Hemingway’s Realistic Mayfly Wings
Hemingway’s Realistic Mayfly Wings are a very realistic imitation of real mayfly wings in their dun (subimago) stage when their wings are lightly colored. These wings are extra easy to work with – they are preshaped and precut, all ready to use! Simply take them off the backing sheet and tie them on. No cutting or shaping is required. The transparency and the details on these wings mimic the real wing of a mayfly so well that fooling a fish is going to be a breeze. Premium quality made to withstand the elements – they are waterproof and UV resistant, so no additional prep work is needed. They are extra durable and can survive many fish, but are also made of a 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. These wings are best complemented with Hemingway’s Mayfly Tube Bodies – you get a perfect realistic-looking fly in a few easy steps. See our instructional slideshow below on how to easily tie a realistic mayfly dun using these amazing products.
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 come in six colors: Dark, Tan, Gray, Light Gray, Light Yellow & Yellow, and the following sizes:
- Extra Small (56 pcs, 16-18 hook size)
- Small (36 pcs, 14-16 hook size)
- Medium (25 pcs, 12-14 hook size)
- Large (16 pcs, 10-12 hook size)
- Extra Large (12 pcs, 8-10 hook size)
Please note that due to many different types and models of hooks, these hook size recommendations are just rough estimates.
Tip: Due to their size, when peeling off Small and Extra Small wings, if you encounter any difficulty, use an Exacto knife along the edges of wing tabs to separate the tabs first and then peel off the wings from the sheet.
Hemingway’s mayfly wings also come as a 2-pair set – including both the forewings and hindwings. In addition, for tying an ephemera danica mayfly dun, see our premium mayfly set including mayfly wings and super-realistic bodies. For these and other wings we offer, go here.
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.
This instructional slideshow illustrates how to easily tie mayfly dun using Hemingway’s Realistic Mayfly Wings, also featured in detail here, or see our Videos page for more interesting ideas and video fly tutorials and recipes.