From The Heartland's Hottest Hatches June 2008

Additional Patterns for May Mayfly Hatches

  • By: Chad Mason

May: Michigan Mayflies Galore

They don't call them mayflies for nothing. May brings the classic hatches that make the stuff of fly-fishing lore, and no fantasy would be complete without a trip to the Holy Waters of Michigan Au Sable River.

Early May sees the last dwindling hatches of Hendricksons and Mahogany Duns mixing with the first emergences of March Browns and Large Sulphurs. As the month progresses, Little Sulphurs and Light Cahills begin to appear. By Memorial Day, you may be fishing over Gray Foxes and Eastern Green Drakes. Besides the hallowed Au Sable, northern Michigan boasts the Sturgeon, Rifle and Upper Manistee rivers, just to name a few. In western Michigan'”a less famous but worthwhile destination'”the Rogue and Muskegon rivers will keep you busy.

The Light Cahill fly pattern shown here is a good Heartland mayfly imitation/Photo Ted Fauceglia

Dark Hendrickson
HOOK: Mustad 94840, size14
THREAD: 8/0 UNI-Thread, black
TAIL: Medium dun hackle fibers
BODY: Dark gray muskrat fur dubbing. Keep body very slender
WING: Mallard flank, dyed tan, upright and divided
HACKLE: Medium dun

Mahogany Dun
HOOK: Mustad 94840, size 14 to 16
THREAD: 8/0 UNI-Thread, brown
TAIL: Medium dun hackle fibers
BODY: Chocolate brown synthetic dry fly dubbing; make a slim, tapered body
WING: Dun CDC, upright
HACKLE: Medium dun
Note: Imitates the Isonychia mayfly dun

Pink Cahill
HOOK: Mustad 94840, size 14
THREAD: 8/0 UNI-Thread, gray
TAIL: Ginger hackle fibers
BODY: Very pale pink synthetic dry fly dubbing. Keep body very slender.
WING: Wood duck flank, upright and divided
HACKLE: Ginger
Note: Good representation of the Light Hendrickson

Light Cahill
Note: This versatile pattern can be an Ephemerella dorothea (little sulphur) in size 18,
a Stenacron (Light Cahill) in sizes 14 and 16, or an Ephoron leukon (White Fly) in size 12.
HOOK: Mustad 94840, #12-18
THREAD: 8/0 UNI-Thread, white
TAIL: White or cream hackle fibers
BODY: Creamy white synthetic dry fly dubbing. Keep body slender and neatly tapered.
WING: Wood duck flank, upright and divided
HACKLE: White or cream.

Read More In the June 2008 Issue of Fly Rod& Reel! Subscribe Today