Small Blue Dun
  |  First Published: October 2011

The faint wafting smells of wattle on the warm early spring breezes usually heralds the beginning of the first few hatches of early season mayflies. These are usually the small stumpy little beatids. They are often dull in coloration, ranging through from grey, olive, and brown.

If the conditions are right they can hatch in quite prolific numbers and cause the trout to become very one eyed in taste. The surface of many pools will be alive with action as the trout pluck the hapless little duns before they have the chance to escape.

If the hatch has been a big one often the back eddies and quiet slicks off the side of the main current will be littered with the dead, dying and crippled insects providing the trout with some easy pickings.

Although overcast and calm days will provide the best conditions to trigger a hatch, and the most comfortable conditions for the angler, I have seen hatches of these insects in near blizzard conditions with trout slashing and snatching flies from within the white caps.

The natural insect is quite small, however this pattern can be tied up to size 12 and still be quite effective, especially when using it on broken riffled water. My favourite size for the pattern is 14-16; it’s much more befitting the delicate nature of the small mayfly.

Fishing the little dun is all about the presentation; always be very delicate. I have a preference for the lighter outfits of 3-4 weight, but given that you may encounter higher water in spring time, larger outfits from 5-6 weights are fine. A fine tippet will aid you in giving the right presentation no matter what size of outfit you choose.

Seeing the fish take the fly is not always easy especially if you are fishing ‘far off and fine’, and if it is an overcast day there may be a silvery reflection on the water making sighting difficult, a slight ripple will do the same. So you have several options to assist in this regard. If you can see your leader watch it for any unusual movement, if you cannot see your leader the end of your fly line will suffice, and lastly if you know roughly where your fly is and you do see a rise or disturbed water in close proximity, strike anyway.



HOOK:Daiichi 1120 #16-14
THREAD:Black 8/-
BODY: Steel blue poly dub
HACKLE:Grizzle hackle
WING:Opaque plastic
TAIL:Grey micro fibbets

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