21 May 2012

The extended body mayfly nymph strikes again...

Extended body mayfly nymph
I've blogged about this pattern a few times. I love it. I don't like large nymph patterns generally because they so rarely imitate a natural. But in the chalk streams we have the grand daddy of mayfly nymphs, the Danica. This pattern is outstanding at getting difficult subsurface feeders to pay attention.

the extended body mayfly nymph performs again!
I was working upstream on The Darent and came across a fish lying in a swift current that flowed through a hole under a tree trunk. The classic brown trout holding spot. A perfect spot to suck in all that food funnelled from the riffle above. I put a few drifts over him with the Olive emerger I'd selected to imitate the sparse Olive hatch that had been bubbling along since I rocked up 30 minutes before. Nothing. Not even a little twist of a pectoral fin. He was pretty close to the stream bottom, tucked away in his hole. So on went the mayfly nymph. On the first drift he slashed and missed, second drift he didn't miss. 

If the fish are moving to the Mayfly nymph does it mean we are going to see the hatch starting in the coming days? We've a high pressure system moving over us this week with temperatures hitting 25 in the South East apparently.... maybe we'll see some Mayfly on the wing...

Here's the pattern recipe:

3 emu fibres
Abdomen: Tan or cream suede chenille with the tip singed by a flame

Tuft of partridge filoplume tied in behind wing case tie in point

Wing case: 
Larger heavily patterned feather from the back of a partridge. I sometimes apply some UV resin to the wing case for extra weight, robustness and appeal.

Smaller neck feather from a partridge tied in after the wing case and pulled over the dubbed thorax.

Tan blended dubbing. If you want to weight the pattern you should wrap tungsten or lead foil/wire around the shank before dubbing the thorax.

Head: After tying down the wing case make 2 turns of thinly dubbed thread over the wing case tie down point and fold the wing case material back, over this dubbed area and tie down. Clip off the excess partridge feather.


  1. That's a very fine-looking nymph indeed, Keith - I will be copying it shamelessly this week. What are you using for the tails?

  2. thanks Sean! the body is suede chenille with emu fibres as tails.

  3. As ever matey impeccable tying...

  4. thanks dryfly. the emu tails can be a little tricky the first time or too. Best done in batches.