Realistic Extended Mayfly Bodies
Realistic Extended Mayfly Bodies are genuine replicas of real adult mayfly body in shape, size, weight and appearance. Using these fly tying parts in your adult mayfly pattern will add that crucial advantage and make your fly super-effective. These mayfly bodies are made of water-resistant, extra-light foam-like material, making them very floatable. The shape is a true reproduction of a real mayfly body shape. Extended, tapered and curved, ending in a long, thin tail. The printing, coloring and details are authentic-looking. They are sturdy and durable. Ready-made and simple to tie using thread. For a more secure tie make a small slit along the bottom of the thicker end, add a small drop of glue (the best are the flexible, gummy kinds) and insert the hook. They can be used as is or cut to suit your specific pattern.
To tie that super realistic mayfly dun – use them in combination with Hemingway’s Realistic Mayfly Wings.
Realistic Extended Mayfly Bodies come as 6 bodies per bag. There is a wide range of colors, each carefully designed to mimic a specific species. Sizes range from Extra Small to Extra Large, also depending on the species they are imitating. Extra Small is a good choice for hook size #18, Small for hook #16, Medium for hook #14, Large for hook #12 and Extra Large for hook #10. These size recommendations are just estimates. You can go size up or down, depending on your hook style, if you are shortening the body, depending on the pattern and your style of tying.
Mayflies (also known as shadflies), belong to aquatic insects. They are primitive species, the oldest of the winged insects and can be dated back to the prehistoric ages. Mayflies go through incomplete metamorphosis, going from egg to nymph to adult, and lacking an intermediate pupal stage. Mayflies are also unique as being the only insect to have two winged adult life stages – the sexually immature – subimago and the reproductive, mature – imago.
Mayfly Dun Stage
When the exoskeleton of a mayfly nymph breaks open the adult mayfly gets released and emerges into an adult – a dun (subimago) with dull-colored wings and breathes air. They float on the water surface and wait for their wings to fill with fluid and their veins to harden (as opposed to common presumption that they are drying their wings). During this time they are vulnerable and easily become pray to the hungry fish. Dun seeks shelter in the vegetation on the river banks. Mayfly duns live short lives before they transform again, most species only a couple of hours, but this can range anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days. They are not such great fliers.
Mayfly dun has usually three long tails (some have two). Their forewings are large, lightly-colored and transparent, covered with veins and standing upright (similar to those of a butterfly). Some species have hindwings, however, these are small in size and have no function (they are vestigial). Their bodies are long and tapered with long, slim legs. Their size ranges from #4 to #24, with most common size between #12 and #18.
The adult mayfly dun is sexually immature (unique in nature) and goes through another molt – from dun to a spinner (imago) – a mature mayfly ready to reproduce.
Fishing Mayfly Dun Patterns
Majority of mayfly species molt in the spring and early summer, while others do it at different times of the year. You could have sporadic hatches of certain species even in the late fall and early spring. These sporadic times could be even more interesting and productive for trout (and for a fisherman). During early spring and the fall, mayflies hatch in the warm hours of the day – usually midday. In the summertime, this event moves more towards the morning and late afternoon or early evenings. Usually, the warmer the weather, the shorter the hatch is – an hour or two. With cooler weather this can last a couple of hours. As mayfly duns float on the surface like little sailboats, this behavior dictates the method of presentation of the fly that is imitating it. When presenting a dun imitation to the trout, it has to be drag-free and from upstream, not giving a fish much opportunity to see the line or leader. This can be done by cross current reach cast. This way your fly will drift towards the trout before the line and the leader arrive.
To learn more about mayfly life cycle and fly fishing techniques for different mayfly stages go here.