Over the past year or so, we’ve seen author and blogger Matt Grobert tie innovative patterns and his unique variations on classics. In this great video from Tightline Productions, he takes on the venerable Catskill-style dry fly, which is actually pretty brave. For some tiers, the importance of getting every detail correct in tying Catskill-style patterns is of the utmost performance, and they will argue about proportions, materials, and even the “correct” number of thread wraps. I suspect that Grobert, while clearly respecting tradition, is more interested in creating a fish-catching fly that performs well on the water. This Hendrickson pattern looks perfect, and because of the warm winter, many rivers in the Northeast are already seeing these bugs on the water, a few weeks early. Of course, you can use this pattern to imitate any of the mayflies on your local waters. To learn more about Catskill patterns, check out Mike Valla’s book Tying Catskill-Style Dry Flies.
Catskill-Style Hendrickson Dry Fly
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (here, a TMC 100), sizes 12-14.
Thread: Olive, 6/0.
Wing: Wood duck flank feather.
Tail: Dark dun hackle fibers.
Abdomen: Hendrickson Australian possum dubbing.
Hackle: Dark dun.
Head: Tying thread.
Note: You can imitate many other mayfly emergers by changing
the colors and hook size.