Al Campbell, Field Editor

April 19th, 2004

Too Simple Mayfly Dry

Al Campbell

I believe Militant Tiger summed up what many of you feel about simple flies in the chat room last Thursday night. He said he didn't believe simple flies could even catch a cold. I think many of you feel the same way. If it isn't complex or an exact replica of an insect, it won't work. A lot of you refuse to even try simple flies for that reason. It is purely your choice.

A few others have asked why I don't show more CDC in my simple patterns. I'll fix that this week with the too simple CDC mayfly. I usually just call it an EZ Baetis, but this is too simple stuff, so you can call it a too simple mayfly if you like. After all, it doesn't matter what you call it as long as it catches fish.

I won't go into a lot of text about advantages of this pattern verses another pattern. Some of you won't believe it anyway, and the rest will try it whether I tell you how well it works or not. I'll just tell you that my too simple patterns are designed to give you simple patterns to tie when you are in a time crunch or just don't feel like tying a lot and need flies fast. They aren't meant to replace anything specifically, but rather to fill the gap when time is a factor.

This pattern is just that, real simple and real fast. You can tie a half dozen in about 10 minutes and go fishing without devoting your fishing time to the fly vise. You can substitute materials and use what you have handy to create flies that still work fine, but don't take a lot of time to create.

Too Simple Mayfly Materials:

  • Hook: Any standard dry fly hook, even cheap ones will do. I'm using a size 16 Mustad 94840 dry fly hook.

  • Tail: Hackle fibers.

  • Body: Punch embroidery yarn. I'm using light gray.

  • Legs: None.

  • Thread: 6/0 - Colored to match the body or black.

  • Wing: Gray CDC feathers.

    Tying steps Too Simple Mayfly:

    1. Start the thread and tie in a standard tail.

    2. Secure the punch embroidery yarn to the hook and start wrapping a body. I don't get too fussy about a perfect body with these flies, just enough to create the impression of a body.

    3. Finish the body off behind the hook eye as shown.

    4. Select several CDC feathers for a wing.

    5. Attach them to the body with two or three loose thread wraps.

    6. By lifting slightly with both hands, you can slide the feathers forward and into place for a wing.

    7. Once you have the feathers in place secure them with several more wraps of thread.

    8. Trim the butts of the CDC feathers and build a head.

    9. Whip finish and trim your thread.

    10. Trim the wing to extend to about the hook bend.

    11. Clean up any stray fibers. Does your finished fly look like this?

Like I told Militant Tiger; I don't want my flies to catch a cold, just fish. I hope yours do too. ~ AC

Previous Al Campell Columns

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