Summer Edition

Summer Edition
Summer Edition

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tying The March Brown Sparkle Comparadun

Genus Rhithrogena or the “March Brown” mayfly as fly anglers like to call them is an important spring time hatch for trout. It's easy to get excited about these bugs, presenting a big mayfly on the surface to a wary consumer is really what fly fishing is all about. If you have ever rolled rocks on your favorite river I'm sure you've seen these aquatic insects before. March Browns are in the "clinger" group of mayflies, they are very flat and wide with feathery gills protruding off their abdomen.  Their head and extremely large eyes look like an alien from another dimension. They make their home in the fast turbulent riffles of a river, their body profile and gills helps them stick to the rocks by way of a suction disc underneath their body so they are not carried off by the strong currents.

The actual hatch takes place during the warmest point of the day. It is at this time that the nymphs leave the bottom substrate by way of gas bubbles trapped underneath their wing pads which lift the nymph to the surface.  These gas bubbles also help split the exoskeleton for the emergence from nymph to dun. As the mayfly struggles to free itself from its shuck it is very vulnerable to an opportunistic trout.  Many times trout will key on this stage of the emergence only, and this is where the Sparkle Comparadun shines most brightly!

This fly is a must on rivers that have very sophisticated trout, you know the ones that haunt you at night when you’re trying to go to sleep and all you can think about is "Why wouldn't they take my fly"?  What I like most about this pattern is that it is a quick and easy 3 step twirl of the bobbin.  Shuck, body, wing, whip finish and you’re done!

The March Brown mayfly will be appearing at a river near you for the next month and maybe longer depending on your elevation. Stock your fly box now with nymphs, emergers, and dries before you head out on the open waters. 


Hook:  Tiemco 101 #14.
Thread: Camel colored Uni Thread in 6/0
Trailing shuck:  Dun colored Z-Lon touched up with a brown sharpie.
Body:  Very fine brown dubbing mixed with some Antron fibers
Wing:  Dark moose or elk hair, make sure the height wing is as long as the body.

Note:  You can match many different mayflies with this pattern in sizes 12 and smaller by adjusting the size and the colors of the shuck, body, and wing.

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