In case you missed it, here’s Olly, Orvis Stockbridge Store Manager, and Steve, our in-house fly-tier, talking as part of our series of Orvis Mayfly Festival Facebook Lives about some top mayfly patterns to use. As the mayfly season is now in full swing, Olly and Steve take us through their favourite, go-to flies. They discuss the rigging they both utilise, their favourite set-ups, and also some money saving ideas like tippet rings and more.
Getting the ball rolling, Olly outlines a few of his favourite mayfly patterns. He explains that “rightly so”, on the waters around Stockbridge (the Test, the Itchen etc), “we are a dry fly upstream fishing area” so flies such as the Walker Weighted Nymph might not be allowed on these beats. Carefully, Olly holds up an example of a classic Walker Mayfly nymph and outlines some key details – such as a golden coloured brass bead, with the bead situated behind the eye of the hook to add weight.
He explains that as a result, he would start looking at Dun flies, like a CDC Mayfly Dun. He quips, “I like the name Dun because it means it’s ‘dun being a nymph’ – it wants to dry out and start turning to its adult cycle. It’s soft CDC grey wing represents everything starting to stiffen up and the mayfly preparing to take to the air.”
Steve follows with a few of his favourite patterns, explaining that he likes to go for an emerger…one of his favourites is a Klinkhammer, which he tends to tie in Mayfly colours - an olive grizzle and a grey wing - instead of Hans’ original cream, grey or red details. He produces a fine example of an emerger in Alex Jardine’s floating nymph which uses foam for the flotation, CDC to represent wing and legs and that general redness you get when flies are hatching.
In essence, they ask the all-encompassing question of why a fish would choose your fly, and try to find the answers behind the chuck and chance we anglers find ourselves in, in the middle of a Mayfly feeding frenzy.
If there’s anything you didn’t know about mayfly patterns, your answers are likely here in this candid conversation between two angling experts.