Micro Mayfly Tying Lesson by Jason Akl
Another one of the classic Mike Mercer patterns, the Micro Mayfly produces fish when all other patterns seem to fail. When the BWO’s or other smaller mayflies are hatching on the water the Micro Mayfly is a sure bet to put a few fish in the net. This tiny mayfly pattern uses pheasant tail fibers, olive dubbing and copper beads to fool selective fish.
Mayflies hatch throughout the long summer months with the smaller species being seen throughout July and August. One of the best things about fishing mayflies is the number and variety of hatches. If you miss one hatch, then simply wait a few days and another will most certainly come along.
Hatches can be very difficult for fly anglers especially those which are rather new to the idea of fishing hatching insects. With so many flies on the water, which fly do you use and why should a feeding fish decide to take your fly with all the naturals around? Nymphing is a much easier technique than trying to “match-the-hatch”, but in a very different style. Pounding the bottom time and time again with weighted mayfly larval patterns can provide constant action from mid-morning into the early stages of the hatch.
Fishing the Micro Mayfly nymph is easy, cast the fly slightly upstream and mend the line so that slack is created into your presentation. This slack line will help keep your fly dead drifting as if it were a real mayfly nymph washed off the bottom. As you continue to work the water around you and get into the faster current, adding weight to your leader will help keep your flies near the bottom and in the strike zone.
With all the numerous mayfly hatches that go on throughout the summer, having a pattern like Mercer’s Micro Mayfly available in your fly arsenal can only help to better your odds in catching those large finicky trout that you spend hours upon hours chasing.
Materials used in the Micro Mayfly
Hook: Daiichi Nymph size 14
Thread: Tan Uni-Thread size 8/0
Thorax: Olive Hareline Dubbing
Shellback: Pheasant Tail Fibers
Head: Silver Bead
Tail: Pheasant Tail Fibers
Body: Stripped Peacock Quill
Rib: Copper Wire
1. Start this fly by sliding the bead over the hook point small hole first and up the hook shank till you reach the back of the hook eye. Attach the thread onto the hook shank and make a few wraps of thread behind the bead to hold things in place loosely.
2. From behind the bead pinch dub the thread with yellow dubbing sparingly, and wrap a thin body down the hook shank. Stop the body of the fly when you reach the point above the barb and now tie in 3-5 pheasant tail fibers off the back of the hook shank. The tail length should be 1 ½ times that of the hook gap. Use light thread pressure and the end tip of dubbing to splay the pheasant tail fibers out and up.
3. Tie in a short strip of copper wire and a stripped peacock quill. Wrap the peacock quill forward up the body of the fly until you reach the ¾ mark on the hook shank. Make sure that you wrap the herl quill evenly up the hook shank so that no spaces of underbody can be seen through. When you are finished wrapping the peacock herl quill forward counter wrap the copper wire up the body of the fly so that there is no way the quill body can unravel.
4. Before you start the thorax of the fly tie in several more pheasant tail fibers leaning over back of the fly. Dub a thick olive thorax for the fly, up to the back of the bead head and then pull the pheasant tail fibers you tied down earlier over top of the thorax.
5. Tie down the pheasant tail fibers at the back of the bead head, and pull the remaining tag ends back over the body of the fly like wings. Make sure to set one wing to each side of the fly rather than just one wing over top of the whole body. Dub the thread once again with olive dubbing and take a few wraps behind the bead head to hold the wings in place. Whip finish the thread and cement the thread thoroughly.