The Original Skin…

Shedding May
When mayflies,and other aquatic insects, hatch they shed their nymph/pupa skin in the process.They also have small airbubbles surrounding them when trying to break the surface film. This can often be a very important trigger to the fish. I think the key is to just give the fish a small hint of this element. The whole point is not to make it to firm and compact. I see a lot of flies tied to please the human eye,and not the eyes of the fish. The old skin is translucent and often it still carries small silvery air bubbles in or around it. Personally I think the best method is the one deviced by G. LaFontaine on his Halo Mayfly Emerger. To create this illusion he simply winds a few strands of antron down the hook shank. Be sure to wind them loosly,and never use to much. This has worked well for me in various hatching situations. The second method that I use is just a small amount of cdc hanging behind the actual pattern.

Shedding Antron
LaFontaine´s method using antron yarn.

Shedding cdc
Alternative method using a few fibres of cdc.

4 thoughts on “The Original Skin…

  1. Vegardfly, first, I’m enjoying your site very much, please keep up the good work. I thoroughly enjoy seeing these common themes play out in regions far removed, but not unlike my own. I’m in the Eastern U.S.

    Second, I picked up a small acrylic tub on my standard photo set-up to try to do dry and submerged comparisons and more importantly try to capture the allusive bubble as photogenically as possible to illustrate what a trout would see when these flies are submerged. This thread

    was my first attempt and you’ll not the clumbsy mis-steps, but the results are interesting and at least like all good experiements show a way forward. Your comments regarding Lafontain are directly related to what Hidy was doing with his flymphs. Hidy would often hand out cards with a fly or two attached and a toothpick tucked under the felt and ask tiers to see for themselves as they dunked the flied into a saucer or glass to note the hydrofuge (the bubble formed between the thorax and hackles (usually) as well as the smaller bubbles trapped in the dubbed bodies. My little experiment will be taken a few steps further and hopefully with good photo documentation.

    This fly is fantastic, as are the rest of your offerings.

    It’s always a joy to see someone who enjoys the whole spectrum of the sport. Much thanks for all your work here.

    William Anderson (

  2. Hello,William…thank you very much for the kind words. I really appreciate your comment and the link. Very interesting stuff and great photos. I will definately follow this experiment. Thanks again!

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