Tailing Mayflies [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tailing Mayflies

01-17-2005, 01:26 PM
Anyone have advice to offer on tailing mayflies?

I've been tying a lot of comparaduns recently, 12-14 March Browns down to 18-20 olives. I've been tailing them two ways: sparsely with synthetic tails (2-4 tails), or somwhat thick (~15 hairs) of with the same deerhair I used for the wing. I imagine the later could double as regular tails or a shuck.

Well I haven't had the chance to fish any of these creations yet, and was wondering if any of the experienced fisherman have some real life experience they could share on tailing. What's the best materials? What's the best way to tie a shuck? What style produces more or less?



01-17-2005, 03:18 PM
I've always preferred realistic tails for dries, particularily mayflies. Micro fibers works OK and I also use Moose Mane Hair on some flies. I've not been a big fan of "bunches" of hair for tailing dries, other than a few select patterns. As for trailing shucks, I think any "antron" type material works fine.

Bob Pauli
01-17-2005, 11:08 PM
Since I [almost] live in mayfly heaven, aka Fall River, California, I am always interested in another mayfly pattern. Are you referring to a Quigley Cripple? Do you have a photo?

01-18-2005, 10:47 AM
I prefer to use Microfibbetts, 2-3 on each side of a small ball of dubbing on my compara-duns. I fish quite a bit on the Delaware and Catskill systems in NY and have learned quite a bit about mayflies which ride flush in the water. I use clumps of elk hair or moose for tails on my parachutes for the extra bouyancy. Another step I take is to take the 2-3 fibers and paste them together with fleximent to create a thicker tail. Truth be told though I don't think it matters too much. I use trailing shucks of antron or z-lon on half my patterns but when using tails, if the Hatch turns into a spinner fall, the comparadun is a fine imatation of both.

Rick J
01-20-2005, 10:53 PM
For size 18 and smaller I use a single microfibbett on a side and split it with my thread so it flairs at about a 90 degree angle (to each other, not to the shank -so that would be 45 degrees from the shank). For larger patterns I will use two per side. I mostly fish spring creeks with these patterns. For freestone I will sometimes go with traditional patterns with more traditional dressing.

I also use antron and zelon for shucks but very sparse - a shuck is not bulky but almost transparent - many patterns I have seen use too much - the problem with this stuff is it can float and you want this to ride down just under the film with just the wing and upper portion of the fly showing

01-21-2005, 11:16 AM
What do you use to fish for tailing mayflies? Are they as exciting to catch as tailing bones?

Sorry, I couldn't resist... :smokin:

01-22-2005, 10:57 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone.

Looks like I'll have plenty of time to tie tomorrow. Here in Boston there's already 6" of snow outside and by tomorrow morning we'll have 20"+. Makes me wish I was on the back of teflon's kayak ....