As I’m hunched over my vice replenishing my fly box in anticipation of a number of upcoming fishing trips during the prime time of the river season, it becomes immediately noticeable where the gaps are – an indicator of the flies that I have used most. Among my dry fly selection it is pretty obvious that my mayfly spinners were are on the thin side.
The Mayfly Spinner rates among my all time favourite dry fly patterns for small mountain streams. Not that we have prolific hatches on South African waters and subsequent spinner falls, but the distinctive profile is familiar and recognisable to the trout as something they have seen and eaten and enjoyed before. In a generic context this little fly simply looks like an insect of sorts. I used to use the conventional hour-glass style for the wings, but more recently have tied the fly using the Ellis Triple wing method. I have found that although a little more complex to tie, it has improved the patterns appearance in particular, resembling more closely the wings of the natural insect and thereby improving the trigger qualities of the fly. The fly in the photograph is tied on a #16 Grip 11011 BL hook (I do also tie these in #18 and #20’s, although the triple wing does become quite difficult in the smaller sizes). For the tail I use a few strands of Coc de Leon feather and splay these by taking a loop or two of thread under the tail, two different coloured strands of Moose mane for the abdomen, white Z Lon for the wings (trimmed to shape) and a 2 to 3 mm strip of black razor foam over and below the wings to create a distinctive thorax. The foam also aids the fly’s floatability.
Give this one a try when next you are on one of your favourite streams and perhaps as with my experience, even when there are no spinners on the water, you will find this little fly seems to have the profile and distinctive triggers to get the trout’s attention.
THE NYMPHS CAN TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES
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