Our Man In Canada
January 13th, 2003

Sweating the Small Stuff
Micro-Shipman's Emerger

By Sheldon Seale


This is a variation of a pattern designed some years ago in England by David Shipman. It's ideal for practicing tying small, and it's very simple, easy to tie, and constructed for readily available materials. It's also a versatile impressionistic pattern which can be tied in a variety of sizes and colours.

Recipe: Micro-Shipman's Emerger

    Hook:   Straight eye dry, sizes 20 - 28.

    Thread:   11/0 black or to match body.

    Tail/Wing:   A few fibres of white poly-yarn.

    Body:   Seal's fur, dubbed sparse and picked out, various colours.

Tying Steps

Note: In the following illustrations, larger hooks and brighter materials have been used for greater clarity.

1. Attach a length of poly-yarn in the middle of the hook shank. Don't worry about the length of the yarn at this time, as long as there is at least a hook length of fibre sticking out both over the eye and back over the bend.

2. Wrap the poly-yarn down on top of the hood shank with thread until it is secured from just behind the hook eye until just forward of the bend.

3. Dub a few fibres of seal's fur onto the thread and wrap a slim body. Keep it sparse. Tie off the thread just behind the hook eye, but forward of the poly-yarn. Pick out some of the fibres from each side of the body to make a pair of wings and trim them for and aft to about the body length. Lacquer the head and you're done.

Fishing Tips For the Small Stuff
(repeated from the original article).

Fish these patterns in the surface film, although you can sink them to imitate nymphs. Fish take them for midges and other tiny insects. Usually, colour and size seem more important than shape/outline. Don't forget to use the finest possible tippet and smallest knots.

Current issue

When presenting tiny patterns, do everything in slow motion - including setting the hook. Indeed, just gently tighten up your line and ease the hook into the fish. Anything else will probably cause you to quickly part company with your quarry. Some anglers gently offset the hook point a little to improve the hook-up percentage. Whatever you do, don't horse the fish. Just gently apply pressure, especially from the side, and ease it to the net. Make it do its fighting in your net. Don't want to play it too long, however, as you will exhaust the fish - often fatally. Just use your common sense to achieve a balance. ~ SS

We thank the Canadian Fly Fisher for re-print permission!

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