Sparkle Dun and mayfly tail questions...

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Mike Ediger, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. I have had a lot of success with sparkle duns when mayflies are on the water. I normally just try and match the color and size and have at 'em. If I am not mistaken a sparkle dun is supposed to imitate an emerging mayfly, hense the trailing shuck (right?). I really like this pattern because it is so easy to tie with a poly wing tied comparadun style, and has been very effective for me. However, I want to be more accurate with my ties and understand why I am supposed to use certain materials. So I have several questions assuming this information is correct (if it isn't let me know).

    1. What color is the trailing shuck supposed to be; same color as body? darker? lighter?
    2. Can I just tie this same pattern in any color to represent many different flies (pmd, calibetis, bwo, mahogany, green drake....).
    3. Can I imitate an adult by switching the trailing shuck tail to a micro-fibet (sp?) or "mayfly tails"?
    4. When to I use a two split tail and when to I use a 3 split tail.
    5. How long do I make these tails. I have seen some bugs on Kelly Cr. that seem to be almost 2x the length of the body or longer!!??
    6. I tie the wings in 3 different colors, black, white, and yellow to see it better in the water in different light conditions. Any pros or cons to these colors.

    Thanks for any ideas or imput. Some might say if it works why fix it. But I want to know the reasoning behind what I am doing, and hopefully increase my effectiveness in the process. Also if I violated any laws of nature by submitting 6 questions in one post please forgive me. :eek:

    Thanks again,
    Mike
     
  2. 1. What color is the trailing shuck supposed to be; same color as body? darker? lighter?The trailing shuck should be a little darker. Say, if a body is cream, then the shuck should be a wood duck flank feather color. I often use a small parachute with a wood duck tail for this reason. It matches that 10% of crippled insects that we are trying to duplicate. The fish key in on these crippled duns, thats why we have a "sparkle crippled dun"
    2. Can I just tie this same pattern in any color to represent many different flies (pmd, calibetis, bwo, mahogany, green drake....). Well that would be interesting to try. I would think that the larger insects such as the green drake have a smaller %, maybe 1 to 2% so there are alot less of the cripples for the fish to key in on.
    3. Can I imitate an adult by switching the trailing shuck tail to a micro-fibet (sp?) or "mayfly tails"? Personally I find the microfibers too stiff. I like rooster throat hackles, the ones on the side of the neck.
    4. When to I use a two split tail and when to I use a 3 split tail. The standard catskill dry fly has about 12 to 20 hackle fibers for a tail. The split tail has fewer, 4 to 6 on each side. Some people say this is invisible to the trout. The fork tail tends to balance a fly out better with or w/o hackle. I don't bother with the 3 tail. Don't think the trout notice the difference.
    5. How long do I make these tails. I have seen some bugs on Kelly Cr. that seem to be almost 2x the length of the body or longer!!?? The tail should be the length of the body, or slightly longer. I have seen these longs tails also, in Kelly Creek in Idaho, lots in the later afternoon, but found that it's not necessary to mimick them, they are spinners.
    6. I tie the wings in 3 different colors, black, white, and yellow to see it better in the water in different light conditions. Any pros or cons to these colors. Wing color doesn't have alot to do with the effectiveness of the pattern. It's best to see your fly disappear amongst dozens of floating insects. Yellow works best at low light as you know. I prefer slate grey or black on all of my wings. This is the fun of fly fishing.... try them all out together on one line! Then post the results.
    I once tied 3 different size 18 flies on one leader, to see which was most effective at dusk. Hope that I have helped a bit.

    McNeese
     
  3. Thanks for the help Dave...can you clarify one point for me. You said "I often use a small parachute with a wood duck tail for this reason." Do you simply mean you tie it parachute style rather than comparadun with a wood duck tail, or what is a parachute with the tail.
    Thanks again,
    Mike
     
  4. I liked a parachute pattern in small sizes, especially in the evening.
    I prefer to use wood duck for the tail. We're trying to imitate an exoskeleton stuck to a mayflys body as a cripple.
    It really doesn't matter whether you use a parachute or a comparadun, either works well. The slender body with a tail is what counts.
    The parachute patterns offer a wider range of color for the wings, especially for people that don't see really well at dusk.


    McNeese
     
  5. Dave,
    After tying a few with wood duck for the shuck, I agree, the striations on the wood duck fibers do look like a trailing exoskeleton.
    Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate it.
    Mike
     

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