Most mayflies are shades of gray or sometimes brown but at least one of our BC Interior lakes has a profilic spring hatch of dark, almost black mayflies! A late May trip I made to Jimmy Lake featured very threatening weather, in fact, shortly after lunch, a sprinkle of rain developed from the darkening clouds. To my surprise, dark mayflies began to hatch and as the rain came down harder, more and more mayflies braved the elements! I had only gray mayflies in my fly box which the large Jimmy Lake rainbows steadfastly refused although they were vigorously slashing at the emerging black mayflies! I decided then and there never to be caught again without a supply of dark mayflies! The fly we will examine now is a product of that interesting Jimmy Lake day!
Select two long thin turkey feather tail fibers with an upward natural curve and secure them to the hook shank. The tail can project back and upward twice the length of the hook shank. Then wrap a thin strip of black foam hook bend to hook eye as this material will make the fly much more buoyant. Note, you can make your own foam strips if you buy thin foam sheets available in various colours at most fabric shops. Next carefully tie in two pieces of turkey tail feather, selected for an upward curve, about 1/3 distance from the hook eye. This wing set should project well above the body but not as long as the tail. By next wrapping the black saddle hackle mainly ahead of the wings but also a few turns behind, it will help to keep the wings upright. Cement, tie off, and you have finished an excellent dry fly for Jimmy Lake rainbows in the rain!
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