It is almost time for the sulphurs (ephemerella dorothea) to start appearing on Spring Creek, my local PA trout stream. The hatch starts around the beginning of May and you can expect to see them up until the end of June, however with this years weather it could be all over the place. While the weather is bad and the rivers blown out it is time to experiment with tying for this hatch.
For the sulphur tying swap I decided to put together this little number that also incorporates a number of skills I picked up from Oliver Edwards. This is not completely my own creation but my inclusion of a weaved body makes the fly that little bit more interesting. By using a weave it is possible to achieve a two tone body section which can not be easily achieve with straight tying techniques, unless you little marker pens.
This fly sits low in the film surface and the tail section should sit below the film giving the trout that perfect silhouette. Even before the sulphur hatch has begun I have seen some very nice trout being fooled into taking this fly.
I hope that you enjoy this step-by-step guide to my weaved body sulphur emerger and it brings you much enjoy on the river as it has for me.
Hook – TMC 206BL size 16 (I have done up to 18)
Tail – pheasant tail
Nymph Body – Embroidery thread – yellow and brown or two shades of yellow
Sulphur Body – 2 mm of close patch foam in yellow (not pictured)
Under Body – Dry fly dubbing – sulphur yellow (or CDC dubbing for extra floating strength)
Wings – Hackle in Grey
Tools – as pictured
Step 1 - Place the hook in the vise so that the bend is exposed and Tie in 3 (or more) pheasant tail fibers
Step 2 - The embroidery threads have 6 strands, pull out two from each colour and tie them in down the bend of the hook on each side. Whip finish the tying tread and cut off, else it will get in the way while weaving
Step 3a - The Knot Weave – out of all the weaves I know this is the easiest, because it is not really weaving and you do not have to keep tension during the weave so you can drink your beer while you do it. First thing is to decide what colour you want on top; here I am wanting brown on top. So all you do is thumb knot with the colour you want on top going in front of the colour on the bottom. This weave is from Essential Skills w/ Oliver Edwards, part 3.
Step 3b - Next thing is to split the knot and slide it on the hook, here the hook eye is between the brown and yellow thread. Slide the knot to the back of the hook where the tails were tied in and tighten.
Step 3c - For the size 16 I do about 5 knots on each side, which you can count when you look at the side of the fly
Step 3d - Retie on the tying tread and tie down the weaving threads and clip off the waste
Step 4 - Tie in a strip of foam ~2 mm wide foam and a hackle that is about one and a half times as long at the gap of the hook
Step 5- Dub the underbody with sulphur yellow dubbing, this helps reduce the hackle from slipping.
Step 6 - Wind on the hackle and tie off, I did five turns here. However, I think this might have been too light, I would maybe do about 6-7 turns
Step 7 - Split the hackle collar and fold down the foam and tie down. Here I folded back the foam and put a whip finish under the foam near the eye to lift the foam up out of the way of the eye, like what you would do for a deer hair caddis.
Step 8 - Now you can either remove the tying thread now, but I find it is best to keep it on right now so it does not untie. What you want to do is use a brush/fingers to pull the hackle from under the fly up the sides so that it is a hemisphere and you will get two separate wings. This will make the fly sit low in the water, perfect for an emerger. Last thing is put on some head cement, additional you can go in with a brush and bring out some of the dubbing from the underbody to make it more buggy.