Don's Fly Tying - The Foam Mayfly

[Foam Mayfly]

Winter, when your lakes and streams are frozen solid, or in my case, when I am golfing in Arizona, is the time to dream about catching monstrous trout on a dry fly! Tossing out a dry fly and being rewarded by a slashing surface strike is my idea of fly fishing heaven! So much the better if the pattern is a fly of your own making. January is a good month to tie some dry flies at least for someone who resides in the Interior of British Columbia although I know many of my Coastal and Vancouver Island friends can pursue their fly fishing passion throughout the winter! As I write this article, the snow is falling and although Okanagan Lake is still open, all of my favourite trout lakes are now frozen. Since floating mayflies are always a target of trout through much of the spring and early summer open water season, let's have a look at a fly that is guaranteed to float and will also induce numerous hits by those ravaging trout, the foam mayfly!



The first step is to purchase thin foam sheets at your craft store in tan, yellow, brown, black and gray shades. Cut a strip about 1/8 inch wide and long enough to make several flies. I then place the strip on the hook shank and judge how long the foam should extend past the body to form the tail, ie, at least twice as long as the body. Since it is tricky to hold the moose hair strands in place on top of the foam strip, the first thing I do is glue two moose hair strands on the foam, extending well past the end. When dry, put the foam strip with the moose hair strands on top of the hook shank and half hitch in place with your tying thread. Next comes the brown segment markings with the rod winding thread and this can also be a bit difficult. I use a short length of brown thread and keeping some pressure on the thread, half hitch it to make segments along the tail and again I use glue at the end of the tail where I tie off the brown thread. Now cut some elk hair which is more rugged than deer hair and wind it around the shank leaving ample space from the hook eye. Here you will wind the brown hackle feather in two or three turns so that the feather tip will stand up at the right length to resemble the mayfly wing. I use invisible mending thread for both the elk and brown hackle feather and when I tie off the brown hackle, I force the hackle back to resemble a wing. Tie off, cement and you have finished a mayfly that will float very well!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

Http:// -- Revised: December 22, 2007
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