Realistic Mayfly Wings – 2 Pairs – Front & Back Wings
Hemingway’s Realistic Mayfly Wings – 2 Pairs – Front & Back Wings are part of the famous Hemingway’s realistic wings collection. These mayfly wings here come as 2 pairs: 2 big wings for the front and 2 small back wings. The intricate detail on these is nothing less than amazing, mimicking the real fly so well and featuring life-like mayfly veins and a transparent and delicate appearance. Wings are shaped, sized, and colored – there is no need for any cutting, shaping, burning, coloring… Simply take them off the backing sheet and tie them on. Besides the delicate look – these premium fly parts are very durable and will withstand many takes. They are premium quality, protected from the elements – waterproof and UV resistant, so no additional prep work is needed. They are made out of very flexible material so they are easy to bend and manipulate when tying. The softness and flexibility of the material make them easily gulped by the fish.
Flies made with these wings are meant to be used and used again. Many realistic flies are sitting at home and collecting dust. Now, it is time to get those realistic flies where they belong – on the water! Use them, lose them, no big deal, as they are affordable and easy to make.
With Hemingway’s Realistic Mayfly Wings you can make those wonderful realistic flies that fish just love to bite!
Hemingway’s Realistic Mayfly Wings – 2 Pairs – Front & Back Wings come in Small, Medium & Large, and a selection of four colors: Light Gray, Gray, Tan & Dark. Each package comes with 8 pairs of wings per pack to make 8 flies.
These wings are also available as part of a set for tying realistic Ephemera Danica mayfly where they come in a pair with hyper-realistic mayfly bodies. Check them out here. Or, you can pair them with Hemingway’s Mayfly Tube Bodies.
Besides Mayfly wings in a variety of colors, we also offer Hemingway’s Realistic Wings for Caddis and Stonefly, also in a variety of colors and sizes. See them all here. Don’t forget to check out our Videos page for more interesting ideas and video fly tutorials and recipes.
Mayflies (also known as shadflies) belong to aquatic insects. They are primitive species, the oldest of 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 the common presumption that they are drying their wings). During this time they are vulnerable and easily become prey 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 the 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
The 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 the mayfly life cycle and fly fishing techniques for different mayfly stages go here.
One of the reviews of Hemingway’s realistic wings:
Hemingway’s Realistic Wings
“Wings? You want wings? We have wings! There are three types here: May Fly, Caddis and Stone Fly. All are made in the same way – a pre-cut shape on a backing sheet, all printed with details that suggest the natural wing. May Fly and Caddis come as pairs, Stone Fly as two separate wings. All have a matt surface facing out and gloss on the side in contact with the backing card.
These are made from tough stuff, too. I can stretch it until it breaks, and it’s difficult to cut with thread. These look like stiff wings but this is actually quite supple plastic. It’s difficult to explain what I’m getting at here, but the texture of this plastic seems to work well; they hold position or posture well but are ‘squashy’: easily gulped by a trout.
These are not just copies of wings the shapes have been thought out for tying. What I mean is I could simply tie over the narrow point where the May Fly wing pairs meet; I can but I don’t have to, because I can tie down the wee tabs on either side of that narrow strip. Similarly, both the Caddis and Stone Fly have short level stumps or stubs where I want to tie them in. Tying in the tabs and stumps takes a minute or two of practice, but it’s not hard and the wings are resilient so if they roll around or otherwise misbehave just remove the thread and start over.
I found sizing slightly problematic. I guess that comes from the styles of flies I tie and being more used to tying with natural materials. When I come to proportion a fly I work to the hook: the tail, body, wing and hackle are all sized using the hook as my reference. By contrast, these wings are precisely pre-cut and I’d rather not start butchering them, so do I have to find a hook the right size for the wing? I was sent medium-sized wings – the photograph shows a pair mounted on a #10 Fine Dry Fly G-Point. It looks big to my eye, and I regard #10 as a fairly large dry fly hook.
No, I don’t need bigger hooks. In fact, that approach really misses the point and purpose of these wings. Far from needing something bigger than that #10, I should probably use a smaller, or at least shorter hook, and fit a detached body. The point being, these materials come from a different mind-set and way of tying. Some of my old habits, using the hook as my reference adjusting proportions to suit, will have to go if I am going to get the most from these.
OK, so how do I size flies tied with these wings? How do I fit the parts together? I suppose I could get medium wings and medium detached bodies and just fit the two together – but again that misses the point. These are designed to be used with the insect, the natural bug, as the reference. If I know the rough length and colour of a dun’s body and the height of its wings I can fairly quickly choose a suitable detached tube body and wing pair.
Contrast that with our traditional methods of tying flies – give me the dressing notes for an Adam’s or a Lunn’s or a Kite’s Imperial and frankly I can tie a decent version of that artificial fly without having the least inkling what a natural fly looks like. If fact, we can take that further, so for example, flies like Greenwell’s Glory, have taken on a life of their own – the debate over the original tying and the challenge of finding that exact ‘real’ Greenwell cape, whatever that means. None of those debates or challenges, interesting though they might be, has the least hint of anything to do with entomology.
It strikes me that Hemingway’s wings and tube bodies (featured in a previous On the Bench) are part of a move away from that older type thinking and tying. Oh, and they make a pretty neat fishing fly, too!”
Review by Magnus Angus
On the Bench, Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine (UK), 2013
Read the full article here.