my best pattern is just he standard antron-winged spinner on a #24 hook, white or green body with a black thorax.

The one "secret weapon" that I know about for fishing this hatch is a hand tied leader I learned from Joe Humprey's book, "trout tactics." It's called a "flatwater leader," and differs from Harvey's standard dry fly leader. It has a hard mono butt section that starts at 0.15 and ends in 6x. I use other leaders earlier in the season, as the wind can wreak havoc with the light-butt formula. However, on those trico hatches, you REALLY have to fight the drag. Once you have a leader that lands in those increasing s-curves, and know the bounce-cast in order to beat the drag, the trico hatch can be among the most productive hatches all season.
TNEALJuly 29th, 2008, 11:42 am
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 275
TRICOS IN THE GRAYLING, MICHIGAN AREA ARE BEST IMITATED WITH A FLY NO BIGGER THAN #24, WITH #26 BEING BEST. TRY 3-4 FOOT TIPPETS OF 7X FOR DRAG FREE FLOATS AND MORE BREAKING STRENGTH....
MartinlfAugust 5th, 2008, 2:11 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
I'm resurrecting this thread for Catharsis. The fish in the Lehigh Valley certainly like Al's Trico, and the upside down version I mention above has taken some very nice fish for me there. My parachute also works well, and I've become fond of snowshoe or CDC wings for fish who don't want a hackle spinner. Happy fishing.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfSeptember 7th, 2009, 4:49 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
2009 was another great Trico season. I may have posted these patterns in another thread, but someone mentioned Tricos, so I'm bumping this thread up for his benefit, and to see if anyone out there has some more good patterns. A good buddy gave me a badger cape a while back, so I've been using it some, and really like it for the hackle wing fly. I may try it on parachutes next. The hackle wing fly, which is modeled on Al's Trico, has become my go to fly for tough fish, though one particularly picky fish this season took a #4 below, and another liked the parachute. It helps to have a variety of patterns. I'm also tying up some polywings for next season; I saw a very good fisherman having luck with them this year.

My four best Trico patterns are 1. Al's Trico (See the Little Lehigh Flyshop website; it has some excellent patterns, especially its BWO emerger). Itís just thread, a bit of dubbing and a grizzly hackle or badger hackle wrapped as in traditional mayfly ties, with the hackle cut off beneath. Al wraps the hackle near the bend of the hook, though, not at the eye. I tie it right side up and upside down; 2. a more visible reverse parachute pattern designed to present a silhouette much like Al's Trico, tied with the post near the bend of the hook. I use hi vis for the post, and grizzly for the hackle. My number 3 favorite has a white CDC or snowshoe wing with a few strands of Krystal Flash (thanks to George Harvey) or Angel Hair for some flash. I've quit tying tails on my Tricos, and the fish don't seem to mind a bit. The next one (number 4) is a pattern I developed earlier and sometimes use:

1. The upside down Alís Trico is a take off from one of Gonzo's (Lloyd Gonzales) patterns in his book Fly-fishing Pressured Water, and it also shows the influence of Al's Trico. Gonzo ties an upside down Trico on a wide gap hook using synthetic material for the wing. I tie this fly also, and it certainly does catch fish, but I recently tied a version with grizzly hackle, making an oversize thorax and palmering hackle over the thorax to create a full wing. I then clipped hackle from the top of the fly (which becomes the bottom, as this is an upside down fly) so that the fly would sit flat, upside down, on my tying table; the hackle is trimmed on the top of the fly so it flips over and the hook rides up.. A drop of Locktite brush-on super glue on the bare recently clipped thorax after darkening the hackle stem with black marker and the fly was done. (By the way, I put tails on this one to balance it.) It caught several fish the first time I tried it on a heavily fished stream. I've been tying it both reverse style like Al's Trico, with the thorax near the hook bend, and like a standard hackle fly, with the thorax near the eye. With the latter, I add tails. (I also tie it right side up, just for laughs.)

