It’s kind of strange to think about,but this fly has been a staple in my box for over 20 years now. It is a fantastic pattern. The reason for it’s incredible ability to fool trout is the special “touch-dub” method. Use a very sticky dubbing wax and make a blend of antron and fur/synthetics.When using this dubbing technique combined with real antron yarn the fly traps hundreds of shiny air bubbles. This feature is what attracts the fish and makes it go for the fly. During caddis hatches this fly can really work wonders. It must be Gary La Fontaine’s most succesfull pattern.
This is the color combination that works best for me, but I also use brown,rusty and yellowish colors. If this is not in your box already,then make sure it’s there before the season begins…Remember,it´s very important to tie it sparse and airy!
For all the CdC freaks out there…
On the version above I added a trailing chuck of clear antron.
Hans Weilenmann is well known in the fly tying community. He is an excellent tyer and his tutorials are of a very high quality. The DHE or Deer Hair Emerger,is new to me. Inspiration is everything when it comes to tying. Weilenmann was brought to my attention by Kostis(wildtrouthunting). The pattern was originally created by Bob Wyatt,but I have taken the liberty to add a few traits to the original design. The original design is itself inspired by many great patterns. These flies will be tested this season…Check out Hans Weilenmann and Bob Wyatt on YT for tutorials.
I had the book signed by Gary when I met him in Norway back in 1991.
The Halo Mayfly Emerger is an odd looking creature, but it works! Again it´s the “halo” that is the most eyecatching feature of the fly. Probably the most important feature is the butt made from clear antron fibers. The halo must be made from clear polyurethane foam, not closed cell foam. The clear foam gives of an aura of light above the thorax. La Fontaine says that this state lasts only 10-20 seconds in the life cycle of the mayfly. The spike/wing stub is made from fluorescent orange deer hair and may also be a good trigger. Some of his tests showed that the fish almost never rejected this fly when presented right. I have had success mostly on rivers and streams with this pattern. I have yet to test it seriously on norwegian lakes. This pattern can of course be tied in any color to match the natural.
The Halo Midge Emerger (Original)
Gary La Fontaine was a great fly fisherman. I have read most of his books over and over again. Some of his theories may come across as a bit weird and sometimes to detailed. With the exception of the emergent sparkle pupa and a couple of others I have never really fished his flies a lot. On the other hand, his theories and ideas are with me when tying or fishing. His fly designs are not beautiful flies, they often look strange and awkward. They are effective fishing flies. They are based on what fish see from under the water and what makes it go for the fly. Some of the chapters in his brilliant book “The Dry Fly” certainly give food for thought on a lot of subjects concerning the way we think of imitations.
One of the imitations that interested me from the start were The Halo Midge Emerger. It doesn’t quite look like a midge pupa, but Fontaine states that it is enough for the pattern to simply rest partly in and partly under the water. Further he says: “The shape of an emerging midge pupa is critical to proper imitation, but it is not the triggering characteristic. The most important aspect of the natural is the quicksilver brightness of the air within the transparent outer sheath. If an air bubble is visible in the emerging insect, it overwhelms every other feature”
The swedish pattern Superpuppan have always been my weapon of choice for swimming caddis pupaes. Some species of caddis rises to the surface and swims to find something to hatch on.
I thought it was time for a change and after being inspired by the works of Matt Grobert I designed this one. The fish can sometimes lock itself totally on the swimming pupaes, even when adults are abundant. I hope this will do the job just as well as the Superpuppan. The key element is the front of the fly which should cause a lot of movement. I don´t think it matters wheter or not you add the antennas, but they do look nice in the box. I think the trigger on this fly is movement.
Pattern as follows:
Hook: Your choice
Rear abdomen: Synthetic dubbing mixed with hares ear
Front: CdC spun with a peacock herl
Most of you know Hans Van Klinken and his flies. His designs are a staple in many fly boxes. One of his best flies is The Klinkhamer. I tie this fly in a bunch of different variants. I wanted to present a few of them in this post. The fly can imitate many different insects and it can play the role of an attractor.
Depending on size and style of tying you can freely experiment with this pattern.
Here is the more standard version with a thinly dubbed body. This works as a mayfly.
If you tie it with a more scruffy and bulky body it functions as a caddis emerger.
Here is one of my own variants. I use it during hatches of some of the larger mayflies in Norway.
A few years ago while sitting on the banks of the river Rena in Norway I tied The Red Tag Klink. It works extremely well as an attractor for grayling.
Here with a peacock quill body. In small sizes this is a good midge fly.
Here with a ribbing of organza to mimic the hatching caddis.
This a pattern designed by Hans Van Klinken. He has named it Once & Away. I find it to be a great emerger pattern and I love the use of peacock herl in the thorax. He originally uses peccary for the body, but I had to use rooster quills. The peccary makes the fly look a lot nicer though. Also he uses Partridge GRST 15ST. Any curved hook will do the job…
This pattern goes by many names. That´s why I name it X-Caddis. It is originally meant to be an emerger. A very effective fly and it will do the job in many different situations. It is also a great fish-finder. What material you choose for the wing is free of choice. These are my variants.
The X-Caddis with a wing of snowshoe rabbit.
The X-Caddis with a wing of Cdc and lemon wood duck.
The X-Caddis with yearling elk.
The X-Caddis with deer hair.
These are two Jack Gartside patterns. They are tied to imitate emerging insects. As I have mentioned earlier he used aftershafts in many of his flies. Aftershafts are not the easiest material to use. Keep in mind that the aftershaft feather has a very fragile stem. If you find it difficult you can try using a electric gripping tool rather than a traditional hackle plier. They are also called EZ pliers. Always use a fairly gentle touch when winding these feathers.
This is the Philo Mayfly Emerger.
This is the Philo Caddis Emerger. This pattern also works very well when weighted. Both these flies should be tied in various colours and sizes to match the naturals.
These flies are made with a organza ribbon as ribbing. I bought mine in a Panduro shop for next to nothing. This kind of shop has a lot to offer fly tyers. When rising to the surface or during the hatch the caddis has a shine to it, and this material adds that in a very good way. I am gonna tie these and have them up for sale this summer. I think they are gonna fish really well.