Fly Of The Week
Pale Evening Dun
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Pale Evening Dun
By Skip Morris, Washington

The Pale Evening Dun artificial, predictably, imitates the mayfly commonly called the pale evening dun. Another common ame for this mayfly, known to entomologists as Ephemerella dorothea, is the sulphur dun.

The pale-evening-dun hatch is important in the East. These little mayflies hatch from mid-May to early July, and the hatch shifts gradually from midday to twilight as the days warm into summer. Look for pale evening duns in swift runs and riffles. There is a western mayfly called a pale evening dun, but it's an entirely different insect than the one we focus on here.

Hackle-tip wings, like those on the Pale Evening Dun, are fairly common on traditional trout flies; you will also find them on the ubiquitous Adams. The best feathers that I have found for these wings are the hackle from a hen neck.

Materials: Pale Evening Dun

    Hook:  Standard dry fly, sizes 18 and 16 (the hook shown is a Daichii 1180).Thread:  Yellow 8/0 or 6/0.

    Wings:  Blue-dun hackle fibers.

    Body:  Pale-yellow dubbing.

    Hackle:  Blue-dun.

Tying Steps:

1. Pluck two hackles from a hen nect and hold them so their tips curve away from one another. Measure them against the hook, and then use the pinch to tie them in as wings, about three-quarters up the shank.

2. Snip the butts of the hen hackles at an angle and bind them under thread turns. Strip some hackle fibers, measure them, and use the pinch to tie them in as a tail.

3. Dub a tapered body to just past midshank. Draw the wings firmly up, and then back, and then trim away the fibers projecting forward from the wing's base. Crease the wings at their base with your thumb nail.

4. Add several tight thread turns against the front of the wings; this will set them upright. Measure, prepare, and tie in two hackle.

5. Wrap one hackle forward and secure its tip with two or three tight thread turns. Wind the second hackle through the first and secure its tip. Trim the tips and complete the fly as usual. ~ Skip Morris

More on the 'dorotheas' photos, and how to fish the imitations will be found in the Not Quite Entomology section.

Credits: Excerpt from The Art of Tying the Dry Fly by Skip Morris, published by Frank Amato Publications. We greatly appreciate use permission.

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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