I wanted to highlight one of the Sparkle Dun deer hair patches I’ve been using. In the last week, I tied 6 dozen Green Drake Sparkle Duns and it reminded me how important finding and using the right deer hair is to successfully tie these flies. Half of the flies were for a customer and the other half found their way into our provider box. It’s not uncommon for me to tie another dozen or two for our fly boxes when I have the materials out. The flies are quicker to tie and proportions much more uniform when you tie several dozen at a time.
The image above is a piece of Sparkle Dun deer hair I hand-selected in Blue Ribbon Flies during one of our Yellowstone Country fly fishing trips. When I pulled it out of my tying supplies, it had already been used to tie a few dozen. About a third of the patch was bare. Even after tying 6 dozen size 8 and 10 Sparkle Duns last week, I’ll still be able to tie a few more flies with it.
But I’m going to miss it!
The Nature Spirit brand of fly tying materials offers some great “Comparadun” deer hair you probably can find at your local fly shop. Look for the short, black tips, which is an indication of hollow hair that flairs just right.
If you are a regular at RiverKeeper Flies, you know I fish lots of Sparkle Dun flies to imitate every mayfly hatch I encounter.
The Sparkle Dun is a Craig Matthews pattern from Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone, MT. I tie this simple, yet effective fly in size 22 Blue Wing Olive up to a size 8 Green Drake.
The fly is designed to imitate an adult mayfly trying to escape it’s nymphal shuck. That makes it an emerger or cripple. I really believe in using flies to imitate the transition to an adult. Somehow, the fish know they don’t have to work as hard to eat them because they can’t get away quickly.
Here are a few PMDs.
And size 20 Improved Sparkle Dun BWO.
If you are a fly tyer, I encourage you to tie these flies.
I know they work!