The Hendrickson hatch is both the kickoff and the highlight of dry-fly season on the Battenkill, right down the road from Orvis HQ, and springtime emergences of Ephemerella subvaria are celebrated throughout the East and the Midwest. These bugs spend a lot of time sitting on the water after they emerge, and a low-profile pattern often works best to fool trout. This version of the Hendrickson Sparkle Dun, tied by New Jersey
blogger Matt Grobert, should be just the ticket.
The Sparkle Dun pattern is the creation of Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, Montana, who added a Zelon shuck to Al Caucci’s original Compara-dun (which was, in turn, based on Fran Betters’s Haystack). Later, Mathews tied the front of the the Zelon bunch up behind the wing to create what he called the Improved Sparkle Dun.
In this video by Tightline Productions, Grobert shows off his method for creating an Improved Sparkle Dun. The dubbing mix that he uses matches his local insects, but yours may have slightly different colors. Of course, by changing the colors of the dubbing and the Zelon, you can create Sparkle Duns to mimic any mayfly.
Hendrickson Sparkle Dun
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (here, a Dai-Riki 305), sizes 12-16.
Thread: Olive, 6/0.
Wing: Light dun coastal deer hair, stacked and cleaned.
Trailing shuck and wing flash: Brown Zelon.
Abdomen and thorax: Blended rabbit furlight tan, gray, and pink.
Head: Olive thread.
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