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Mayfly Brown
Mayfly Green
Mayfly Dun
Flyline Mayfly
French Partridge
Grey Wulff Mayfly
Green Drake Mayfly
Spent Mayfly
Yellow Drake Mayfly
Micro Mayfly
Mayfly Nymph - Gray
Mayfly Nymph - Olive


About the MayFly
  Author: Unknown


This fly works exceptionally well not only because it looks something like the real thing, but also because it reacts so naturally, alighting softly onto the water like dun mayfly or an egg laying spinner needing a second chance to take off. It is important to cast gently and not attempt to cover too much water with each cast. This pattern is deadly when the hatch is on.


Often, artificial fishing flies try to simulate the fish's forage at the different stages of an insect's life. The Mayfly is a good example of such. Mayflies have upright wings and two or three long tails. The metamorphosis and life of the mayfly involves five stages: egg, nymph, dun, spinner, and spent. Mayflies are often refered to as 'up-winged' flies. They are the staple diet of trout across the country. Two pairs of erect veined wings and cylindrical bodies characterize this delicate insect. Some mayfly species can be found at anytime of the year. Some mayflies emerge only during certain times between the months of May to August. The name 'Mayfly' applies to all these species and not just the flies hatching in May.

One may find in an average stream a few hundred or a few thousand-mayfly nymphs per square yard. Mayflies have very little defense against those that feed on them. Their large numbers offset their lack of defense. They are a very important part of all freshwater fish diets.

Thousands of fly patterns have been tied to imitate these insects at the different stages of their development. It is helpful to remember that you don't have to match the natural insect with an exact named representation. Mayflies all look very similar and do much the same as other mayflies. Maintain a range of imitations in your fly box to cover the life cycle of these insects from aquatic nymph to the spent dead mayfly floating on the water. Try to match the size and shape of the mayfly hatch and than pursue the color.


In most parts of the country, mid spring is when you start to see the first hatches of mayflies. The temperatures are getting warmer and various hatches are apparent. Watch the shallows, where the water will be the first to reach the correct temperature to initiate the hatch. Scan the water for the floating nymph drifting along the surface. It will eventually emerge and then suddenly fly off after its wings have dried. This is the most vulnerable time for the mayfly. If this activity has caught the eye of a trout, it will rise and slurp the insect down in an instant and return to its point of ambush for the next morsel. An emerging nymph pattern or dry fly that matches the hatching insect in color and size will often take fish during this feeding frenzy.

If you don't observe the trout feeding on the surface, they may be taking the mature rising nymphs just before they hatch. This is very typical during the early days of the initial hatch. It may take a couple of days before the trout start feeding on the surface mayfly. Initially, concentrate on the rising nymph imitation rather than the emerging mayfly dun. Often these fish are not preoccupied with one specific insect. Try a beaded-gold-ribbed-hare's-ear-nymph. Fish it slowly on a floating line in the area where you are observing the emerging hatch. The trout will see the gentle rising action on the retrieve as a hares ear nymph floats to the surface to hatch. Patiently work your nymph at all levels in the water column and you will be sure to get a strike. The pheasant tail, copper john and prince nymphs are great choices to match the emerging stage of the Mayfly.

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