Most mayflies hatch just under or in the surface film. This stage of their life cycle usually is termed an emerger by anglers, a term popularized by Swisher and Richards in their 1971 magnum opus, Selective Trout. Emerging nymphs are a favorite of trout who will "bulge" just under the surface, picking off the hapless nymphs just after their wings burst forth and before they can fully pierce the surface. The tip-off to this behavior is that the mouth of the fish does not break the surface, nor can you see wings disappearing. The back of the trout disturbs the surface and makes the characteristic "hump". Fishing dry flies to fish eating emergers is often futile. While the difference between a fly just under the film or on the surface may seem trivial to us, it is crucial to the fish. They know the difference. Emergers also function as a good simulation of nymphs that get stuck in the shuck, an occurrence that takes place when hatches occur under difficult circumstances like high water, extremely cold air temperatutres, or driving precipitation.I have fished emrgers tied in this style since the early 1970s, They are often the key to taking difficult trout not only during Baetis hatches, but also during favorite emergences like Blue Quills, Hendricksons, and Sulphurs.
Hook: TMC #3761, #18
Thread: 8/0 olive
Tails: Olive-dyed mallard flank
Abdomen: Same as nymph
Legs: Olive-dyed mallard flank, tied beard style
Wing: Short tuft of gray muskrat fur
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