Pale Evening Dun hatch ... I'm at a loss

Hendodesign

Active Member
So I've been hitting the urban river in the evenings over the last few weeks and as soon as the sun dips down there is a flurry of these little white/cream pale evening duns flying around ... not a ton of spinners but more duns. I have tied light Cahill and a few parachute varieties down to a 22. I'm using a 9' 5x leader with an extra 3-4' of tippet so I can run a long thin leader in calmer water.

So here's the rub ... I see the bugs, I see the fish rising (In an almost taunting way), and am running little dries to match ... but nada. I have had decent success with things like fluttering caddis in tan, and little goober midges in black in riffles and the heads of pools but on calmer water I can't trick these fish to save my life ... even knowing they are dinks. I get splashes but not a ton of eats.

Im curious what you guys use for pale evening dun hatches and what sizes. Am I running these too small or not small enough? I feel like even a 22 might be big for some of these that Im seeing ... they look tiny, but at that point I wont be able to see it on the water in the low light.

Also ... any tips on those foam wing patters and keeping them from turning the line into a slinky ... those suckers spin hard.

Here's some of the ties Ive been trying from size 16 to 22.

IMG_3502.jpg
 
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tallguy

Active Member
I have never fished where I think you are, but spent many years fooling technical trout on dry flies. If those are supposed to be small, size 20-22, they are way too bushy and overdressed. Tie them with 1/2 to 1/3 of the size and volume, and try again. Mostly I fished comparaduns and emerger type style flies, less traditional ties, when they go for small and picky. Also a size 20 or so sparse dry fly ant rarely gets refused in August if fished well.
 

Hendodesign

Active Member
Thanks for the tip ... I'll definitely go less bushy. Only the little guys are 22 ... the pink parachute and the hendrickson above it. the others are 16s and 18s. Good note though ... I can try to tie up some comparadun style with less bushy hackle. I have a couple of foam ants in 18 but I can tie up some sparse ants in a 20 ... any recommended patterns? Sounds like maybe try some RS2 patterns for the PEDs.
 
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Brian in OR.

Active Member
I agree with tallguy, to me they look overdressed and if you fishing calmer slicker water i wouldn't use any hackle as you want the fly sitting flush on the surface. Even though there are duns on the surface they might not be taking duns, could be emergers or spinners.... A lot of time the rise form will tell you which hatch fase they are taking...
 

Hendodesign

Active Member
Well the rise forms include some leaping out of the water so I’m pretty sure it’s surface bugs. But you may be right about the bigger fish sipping drowned spinners or emergers. It’s only the little guys doing acrobatics.

I tied up an RS2 quick ... you guys think something like that will be more effective. How do you keep them afloat? Lots of flotant or do you want it to sink a bit into the surface film?

099C1989-41BA-46EB-9A03-6F8BB66761AF.jpeg
 
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jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Everything @tallguy said!

I spent the first 15 or so years of my fly fishing life fishing dries almost exclusively. Comparaduns are by far my favorite dry fly for a variety of different hatches and I never found a commercially tied dry fly I did not bite or clip some material off off. Especially when fishing for very selective trout. Finally, along with an ant, consider small simple beetle patterns. They are another small terrestrial that will often produce during a frustrating match the hatch situation.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
Have encountered the same experience. The local fly shop guy was also a fish biologist who told me the hatch was Pale Morning duns that wait until evening to hatch due to lack of clouds during the day. He also made if very clear that the color of the body was paramount. Comparduns and cripples tied sparsely with a proper change to match body color made for a fun evening.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Go with an unweighted nymph on point and an emerger in the film on the top dropper, or alone. Dead drift with rod pauses to simulate rising to the surface. There is probably more going on under the surface.
 

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