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The Tying Bench – The Dun
  |  First Published: November 2009



And so the life cycle of the mayfly continues!

Next in line is the dun, or sub imago. This is stage one of the adult mayfly, the ugly duckling in the line.

So named due to its coloration of browns and beiges. Mayfly duns appear on the water’s surface and remain long enough for their wings to dry before taking flight to seek refuge among the streamside vegetation.

It is here among the vegetation that the dun or sub imago moults into the second stage of the adult mayfly, the spinner or imago.

The spinner has much finer features and a more distinct coloration than the dun; its wings are also clear and shiny.

Spinners are generally black red or brown in colour. It is the spinners who have the pleasure of doing the mating ritual; this is usually carried out on the wing.

Once the mating is complete the females can be seen dipping their tails into the water as they lay their eggs to commence the mayfly life cycle all over again. Both the male and female spinners, once spent, fall to the water’s surface to be picked off at will by hungry trout.

As the adult insect is dull by nature, the materials used reflect this. The key for this pattern is the profile that the fly makes when it sits on the water’s surface. This is why I cut the hackle flat on the bottom to make the fly sit flat.

Fishing the dun

There are many and varied ways to fish this pattern, with the most effective being to fish it as natural as possible. When fishing impoundments or shallow lagoons such as those in the Central Highlands of Tasmania working downwind flicking short casts either side so that the fly drifts naturally on the breeze is a great method.

On some of the slower week choked streams in the Snowy Mountains and Monaro areas of Southern NSW, plonking the fly down in the gaps in the weed often brings some form of response. On the slower pools and glides fish can be polaroided and presented to, but they are spooky, so stealth and a delicate presentation is needed.

Aside from that this is a great general dun imitation and has been used with success in many varied situations in Victoria, Tasmania, New Zealand, and by friends of mine in Scotland.

Facts

TYING INSTRUCTIONS and MATERIALS

HOOK:Mustad R50 #12-16
THREAD:Black 6/0 – 8/0
BODY:Stripped peacock quill
TAIL:Micro fibbets
RIB:Fine copper wire
HACKLE:Honey dun (Saddle)
WING:Enrico Puglesi intel fibres (March brown)

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