The Perfect Fly Mayfly Story

Why More Flies?
In order to have a specific pattern for everything trout eat. Flies should imitate
both the appearance and behavior
of things trout eat. Anglers should select their
flies to imitate food items that the trout (in a certain location and at a certain time) are
most likely eating BUT there can be problems in doing this.

1. It is difficult to imagine what some flies were designed to imitate. Many of them are
labeled with
names that have nothing to do with the food items they are
intended to imitate
- Blue Dun, Adams, Trude, Blue Quill, for example. Most of
these types of flies are considered non-specific or searching flies that were designed
to imitate a wide variety of trout food. We suppose you use them when you don't know
what you are trying to imitate.
2. The flies that are named for the food item they were intended to imitate - Green
Drake, Quill Gordon, for example, are usually for
only for the adult or dun stage of
. In many cases, the larvae or nymphal stage and the egg layers or spinners do
not have specific imitations.
3. Believe it or not, there are many items of trout food that do not have specific
that are commercially available even though there are thousands of trout
flies on the market
4. The process of selecting a fly to imitate a specific aquatic insect at the appropriate
stage of life is
complicated by names that can be very misleading and the lack
of specific patterns.

Our purpose and intent was simple. We wanted a specific fly pattern for
everything trout eat. When it came to aquatic insects, some of the various species
where so similar to each other that it would take a magnifying glass to determine the
difference. If  we couldn't see much difference in them with the naked eye we figured
the trout couldn't either. In those cases,
we selected one fly that imitated more
than one species
. For example, we have one pattern for both the Ephemerella
and the inermis mayfly nymphs.In other cases, there was a noticeable
difference in species of the same genus and in those cases
we selected a specific
pattern for each of the species
. For example, we have separate patterns for the
duns of the American March Brown and the Light Cahill even though both are species
of the
Maccaffertium genus.  

We named the flies for the food items they imitate
. To help avoid confusion,
these flies were cross-referenced with both the common names and scientific names.
The results were specific fly patterns for everything that is important to imitate for the
entire United States. If you know what the trout are eating (or at least most likely
eating) selecting a fly that closely imitates it is very simple.  

We not only wanted to select patterns that imitates certain food items, we wanted to
select patterns that are better than most others.
We wanted each fly to look and
act like the real thing as much as possible.
This resulted in flies that many would
consider to be slightly more realistic than most others. Our options were not unlimited
because we wanted the materials to be as natural and as economical as feasibly
possible. To keep the cost reasonable, we also wanted the tying process to be as
simple and easy as possible and the flies to last a reasonable amount of time without
tearing up.
The results was Perfect Flies.

Our Perfect Mayflies:

Mayfly Nymphs:
There are basically four types of mayfly nymphs-swimmers, burrowers, crawlers
and clingers
. Most clinger mayfly nymphs look about as much alike a burrower
mayfly nymph as an elk looks like an antelope. The slim, streamlined swimming
nymphs don't resemble the crawlers very much either. Generally speaking, this fact
requires at least four basic types of mayfly nymph patterns. Some of the
nymphs within the same category are quite different. While it is true that many mayfly
nymph species can be imitated well by just varying the size and color of the same
pattern, others require features with different shapes and forms.  
Our swimmer nymphs are slim and narrow like the real ones. Biots are used for those
less than a hook size 14 because it closely imitates the segmentation of the real
mayfly nymphs abdomens. Larger nymphs, our super models, use course dubbing for
the abdomens. The burrowers use ostrich that moves in the water. The clinger
nymphs are flatter and wider like the real ones and our crawlers use EMU to imitate
the gills as well as soft hackle for the legs and tails.

Imitation can only represent the emerging insect at a specific stage at a specific time
during this short interval of time. Trout take advantage of the emerging mayflies
during this transition time, eating them with ease. Our emergers use a curved hook, a
biot body to show the segmentation and CDC feathers that resemble the unfolding
wings. This fly floats in the surface skim.
Emerging Adults:
Some mayflies emerge on the bottom or somewhere in between the bottom and the
surface, and swim to the surface as duns. For this we use a wet fly designed to sink
and then be brought to the surface.
Emergers with Trailing Shucks:
Our trailing shuck emerger or emerging combination nymph and dun, has the shuck
still hanging or trailing on the "almost" emerged dun. The trailing shuck nymph
resembles a mayfly taking a jump suit off.  

Fully emerged adult mayfly duns, our dun patterns, have two main upright divided
wings like real mayflies. They do not have a single wing or just totally lack wings like
some mayfly imitations. When upright, these wings sit back at an angle to the body,
not straight up like the few imitations that do have wings. We don't go so far as to add
the tiny hind wings for those species that have them, but we do think the main wings,
which represent almost half of the total configuration or silhouette of a mayfly, should
be somewhat realistic.
Biots are used for the bodies on flies smaller than size 14 to get the natural look of a
real mayfly abdomen. The larger mayflies use extended bodies.
We use a parachute style of hackle to represent the legs of the dun. This places the
legs in a pattern more like the real thing than thorax or other styles of dry fly hackle.
We use split nylon tails that look like more the real thing, not a huge clump of feathers
or hair that isn't natural.

When mayflies become sexually mature, they lose their dull outer covering and
become what anglers call spinners. Although some species of these spinners may die
and fall in ripples and faster moving water, they eventually wind up concentrated in
eddies or smoother flowing water such as pockets and the tail end of pools. This is
usually where the trout go to take in the easy offerings.
Our "Perfect Fly" imitations are selected to catch trout in the type of water that trout
feed in depending upon the particular species of mayfly. Presentations made in
turbulent water will drown most of our spinners. In that event, you probably presented
the fly in the wrong place, but even so, that is exactly what happens to natural
spinners that fall in turbulent water. They get drowned and even then, your fly is
properly imitating the natural.
The wings of spent spinners lie flat on the water, not upright like the duns. This fact,
added to the fact that spinners float low in the surface film, make them difficult to see
even in the best situations, especially the smaller spinners- the real ones and the
fakes ones.
Spinners are yet a different body and wing color from that of the dun, sometimes
drastically different. They are thinner, slimmer and usually have clear or transparent  
wings and a tail that is usually longer than the duns tail. The female spinners are
either involved with the mating process and are generally not available for the trout to
eat; or they are in the process of laying their eggs and may or may not be available
for the trout; or they have collapsed after laying their eggs with spent wings and a
body that is void of eggs. The male spinners may or may not be available, depending
on where they die, on water or on land.  

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Copyright 2008 James Marsh