2. Parachute Trico: I use a short shank hook, (Tiemco 500U, Tiemco 2488, Tiemco 921, Daichi 1640, or best of all. if you can find them, a Varivas 988). After winding two or three layers of 8/0 or 10/0 thread on the shank for the abdomen (black for males, white, green, or chartreuse for females. With females, I whip finish the thread, then tie in black just at the bend and finish with black thread), I tie in a white high vis post near the bend. Other materials may be used, and black, pink or orange posts can be seen in glare sometimes. I use Gary Borger's method, slipping the high vis under the shank and pulling both ends up to create a post that can't pull out. A few X wraps under the hook to secure the post, a tiny drop of super glue at the base and some more quick X wraps and posting wraps at the base of the post and up a bit, and the post is ready and won't slip around later. Then I strip some barbs from an oversize grizzly hackle, tie in it in along the shank and then wrap the stem up the post to to reinforce and stiffen the post. Next I wrap a small ball of black Superfine or other very fine dubbing for the thorax, wrap the hackle around the post and tie off. (I wrap clockwise and when done, trap the hackle stem with the thread under the wraps, and with the hackle tip pulled straight down by the hackle pliers, tie off (I wrap clockwise and whip finish using a whip finish tool under the hackle on the post with a few wraps (usually 3). This is how A ultra-mini drop of gorilla glue on the thread of the final whip finish loop that is going to be pulled into the knot is pulled in from below, avoiding the hackle, to lock it all in permanently.

Or you can wrap the parachute counter-clockwise and tie off on the shank, just behind the thorax, whip finishing along the shank.) Finally snip off some hackle barbs just above the bend to create the illusion of two wings to the sides, and youríre done. Thatís right. No tails. The high vis post makes the fly much easier to see than Al's Trico, and it can be left long or trimmed/flattened if the fish seem to mind it. I haven't noticed that they do mind the post, though some fish seem to want a different style of fly sometimes. Hard fished Spring Creek trout in State College took the parachute readily the last time I tried it on them. It's often the first pattern I tie on, switching around to other styles if the fish won't take it. The parachute trico can be used as a midge. I use this pattern, reverse style as above, or with the parachute near the eye for larger spinners as well, though I do add tails for these usually.

3. Is similar to Ericís snowshoe trico, though I also tie it with CDC.


Pattern number 4 is derived from a hint in the Trico article in a summer issue of Fly Fisherman. One of the contributors mentioned a double wing pattern. I start the fly on a Varivas midge hook or Tiemco 2488 (a 22 ties a 26 trico, a 24 ties a 28, etc) in a traditional manner: I tie the tails with micro fibbets [or omit them] and the abdomen with thread--black or white 8/0 unithread. I had a devil of a time figuring out the double wing idea, but learned to tie a small sparse bunch of hi-vis on the top of the hook, parallel to the shank, with one wrap over the middle of the bunch, then one wrap just in front of (i.e. under) the high vis (like wraps to stand up a comparadun wing) and then one in back (again, under the high vis at the base), then split the back tips (the ones pointing toward the tail) and figure eight into a standard spinner wing. The front bunch is then stood up and splayed comparadun style. I take some black superfine and build a thorax behind and in front of the double wing, sometimes with a wrap or two of dubbing in between the two wings. I then tie off and trim them by holding all the high vis fibers straight up and trimming a mayfly shape to the wing--a bit taller in front, shorter in back. Next I pull fibers down to get some of them them perpindicular to the shank and parallel to the water's surface. The final fly has kind of a rough hemisphere of high vis above the water's surface when fished, but just a few fibers on the water's surface. It's very visible, and fools fish that won't take a traditional spinner. I sometimes tie in two strands of crystal flash, one on either side of the shank, with the same one wrap over, one wrap in front then one behind, to make a base for the high vis, the high vis is then tied as above, but over the crystal flash, which stays (to some degree, most of the time, at least, on the bottom of the wing). It's a pain, and requires a magnifier for me, but it gives the fish something else to ponder, or to laugh at. If you're not having fun with the crystal flash, just leave it off. The fly works without it too.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
LastchanceDecember 20th, 2009, 2:13 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Hi Fred: I love fishing the trico hatch. We need some pictures and tutorials for your tricos. Al's Trico is easy and I use that one myself. Sometimes I fish a parachute trico and trail it with a trico emerger. There are times that rig is a killer. Now, if we could just get some photos of your flies on the site.
Merry Christmas,
Bruce
TilmanDecember 20th, 2009, 11:51 pm
Gemany

Posts: 37
If anyone has problems with posting pictures, let me know via PM. I will send you my e-mail address to send the pictures to and will post them !
"Live and Learn" - Mr. Spock

http://www.directupload.net/galerie/154319/LfyCOrbM3j/0
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