|Pheasant Tail & Bunny Spotted Sedge Pupa|
Widespread, abundant, & with a long emergence season, spotted sedge (Hydropsyche) are the most important insect hatch of the West. And though it is true that spotted sedge are often the vexing culprits masking summer mayfly hatches, more often than not it is the main fare, or, at least, represents a good part of the stream trout’s daily fare, June through August.
Spotted sedge adults are generally a #16, with the emerging pupa a #14. Egg-laying flights are coincident with emergence; & my own experience leads me to believe that trout prefer the pupa stage to the adult, until the latter part of the season when emergence diminishes, yet a lot of adults have accumulated, then the balance tips, though not entirely in favor of the winged adults, as trout will usually take a swinging & rising pupa right up until the last whisper of the hatch season.
There is no be-all-end-all pattern to meet spotted sedge with, at least that I have found, so it is good to carry several versions of the pupa, as trout will exhibit regional preferences, & even daily preferences on the same water. The all-rabbit pattern featured in my last post is the basic design of the Bunny Sedge series, & using that basic tie, you can incorporate a variety of abdomen materials to simulate spotted sedge, & I’ll be featuring some of those in the next few posts. As for now, there is no arguing the effectiveness of pheasant tail or hare’s mask, & the two old standbys combine to create a fine spotted sedge pupa which might come in handy on waters like
Washington’s Yakima River where pupae exhibit decidedly brownish
colorations over the abdomen, which pheasant tail simulates very well.
Pheasant Tail & Bunny Spotted Sedge Pupa
Hook: #14 Daiichi 1150
Rib: Copper wire reverse wound over the abdomen
Abdomen: Cock ringneck pheasant tail swords
Thorax: Dyed-brown hare’s mask with a bit of black dubbing added – 2 turns
Hackle: Brahma hen (may substitute brown partridge or grouse)
Head: Dyed-brown hare’s mask with guard hairs, wound in a dubbing loop of the tying thread (actually a continuation of the thorax in front of the hackle) – & finish.
Flyfish NE Washington with Steven Bird: ucflyfishing.blogspot.com