Comments please - Green Drake Dun

Discussion in 'Patterns' started by rgiffin, May 27, 2007.

  1. Comments on this pattern are appreciated. Recipe is:

    Large umbrella hook
    Olive thread
    Overall: Light olive ice dub
    Wings: Light Dun Web Wing
    Tail: Moose mane
    Abdomen: 8lb test monofiliment built up with dubbing and thread
    Hackle: Olive

    Thanks in advance. Heading to Rock Creek in Montana soone and need backup in the event the Salmonfiles are all gone.

    * Added a comparison to the model I used to tie with...
  2. Interesting. Reminds me of one Al Beatty ties, though yours is much more involved.

  3. Ron - It is a little involved admittedly, instead of taking 3 minutes to tie they take maybe 10, but I'll tell you from experience using these tied as March Brown and PMD that I can often evoke a strike - from a large fish - even in the absense of a hatch. The hook acts as a keel to keep the fly upright and it usually hits the water in a natural floating position - or if it doesn't, a quick tug rights it.

    I have to do some PMD today or tomorrow as well so I'll post that pattern in a new thread.
  4. That's novel, I've never seen anything like it. I assume it's riding pretty high in the water with the hackle beneath the fly, or does the hook weight pull the fly body into the film? Do you get subtle hits that don't hook up?
  5. Riseform - I've been experimenting with alternate ties for some time. I tried upside-down ties but frequently lost fish with them. The Waterwhisp flies are based on an upside-down hook.

    Looking for alternatives I ran into these 'Umbrella Hooks' and decided to order a bunch and see what they offered. They advertised better hookups than the Waterwhisp files and after using them I can tell you that the hits are always solid and the fish are usually brought to the beach or they snap me off (usually my fault). Fish seldom 'bump' or investigate, usually the take is hard and sure - I can only guess that this is because they look more 'real' than the horizontal patterns. I'm really happy with them.

    The hook seems to pull the fly into the water some but on some of them I've had to 'flatten' the hackle a bit with scissors before they float as well as I want them to float.

    Sometimes I do tend to go overboard with the wings. When I do, 6x will twist while casting. You can either trim the wings down some or straighten your tippet after every cast (pain)...
  6. Very cool flies, rg. Who makes those hooks? Do you think the dangling hook might simulate a nymphal shuck still trailing beneath the dun?

    In my experience fishing green drake hatches in the rockies, although limited to a couple of opportunities when I was there at the right time, accurate imitations were not all that necessary - they were slammin' anything about the right size and color. Also, given the size of these flies (ca. #10?) it seems to me that 6X tippet is much smaller than needed. I'm sure I was probably fishing 4X on those occasions. I suspect you would solve your tippet twisting problem with stouter tippet and sacrifice VERY little in effectiveness.

  7. Richard - It's a weird Japanese company arrangement or something - The packages only have that name on them. And they only come in midge, small, medium, and large.

    I bought these from, although I see the price has gone up about a buck. Local fly shops (Des Moines, Auburn, WA) are not planning on stocking them but instead are looking at stocking patterns tied with them. Haven't seen any in the shops yet to compare against but they all tell me they are on order.

    Most of the ones I've seen online (sorry can't find the old links) are using a feather for the abdoman - very light affairs. I did see some on another forum that looked like he used those pre-made 'mayfly buts' - I think those look way too bulky. I'm a fan of the sparse pattern - however this drake is beefy only because the real one is too.

    I'll post my PMD pattern tomorrow probably.
  8. Rgiffin,

    I have been using those hooks for a couple of years now. I bought every size available and immediately tied up one dozen of a PMD pattern to take last year for Silver Creek and the Henry's Fork. They worked excellent!!! I can attest to the fact that when a prolific hatch is occurring, fish will accept these as a natural. Now, I cannot attest to the fact that they will invoke a strike when no hatch is going on, since I have not tried my patterns during no hatch activity.

    I have seen a DVD of a Japanese guy tying with these hooks, using a split mallard feather for an exaggarated mayfly tail. I tie my PMD patterns with an extended body, with a split microfibrette tail. Its a two stage process, making first the extended body and then of course, tying the entire fly. Total time for me, would be about 10-15mins per fly.

    Your pattern looks great!! It would fool fish on the Henry's for sure. I peronsally don't use that type of material for the wings, because it makes the fly rotate during casting, twisting the tippet and leader. But whether you use deer or mallard feather wings, you still get that problem. Finally, what I settled on for wing material is CDC. It is soft and supple and does not promote twisting during the cast.

    There is a debate as too whether if fish keen on the footprint on the surface of the water that is made by the legs of an adult mayfly resting on the water, supported by surface tension. That is where these hooks come in. The parachute hackle represent the spread legs of the natural and form the necessary dimples on the surface that fish que on. The typical parachute patterns allow the body and tail to rest on the water, making it look artifical to the fish, when viewed from below. I'm not 100% sure if this is correct since I'm not a fish!!

