The Sparkle Dun

Family hike today, and so, this is a short post.

I love dries that sit in the surface film. Catskill-style flies have their place, too, but I tend to avoid them except for very choppy water.

Here is a great video for making the Sparkle Dun. I love the technique for securing the deer hair in place. That approach also works for the Elk Hair Caddis, by the way.

This is a versatile fly that you can do in a few sizes and colors. That should cover you for most mayfly hatches. It is like the X-Caddis in that it portrays a vulnerable bug trying to leave its shuck and fly away.

Noted angler and author Ed Engle has experimented with many shuck colors, as he thinks that is a key strike trigger. He thinks amber is the best, as he notes in Tying Small Flies.

I tend to use brown and have been happy with it, as most shucks are dark. Paired with a dark olive or olive-brown body in sizes 16 to 20, I throw it at times when I think BWOs are around.

If you find a great color combination, please add a comment below.


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7 thoughts on “The Sparkle Dun

  1. Something popped into my mind as soon as I read your opinion of Catskill style flies and avoiding them on all but choppy water. Maybe you haven’t experienced this, but I’ve occasionally bumped into trout that are selectively taking mayflies that are fluttering and hopping on flat water. I ran into that a number of times on the Beaverkill this year and a Catskill style March Brown was just about the only thing those fish would take. Their profile looks more like a struggling already emerged dun than one that’s just drifting and drying its wings.

    1. Good point, I actually haven’t seen mayflies skitter. But, I do often see caddis do so, which is when I skitter a caddis fly downstream of me. Will keep an eye out for the mayflies.

  2. Wholeheartedly agree that Catskill style flies are important to have in your box at times as twitching them can be a real trigger to a take. I particularly like the Nearenough Pattern.
    I have had good success during the summer with Cracklebacks twitched over rise forms. I imagine that any Bivisible style fly might work.

    1. I recently fished the Renegade at some shallow and slow-ish water, and it sparked some curiosity from the fish up in Pittsburg, NH. I like that fly. It’s easy to see, and it is fun to make.

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