It is officially the 1st of May and here we have the May fly of the month from PRO-Team member Paul Procter. This month the fly is a Compara Mayfly. To see the fly of the month for April, click here.


As May beckons our thoughts turn towards the UK’s largest upwing species the Mayfly Ephemera danica. In truth, we have three true mayflies found throughout our Isles although E. danica is by far the most common and largest too. Obviously, during those initial days when mayfly nymphs venture from the safety of their burrows, trout are quick to take advantage. Yet, following a few days of hatches, fish cotton on that emergers or duns shackled to their shucks become easy pickings. With its poly-yarn shuck and low riding profile the Compara Mayfly is perfect in such situations.

If you’ve ever studied emergers, or flies trapped at the surface, they often appear as a tangled mess, giving us licence regarding more scruffy imitations. What I’m trying to say is “overly neat tyings are rarely needed here!” and that’s the very reason a bunch of loose CdC fibres are blended in with an elk hair wing. Aside from providing extra buoyancy these stray fibres add a degree of “buzz”, making the finished article appear more of a mess, trapped in the film. This wing should flare over the top half of your fly, allowing the underside to sit flush in water.

Being large and lacking aerodynamics remember to revise your tippet strength/diameter when using the Compara as in some situations this fly can be prone to spinning during casting. If you plug away with the usual 3lb (approx 0.125mm) tippet then chances are your leader may twist and furl. However, being much stouter, a beefed up tippet of some 6lb (approx 0.17mm) will help prevent this. Don’t worry too much about your fly appearing rigid when tethered to heavier monofilament, as larger dressings have easily flex stiffer monos, making their presentation appear more lifelike.

Compara Mayfly:

Hook: Sprite all purpose nymph size 10-12

Thread: Primrose Danville's Flymaster 6/0

Rib: Brown poly-floss

Tail/Shuck: Beige poly-yarn

Body: Orvis

Wing: CdC and Yearling elk hair

Thorax: Hare's fur dubbing





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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