As we move into May, there will be very few river fly fishers who aren't looking forward to the bonanza that is the 'Mayfly'. The appearance of Ephemera Danica on our waters is always a prized time. Whether it is fish slashing at newly emerged duns or the rhythmic picking off of spent spinners, it is a special time on our waters. Although my first Danica of the year has been spotted already, it's the last couple if weeks of May into the beginning of June that offers the best of the hatches. Time to get tying!
Richard Fieldhouse at Barbless Flies, now offers a new range of patterns to cover every stage if the Danica hatch. Regardless of whether you always buy flies or you are a seasoned tyer, these come highly recommended. Even better knowing that every purchase you make supports the Wild Trout Trust.
So, here is a quick review of what £16, including the fly box and postage gets you (which is a phenomenal bargain!):
There are four different Mayfly patterns included with two tied on strong size 12 barbless hooks and another two in size 10. The sixteen flies are presented in a six compartment box. All are of the highest quality and are hand tied.
First to take a look at is the CDC Mayfly Dun. This has a clipped hackle thorax and a sloping wing of CDC. Good proportions on both the size 12 and the 10, although I think the 10 would be my first choice to match the hatch.
The next fly is the Loop-wing Mayfly. The Loop is synthetic rather than CDC and this is a good choice in my opinion. It will take Gink or mucillin well to aid the floatation. The loop could be larger, but I am certain this fly will be a first choice for many; especially for picky fish. The hackle is kept sparse and is clipped underneath. Perfect for fish nailing the emerging naturals too.
The next fly is perhaps my favourite in the collection. Many Mayfly have stunted wings as they try to hatch and simply do not make the transpose successfully. This matches that exactly. The foam thorax cover and Raffia / Raffine wings give the perfect profile. Again, that wing material collapses during the cast to reduce leader-spin.
Finally is the Mayfly Spinner. This is an essential part of the lifecyle to imitate as fish will feed confidently on the dead or dying spent flies as they are carried downstream in the current. This pattern is neatly tied with long tails of pheasant tail fibres. The wings are Raffia / Raffine which crumple nicely when cast (so the leader doesn't spin too much) and there is a short 'grizzle' hackle tied around the thorax. Truth be told, you want these in the surface to be effective and the way these are tied will manage exactly that. If they sink, they'll be fine - watch the leader for takes. It's a lovely and highly effective way of fishing.
These really are top quality flies. They are tied with fine attention to detail, good materials and perfect proportions. They are bespoke, beautiful flies with a the price tag that would usually result in disappointment for the fly buyer. Not in this case!
Even better, you can by the flies singly if you lose a few along the way. Each fly costs a ridiculously cheap £1 per fly. Really quire incredible.
It is worth me pointing out that I have no affiliation with Barbless Fies. I have reviewed some of the flies available before and have been throroughly impressed by what I have found. These are a different generation of 'commercial' flies. Great products needs supporting... and I recommend these 100%. Every angler should get the set in preparation for the bonanza at the end of the month. You can order them here.