It is officially the 1st of May and here we have the May fly of the month from PRO-Team member Paul Procter. This month the fly is a Compara Mayfly. To see the fly of the month for April, click here.
As May beckons our thoughts turn towards the UK’s largest upwing species the Mayfly Ephemera danica. In truth, we have three true mayflies found throughout our Isles although E. danica is by far the most common and largest too. Obviously, during those initial days when mayfly nymphs venture from the safety of their burrows, trout are quick to take advantage. Yet, following a few days of hatches, fish cotton on that emergers or duns shackled to their shucks become easy pickings. With its poly-yarn shuck and low riding profile the Compara Mayfly is perfect in such situations.
If you’ve ever studied emergers, or flies trapped at the surface, they often appear as a tangled mess, giving us licence regarding more scruffy imitations. What I’m trying to say is “overly neat tyings are rarely needed here!” and that’s the very reason a bunch of loose CdC fibres are blended in with an elk hair wing. Aside from providing extra buoyancy these stray fibres add a degree of “buzz”, making the finished article appear more of a mess, trapped in the film. This wing should flare over the top half of your fly, allowing the underside to sit flush in water.
Being large and lacking aerodynamics remember to revise your tippet strength/diameter when using the Compara as in some situations this fly can be prone to spinning during casting. If you plug away with the usual 3lb (approx 0.125mm) tippet then chances are your leader may twist and furl. However, being much stouter, a beefed up tippet of some 6lb (approx 0.17mm) will help prevent this. Don’t worry too much about your fly appearing rigid when tethered to heavier monofilament, as larger dressings have easily flex stiffer monos, making their presentation appear more lifelike.
Hook: Sprite all purpose nymph size 10-12
Thread: Primrose Danville's Flymaster 6/0
Rib: Brown poly-floss
Tail/Shuck: Beige poly-yarn
Wing: CdC and Yearling elk hair
Thorax: Hare's fur dubbing