This week's Fly Friday comes from PRO-Team member Paul Procter and it's the Olive Emerger.... 

Olive emerger:
Hook: SLD2 size 14-16
Thread: Primrose 14/0 Sheer
Shuck: Nymph Glint- pearl
Body: Olive superfine dubbing
Thorax: Olive dyed hare’s mask
Loopwing: Natural CdC 2 plumes

Photo 1: The Olive Emerger, perfect for targeting trout and grayling where currents fall slack.

There are any number of emergers patterns out there that on their day will all produce the goods.  Choosing one over the other then can seem like a lottery, especially for newcomers.  As, after all, is one pattern necessarily better than another?  In my mind, the above query rarely enters into the equation and instead I select a fly on the type of water I aim to fish.  In turbulent flows, it’s as well to use a fly sporting a visible tuft like wing, like the shuttlecock style for example. 

However, where a smooth surface exists a low riding pattern with a more horizontal attitude is more fitting, as this stands to copy emerging upwings which tend to lay flat when struggling to breach the increased surface tension cause by glassy water.  With its trailing shuck this CdC loop wing dressing is a dead ringer for those fated emergers.  What’s more, once you’ve master the twisted shuck method, it’s a doddle to tie.

The crumpled shuck is formed by taking a length of pearly nymph glint and doubling this over before twisting each leg in the same direction (anti-clockwise for example).  By easing each hand together now the tinsel will in effect “ball-up” on itself to create an attractive looking shuck.

Photo 2: Twist a two lengths of pearl nymph glint in the same direction – anti clockwise here.

Photo 3: As the nymph glint begins to tighten up, ease the fingers of both hands together.

Having secured the shuck on the hook shank, a short body of olive Superfine dubbing is added before positioning two CdC plumes with butts pointing backwards.  A wisp of hare’s fur dubbing as a thorax gives the impressive of legs.  Complete the fly by bringing forward those CdC feathers to form a small loopwing.  Don’t be too concerned about a few stray CdC fibres pointing rearwards either as these merely add to the illusion of legs.

If there’s a downside, such a low riding fly makes its whereabouts difficult to establish in the water from time to time.  Given an oily surface, one option is to assume a crouched position, which helps.  Another ploy is to position the emerger a couple of feet behind a more conspicuous pattern, like a bushy elk hair caddis for example, via the New Zealand dropper.  Now, any rise form seen near the larger fly should be met with a confident lift!           

Photo 4: Viewed from beneath the CdC loopwing is clearly suggestive of those unfolding wings you’d expect to see on a natural emerging nymph.

Paul Procter

A resident of the Lake District, AAPGAI Master and Wild Trout Trust Vice-President Paul Procter is a dedicated fly fisher. With 30 years experience on rivers, lakes and tropical saltwater fly fishing, Paul is a leading contributor to the UK’s premier publications-Trout and Salmon and its sister magazine-Trout Fisherman.

A talented and innovative fly tyer, Paul’s flies have become recognised as a signature for his many articles. Having spent the last decade travelling extensively throughout Europe, the Americas and Southern Hemisphere, he has gained a wealth of knowledge on many of the celebrated rivers and streams with an intimate understanding of fly hatches and their imitations required to tempt fish. In turn this has allowed him to develop specialist patterns with the opportunity to field test hook models on a range of fish species and ultimately provide valuable feedback. However, having fished the far corners of the globe, his abiding love remains the light line approach on intimate Northern streams, fishing North Country spiders (soft hackled flies) and dry flies. Here the rivers offer such diversity that Paul has honed all fishing disciplines on systems like the Eden, Wharf and Ure.

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