Early Season Flies – Part Two

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yes, flies and imitations. Well another three handy flies to have at this time of year also cover a variety of insects – and two of them are not dry flies they are emergers.

Remember in part one we were talking about the Large Dark Olive – well these flies are all more pretty good representations for it.

What are Emergers?

An emerger is what a fly is before it actually comes forth as a fully fledged adult, half is underwater and half is popping out its little shell like body. Trout love this as the damn thing can’t do something annoying like fly away.

So the first classic emerger is:

Hans Van Klinken’s Klinkhåmer Special

(Photo:Rudy van Duijnhoven)

Right – Instead of me twittering on about this rather deadly fly head over to Hans Van Klinken’s site and check it out.

It can be bought in pretty much every tackle shop however if you can master the tying of it then you can really have a lot of fun experimenting with various colours of wing post and different coloured bodies. This is a good prospecting fly , casting blind to likely looking runs and riffles – I reckon it is often mistook for a terrestrial or a spider.

It is a tricky fly to tie – although not as tricky as this next fly and unfortunetly this one cannot be bought in the shops:

(Bob Wyatt’s) Deer Hair Emerger

In his book “Trout Hunting” Bob Wyatt says this is an easy fly to tie – well, I have spent the last year trying to get the damn thing to float the right way up. I think I have pretty much cracked it for this season though and am looking forward to fishing it properly. Mike swears by it so it cant be half bad !

(Fly: Bob Wyatt, Photograph: Hans Weilenmann)

For tying notes please head over to Hans Weilenmann‘s most excellent site.

For Bob Wyatt’s take on trout fishing buy his book from Amazon (even though he deserted Scotland for a beach in Australia)

And this brings us quite nicely onto the third fly – which is not strictly an emerger however can behave like one – it is a fly which I would never not have in my box – yes it is the…


(Pattern: Hans Weilenmann, Fly and photograph: Hans Weilenmann)

Hans Weilenmann (like Bob Wyatt) developed this fly as it has all the natural triggers that a trout would home in on:lots of legs, a trailing nymphal shuck and a representation for a wing or crippled wings.

Better than anything it is a piece of cake to tie – much easier than Wyatt’s fly and not as fiddly as the Klinkhåmer Special. Make sure you head over to Hans Weilenmann’s site and read how to tie it.

All your flies should be in a few sizes – sometimes going down a size (or up) will provoke a reaction from a hungry trout.

Remember, all these flies are good prospecting flies – even if you see nothing hatching still have a cast in likely looking spots. The easiest way to fish a dry fly if there are no obvious risers is to stand at the bottom of a riffle or broken water and cast upstream letting the dry fly drift down towards you – the trout only has a brief moment to make a decision and will usually rise to it. Watch the fly like a hawk for the trout and tighten immediately.


  1. Rob W · March 30, 2008

    3 magic bullets there Alistair!

  2. Gareth · March 30, 2008

    Great Part Two Alistair! This series is a good ‘un!

    I’m currently reading Bob Wyatt’s Trout Hunting; when fishing a DHE, do you gink the deer hair? Or do you fish it untreated? I’m looking forward to giving them a go.

    And come on, they aren’t that hard to tie 😉

  3. Alistair · March 30, 2008

    Hi Gareth, aha I take it you have not actually fished with them yet – yup, you gink up the deer hair and then hope they will float the right way up 🙂

  4. James · March 30, 2008

    Of course, when I fish Klinkhamers, my presentation is perfect- that means the wing post colour is unimportant, as the fish only ever see the underside of the fly. Honest…

    Actually, with flies like these, I think we stand a pretty good chance even with lousy presentation. They just look like something a trout would eat, whichever way up. The deer hair emerger looks like a cracking good fly. I’d even put that on a top dropper with a team of wets on a loch.

  5. alan atkins · March 30, 2008

    I find that the colour of the wing post is important especially when fishing fast, broken water or when fishing fine and far off ( as us salmon fishers call the tactics needed when the water is especially low and the fish are easily spooked). In these circumstances a highly visible post enables us to detect even the slightest of takes. The klinkhammer also makes for a sensible choice not only when the fish are feeding on emmergers but also the crippled and dying duns.

  6. Craig · March 30, 2008

    Hi Alistair,
    I’ve read and re-read Bob Wyatt’s excellent book and can’t recommend it enough. I’ve enjoyed a fair amount of success with Klinks in the recent past, but as I don’t tie my own flies (yet!) I’ve been DHE hunting on tinterweb for ages, and finally found this fella selling them online (in Scotland no less): http://www.razorheadz.com/cgi-bin/web_store.cgi?product=Flies%20Nymph-Deer%20Hair%20emergers&cart_id=539697_15565

    Bring on the Spring! 😀

  7. Paul · March 30, 2008

    Great part 2 Alistair while were on the subject of linking sites heres a great fly shop very reasonable too and yep it`s in Scotland…

  8. Paul · March 30, 2008

    Also a great resource for pics of patterns if you tie your own

  9. alan atkins · March 30, 2008

    Craig, stop messing about and wasting your hard earned, get youself a starter kit and tie your own. Not only is it great fun, really satisfying and easier than you would imagine, but the shop bought flees are generally overdressed and rarely deviate from the standard patetrns. Iam probably one of the most awkward and unartistic people you could meet, yet i still manage to tie flees that look ok and catch fish, so give it a go !

  10. Alistair · March 30, 2008

    “yet i still manage to tie flees that look ok and catch fish”

    Thats stretching the truth a bit Alan 🙂

    Ach well, at least you catch fish – could be worse you could tie perfect looking flies but catch bugger all 🙂

    Now, where is my vice…

  11. Mary Storan · March 30, 2008

    Following Craig’s info about telling you that we have Deer Hair Emergers on the website we have had to take them off as the stocks are getting below internet stocking levels and the supplier no longer stocks them. However we do have some in stock so if you want any email info@razorheadz.com and we will sort you out via paypal. Equally if you are looking for anything special let us know and we will do what we can to get it for you – not everything we stock is on the website yet.

    For those of you getting out of Glasgow this weekend our shop ULTIMATE ANGLER is in Girvan – 20 miles south of Ayr just off the A77. We are open 9 to5 Mon to Fri and as of next weekend we will be open Sun from 10 to 4. Postcode is Ka26 9AH and tel number is 01465 714688.
    We have tickets for all the local rivers plus live bait and a wide selection of flies plus an extensive range of fly tying material.

  12. Mary Storan · March 30, 2008

    Deer Hair Emergers back in stock – http://www.razorheadz.com

  13. Alistair · March 30, 2008

    I should charge you for advertising ! 😉

  14. Al · March 30, 2008

    DHE needs to be ginked; ONLY the wing, wet the thorax to make it sink.
    The Razorheadz flies don’t look too bad, better tying them yourself though use the pix on Hans site for proportion, especially wing length.
    Light & Dark Hares mask & maybe quill with snow shoe wing for buzzers.
    Good luck

  15. Alistair · March 30, 2008

    Thanks for dropping by Al,

    Yea, I should gave mentioned about the ginking part however I reckoned that as they are not easilly available to buy then anyone tying them would read about there instructions for actual use.

    I have now tied up several and think I am now getting the hang of it 🙂

  16. Pingback: Birthday Fishing « Fly Fishing in West Cork
  17. Pingback: Just starting out in fly fishing? 6 steps to success! | The Urban Fly Fisher

Comments are closed.