Trout tend to focus on the upper two inches of the water column during mayfly hatches because food becomes concentrated in this narrow band. Although many mayfly nymphs are translucent when they begin their journey to the surface, translucency increases as gas bubbles develop and expand within the intercuticular space. Translucency and sparkle are therefore likely to be strong features of emergent nymphs in the upper few inches of water, especially when viewed from below with light passing through them.

The Jelly Mayfly Emerger is designed to capture the translucency, sparkle and movement of pre-emergent and emerging mayflies as they drift, wriggle or swim in the upper few inches of the water column. It is an extremely versatile pattern which, like most soft hackle patterns, works dead drift and on the swing. Greased, it will stick in the surface film and un-greased it will drift along in the upper few inches. Use dark hackle for pre-emergers and dun hackle for those partly emerged, including cripples.



Hook: TMC 200R, sizes 18 - 16
Thread: UTC 70 denier, colour to match natural.
Tail: Soft rooster hackle, colour to match natural.
Abdomen: One or two strands 0.5-0.6mm Stretch Cord, colour to match natural.
Thorax: Antron dubbing, colour to match natural.
Hackle: Two turns of genetic hen neck feather with barbs long enough to reach the hook point. Colour to match natural. Game bird feathers such as quail are suitable for the #16 version.


Step 1

Attach the thread to the hook in the region of the thorax. Tie in five or six tail fibres and then bind them down atop the hook shank to a position just above the barb. Take an additional three or four turns atop one another to create a slight thread bump and a secure foundation.



Step 2

Now spin the bobbin anti-clockwise to reduce thread diameter (this ensures that it bights into the Stretch Cord). Tie in two strands of Stretch Cord with three tight turns of thread, atop one another. Make two more turns immediately in front of the tie-in, followed by an additional two wraps over the original turns (this locks and prevents strands spinning round shank when wrapping). Make two more turns in front of the tie-in and spin the thread clockwise to flatten it. When tying in the two Stretch Cord strands ensure the darker colour, in this case brown, is nearest you. The translucent one will then end up closest to the tie in on the first wrap creating the illusion of a tapered tail. Now advance the thread to the region of the thorax in closed turns.



Step 3

Wrap the cord forward and around the hook shank, stretching it as much as possible during the first turn, gradually relaxing the tension during successive turns to create an abdomen of suitable thickness and taper. Tie the stretch cord off at the thorax. Trim the two tags one at a time, stretching each one as much as feasible and trimming as close to the tie-in as possible.



Step 4

Twist a fine noodle of dubbing onto the thread and dub the thorax.



Step 5

Tie in the prepared hackle with concave side facing rearwards. Take two turns of the feather and tie off, clipping away the excess.



Step 6

Now draw the feather fibres rearward and take a few wraps of thread over the base of the hackle to slant the barbs. Finally tie-off and varnish both the tie-in and tie-off.



Step 7

This generic brown size 16 Jelly Mayfly Emerger is created by wrapping a single strand of Stretch Cord over tan thread. Both the tie-in at the tail and the tie-off are coloured with a brown permanent marker before varnishing. I used a quail feather to hackle this fly.



Step 8

A light thorax and dun hackle produces a partially emerged mayfly or cripple .