At the Vise: The March Brown Flymph

Well, with the Saturday morning forecast anticipating 11 °F, I’ve decided to pass on fishing. Instead, I’ve been making streamers for my trip to Arkansas’ White River for big browns (three recent streamers posted on our Instagram page here).

I’ve also been looking at my fly boxes and replenishing. I know which flies have succeeded when they’re missing. The duds remain numerous in the fly boxes.

One thing I noticed: Wet flies really work.

I’ve written much about them, as I last year focused on wets (our wet-fly “how-to” guide on rigs, techniques and flies is here).

For wet flies, it’s tough to beat the Mighty Midge or a #20 CDC Soft Hackle (among my best Confidence Flies). But, many times, each of those flies works even better with an attractor-style wet teamed up with it.

Enter the Flymph.

This is a style of fly discussed thoroughly in Dave Hughes’ incredible book, Wet Flies. The fly is neither a nymph or a wet. It’s both.

My favorite is the March Brown Flymph. It’s easy to tie and suggests an emerging Caddis.

I fish a size 14 in the spring when the big bugs are out. I’ll move down to size 18 as the summer progresses.

The tying key, according to Hughes, is a light “touch dubbed” body of Hare’s Ear dubbing; some wisps of loose fibers is more than enough. When wet, the fly’s orange under-body should peek through. Also, I prefer a sparse hackle.

This fly has done well for me.

Materials list and product links are below (we give away 100% of our profits to Project Healing Waters and Casting for Recovery):

  • Hook: Down-eye, sizes 14 to 18, 2x heavy (here)
  • Thread: UTC, 70 denier, fluorescent fire orange (here)
  • Body: Hare’s Ear dubbing, tan (here)
  • Tail: Pheasant tail fibers, natural color (here)
  • Hackle: India hen, natural color (here)

I’d love to see TEN beat KC and make it to the Super Bowl. Good going so far for Mike Vrabel….


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14 thoughts on “At the Vise: The March Brown Flymph

  1. While I haven’t tried this Flymph, I have had good luck with “the magic fly” from another blog fished high in film using powdered floating. Basically just substitute a light wire hook, light hen, cream cahill dubbing, and light yellow thread and you are there.
    I bet one of your small soft hackles hung off the bend would cover all the important bases in mid-June through July on the Farmington!

  2. Great idea. I went to the Swift, yesterday evening. Specifically to the “Tree Pool” and got one lucky occurrence. Midges and Winter Caddis, hatching at the exact same time. Busted out my fiery Elk Hair Caddis and Baby Midge. Got lucky on the Elk, what a strike. 4 lbs. Rainbow swung and missed, on the initial drift. But maintained interest, and smashed it off the Surface Film. Only Fish of the evening, but wow. Seventeen Degrees Fahrenheit, bone chilling cold, and two hatches. Haven’t caught a Rainbow, in three years. They were, all over the surface. Went home tired and cold, just thankful to be victorious. Changed my tune about, “Winter Fly Fishing Pessimism” and all the better for it. The truest embodiments of this sport, are the characteristics of the individual. Help others, and on occasion the River gives back ten fold. Enjoy your vice experiments, those crazy creations definitely standout to me. No more Winter Blues?


    William D. Flack

    PS crazy for pursuing Trout, in Seventeen Degrees Fahrenheit? Think not, just dedicated and appreciative for having this River. Precisely One Hour and Two Minutes, from my house.

  3. Agreed. Those very words, are like venom to the tongue. Had a guy, last night. Desperately trying to chuck Nymphs, at the same fish. Bizarre, until I realized he had more monofilament Line. Additionally enough split-shot for a rosary. Can’t wait for this crowd, to disperse. Always seem somewhat anxious and extremely unprofessional. Just let him, get within shoulder length. Believe in equal opportunity, sharing of public resources. Had he asked, I’d have stepped aside. Sticking to Evening’s or not going out at all. Mantra works for now!


    William D. Flack

    PS saw Floats and Skein Sacks, all over the trees. Like Erie Spider Webs. No wonder, conventionalists are utilizing old school “Rosary Rigs” to sickening effect. Would explain a lot. Leaving Cady Lane and Bondsville, alone until Spring-Summer. Further exploration, is on the menu. To avoid, such transgressions.

    1. So sad to see such rigs. They’re legal, and so, I have to try and be understanding. Too bad he crowded you so much.

  4. Looks like Quabbin Reservoir, might perk up another Overflow. I’d love to bend, my Fly Rod like a “Swans Neck” again. With LandLocks and Lakers, tied a few color specific patterns. Just in case, of a repetitive occurrence. We’ll see?


    William D. Flack

    PS went to College, for Veterinary Assisting Science. Learned of Salmonoids, additional eyelids and what few colors. They can see, on the light spectrum. Fascinating Natural Science☺️

  5. Yes, sometimes a few Greens as well. Why catching the Landlocked Salmon, was difficult for some Fly Anglers. The Colors of certain Streamers, also Nymphs. Stimulate a “Sympathetic Nervous System Response.” Which is why, Certain migratory Salmonoids will take Flies. In Estuaries and farther Upstream. I found with, the last crop of Landlocks. That time of day, depth of color, and rate of stripping action. Were all crucial, to success. You don’t need, foot-long Flies for LandLocks. Hope this helps, an education is never to be squandered???


    William D. Flack

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