    What I do know is that the hook allows the fly to ride perfectly on the water!!!
  9. Obiwankanobi - the only reason I know they work without a hatch is because I took them to the Yakima river one afternoon for a float / performance test on real water. There was very little insect activity save for a very few PMD out flying around and I didn't expect to catch anything.

    I caught a 14" rainbow who took my PMD in an area of the river I have NEVER caught anything and then downstream toward the end of the aftenoon I was playing with one of my PMD's on the edge of the stream when a large rainbow ran in from the center of the stream, snatched the fly, took off back toward the center of the stream and then, probably because the tippet was stressed, snapped me off - after leaving the water at least three times!

    And these were the first patterns I tied, they were lacking a bit. For no hatch and not expecting to catch squat - it was a really good afternoon. Of course any day on the water is good...
  10. Trust me, I believe you completely. They are a great hook to tie on!!! On Idaho's Silver Creek, I've been treated to fine scotch and steak, for a chance to swap one of these flies!!! If you wanna swap, once you get some PMD's tied up, hit me up!!!
  11. I have to admit I've evolved to no hackle flies under the impression that selective trout prefer the fly in the film, crippled or with trailing shuck. I only tie on high riding hackled flies for rough water or as an indicator for a small emerger/nymph.

    These look like fun to tie and if they work my eyes will be very grateful. With the described twisting during the cast, I'm guessing the design thwarts any hope of adding a small dropper?
  12. After watching a massive Green Drake hatch on Rock Creek, here is an updated pattern with a foam abdomen segmented with thread. Didn't have quite the right color of foam I was looking for but after I tied it, it didn't look too bad. Kind of simulates the subtle color differences and bands of the natural.

    Looking for comments - still experimental. Thinking of adding some small green rubber legs. Maybe making the abdomen a bit stouter.
  13. Wouldn't some sort of a jig hook work as well??
  14. Excuse my ignorance but what is a jig hook?
  15. Rg,

    I would tend to go larger on the body, but trust me that is personal opinion on my part. If the fly catches fish on Rock Creek, which I know it will, then keep it the way you like it.

    On Cedar today, I saw a guy using a Wolly Worm as a dry fly with Gink and all. Beat the hell out of my why he was catching fish after fish with the damn thing. "What were the fish thinking?"

  16. Jig hook - OK, got it. The Internet is a wonderful thing. It looks as though the shanks on the jig hook is too short. Even these can prove to be lacking in length at times.

    Other thoughts?
  17. Those flies look great.There is a good article in the new Fly Tyer mag about ext. mays, with a nice looking foam body pattern, but I like the umbrella one better, RG.I bought some of those hooks, but havent really played with them.I found some strange, old English made extended body hooks on Ebay.Ill try the foam body on both. Exellent work!
  18. Thanks for the comment P-FITZ98 but I've come to realize that even these ties are still too small for a real Green Drake hatch. Fishing the Cedar last weekend I happened upon a large Green Drake hatch and had the opportunity to net a few specimens. I never realized before but these are big, meaty bugs and they ride the water with wings out at a 45 degree angle as they are drying - prepared to attempt a takeoff. They attempt a few takeoffs and always land back on the water several times before becoming airborne and I've even seen then 'running' on the surface leaving a small wake behind (had one run right at me last weekend).

    However the trout seemed uninterested in the newly hatched Drakes. What they seemed to be keying on was the equally large but darker brown spinner. When we put on a large brown hairwing they were all over it but they wouldn't take any of the newly hatched brighter green patterns. On the brown hairwing we locked onto a 22" spawing rainbow (freakin' boat anchor) and had several more active rises by similarly big fish. But when it turned off, it turned off like a light switch.

    I think the Umbrella hooks are too small for the Green Drake, only because of the length of the shank, but I have a new pattern that I'm gonna try this weekend using Ethafoam and based on Skip Morris' Ethafoam Green Drake Dun. I want to change it up a little though making for a nine-segment abdomen like the natural (versus Skip's 3 segment tie) by folding very thin Ethafoam (or an alternate material) over on top of itself for each segment. Using this and building the abdomen seperately on a bodkin I should be able to tie the pattern on both a normal and an Umbrella hook and see which one represents the best solution. I also intend to use a little hackle to promote float and some light rubber legs.

    Also seems that color is key for this hatch. I've read that in the past the spinners have been discounted but it has recently been discovered that the spinners can be very important as we found last weekend.

    The other part about this hatch is that it always seems to be mixed in with other hatches - Grey Drakes, PMD, and BWO - that was the case on Rock Creek as well as the Cedar. Not sure what the fish actually key on but it is nice to have all of them to try.

    I'll post the new pattern here when I finish.
  19. Here it is. I'll find out tomorrow if it will float. I used white Ethafoam as the base of the abdomen and covered it with Thin Skin in a segment pattern. This is about the third attempt at something but this looks pretty convincing. Moose Mane for the tails, Ice Dub UV Light Olive for the thorax, wings are gray CDC (doubled).

    The top of the abdomen isn't covered with Thin Skin, Figure the only one who ever sees that is me anyway. Looks like it may indeed need some hackle to stay upright. We'll see.

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