Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tying the Hendrickson Improved Sparkle Dun

It's been a while since we sat down and made a tying video with Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions. Work and the Fly Fishing Shows swallowed up more time than usual, leaving little opportunity for me to tie in front of the camera. Meanwhile, Tim kept up the pace and made a bunch of great videos, in most of which he tied some killer nymph patterns. There’s also one that features friend and fellow angler and fly tyer, Allan Landeer, tying a Quill Gordon parachute. Good stuff.

In this video I tie the Hendrickson Improved Sparkle Dun. The sparkle dun is a style originated by Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT. Craig took the Caucci/Nastasi Comparadun pattern, and substituted zelon in place of split tails, and eventually extended the zelon to combine it with the wing to create what you see here in the video. This pattern will come in handy in a week or so in New Jersey and Eastern PA, and a little later in the month further north in Catskill waters and then in northern New England.

Hook: Dai Riki #125 size 12, or any standard dry fly hook
Thread: 6/0 Danville Olive
Tail/Shuck: Mayfly brown zelon
Body: Rabbit mixed: 1/3 each of tan gray and pink
Wing: Coastal deer body hair dyed dun and the extension of the zelon tail.

This is a great fly pattern for just about any mayfly dun. All you need to do to imitate other species is change the hook size, body, and wing color. It floats well, it sits right down slightly in the surface film, which covers the dun and emerger stages.

For the Hendrickson hatch, the sparkle dun is a back up pattern for me that I use in certain situations. For others, this is their go-to pattern.
In recent years, my go-to pattern for this hatch is the pheasant tail soft hackle we featured in a video last spring (video on right). The reason for this is that the soft hackle fly provides me with a pattern I can fish in multiple ways. I can fish it like a nymph, swing it as though it’s ascending to the surface to hatch, and I can take of the split shot and fish it right in the surface film as an emerger.  Finally, I can completely dry it out and fish it on the surface as a struggling, or crippled dun. When the soft hackle fails loses its appeal to either me or the fish, or we find fish rising in faster riffles to duns, I use the Sparkle Dun or the traditional Catskill Red Quill or Hendrickson.

Give yourself options with respect to the fly patterns you carry for each hatch, but not so many that while fishing one you question whether the others sitting in your box may be a better choice. That will only lead to a lack of focus on your presentation, which ultimately will make any fly you fish less effective. Success is all about confidence in that little fur and feathered hook on the end of your tippet.
Go get 'em, it won't be long now!

1 comment:

Micah said...

Good post. I agree - having faith in the fly on the end of your line counts for a lot more than most people think.