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"Emerger" pattern questions

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
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So, I recently purchased some "emerger" patterns online, and I realized that I'm really not sure what to do with them. I have a couple patterns that are actually tied with a bead head, which confuses me a little - shouldn't emergers be drifting close to the surface of the water?

I've tried fishing them off of a short dropper, but haven't had much success yet.

1. Should emergers be fished dead drift? Or on the swing? Where in the water column should they be fished?

2. Is it ever worth fishing an emerger as a searching pattern when fish aren't rising consistently?

3. Could a pheasant tail nymph be considered an emerger pattern?

4. Aren't the low-riding "parachute" patterns also technically a stage of emerger?

Posted on: 2013/5/18 12:27


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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2011/9/24 16:37
From Clearfield
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Your question is more complex than you may realize

1) yes, yes, and the whole water column.....emergers can be fish dead drift or on the swing to actually move through parts of the water column and "emerge".......caddis pupa can be called emergers and are usually swung very effectively...some mayflies swim well to the surface and some don't....depending on numerous factors some mayflies will escape surface tension quickly while others will ride the water surface for a distance.

2) emergers are typically considered an easier prey item than full grown adults.....I fish emergers as search flies under the right conditions such as overcast day, hatch intensity, or likely holding areas of the fish in the area........some hatches that hatch sporidically throughout the day (march browns) can be productive and sometimes i will fish them just because I want too

3) I believe a nymph is a nymph even if it is fished as an emerger.....if you swing a nymph to the surface then it is being fished as an emerger but it is still a nymph pattern

4) technically I would say any parachute pattern is considered a dry fly...now whether you consider an emerger a subset of dry flies is probably a personel opinion but I consider an emerger any fly tied to have part of the body purposely under the surface film and part purposely either in the film or above....but again this is my opinion

I've always had more success with emergers fished alone instead of off a short dropper....I'm not positive why but I feel it has everything to do with the drag on the dropper

Posted on: 2013/5/19 11:48


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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2009/12/17 20:43
From Souderton PA
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Quote:

tyeager wrote:
4) technically I would say any parachute pattern is considered a dry fly...now whether you consider an emerger a subset of dry flies is probably a personel opinion but I consider an emerger any fly tied to have part of the body purposely under the surface film and part purposely either in the film or above....but again this is my opinion
I wish more people had that opinion. It gets very confusing because there is no standard vocabulary for fly tying and a confusing and evolving vocabulary for biology. So it is really important to not confuse the stage of the insect with the purpose of the pattern. In general (ignoring special cases like the quill Gordon), once a nymph "decides" to swim to the surface and become a fly, it is in the process of emerging, so any nymph pattern swung or lifted could mimic an emerging insect. Adding a shuck or bead to imitate gas bubbles, or a split case would make the fly distinct from a nymph (i.e. a split case pheasant tail vs. a pheasant tail) so that would be a subsurface emerger. Grease either to fish in the film and both could be said to mimic emergers. Add a parachute or snowshoe wing, and you have what most would call an emerger pattern. So is a pheasant tail greased and fished in the film an emerger pattern or a nymph pattern fished as an emerger. I don't know, and I guess I don't really care but for the fact that it confuses so many new guys.
For what it's worth, I also consider an emerger PATTERN to be “any fly tied to have part of the body purposely under the surface film and part purposely either in the film or above” and therefor have to consider parachute patterns to be emerger patterns. And they are darn good too with the parachute Adams being about as close to a universal emerger as you can imagine.
Mike.

Posted on: 2013/5/19 23:36
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Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
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I never looked at it like that but it does make sense. I guess that I don't own a single dry fly then. All patterns I have are thorax or compara dun tied.

Posted on: 2013/5/20 10:28
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Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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The term "emerger" is just too vague and used for many different flies.

For example, a Sulphur Comparadun with a trailing shuck. I was surprised to hear people refer to these as "emergers", but apparently many people do.

If you refer to the fly as " a Sulphur Comparadun with a trailing shuck" it's pretty clear what you mean.

If you say "Sulphur emerger" it's not clear what you mean. There are a whole of patterns that fall into that category and many of them are very different from each other.

The term was originally used for flies that basically looked like the nymph with the wings (and sometimes the front of the body) emerging.

And they were meant to be fished either in the film or just below, i.e. wet, but with no weight.

Pheasant tails are nymphs, not emergers.

Parachutes, and Comparaduns are dry flies, and imitate the adult dun. If you put a trailing shuck on these, you COULD call that an emerger. But the fly is still mainly an imitation of the adult dun, with just the shuck trailing off.



Posted on: 2013/5/20 10:52


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions
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A mayfly emerger is the in-between stage between a nymph and a dun. If the insect emerges at the surface, an emerger would be tied to fish at or near the surface. Don't forget, some insects such as the quill gordon shed their husk underwater and swim to the surface, so a QG wet fly would be an emerger. Hope that clarifies things......lol.



Posted on: 2013/5/20 11:37


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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Here's another approach.

Google "sulphur emerger"

Click on "Images"

Take a look.

Posted on: 2013/5/20 12:25


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Think of it this way. Who cares what the pattern is categorized as?

Know the biology of how the bug behaves, and match it. I realize the biological classifications change, but that's just switching species/subspecies, sometimes as high as genus. Almost never is a bug put into a new FAMILY. And families often have very similar traits.

For instance, in nymphs, you have clingers, swimmers, crawlers, and burrowers. They are shaped differently, located in different areas of the stream, and act differently in the water. These are important differences to the fishermen.

On emergence, there are some families of mayflies, for instance, that molt on the streambed, and "fly" to the surface as adults. In other families, the nymphs swim to the surface, glide in the film, and the bug emerges on top. Some swim to shore and crawl out like a stonefly. Some emerge from riffles while others emerge from slow water. Some float on top for a while, others are airborn quick. Some flutter a lot, others are like perfectly stoic little sailboats coming down. These are important differences to the fishermen.

And when you see a hatch, you may want to catch a spinner fall. Some come back the same day they hatched. Others take weeks, so it's very possible to get a good spinner fall despite no hatching for weeks. Some fall in the morning, others in evening.

Identifying the bug, knowing what it does, and then using that to help determining what the fish are focusing on is extremely important. But from there, you know what you WANT the fly to do, and find a fly, any fly, that'll do it, and don't worry about what the pattern is classified as. I've fished dries as wets, I've floated nymphs, etc. I've drastically altered flies streamside to make em do what I want. And I don't care how you classify them. I just know that if fish are taking nymphs just under the surface, I want a nymph looking thing just under the surface.

Posted on: 2013/5/20 16:01


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
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This is good material and a good question for a new angler to try to clarify. I dare say even the top rated entomologists are not entirely sure they have the variances in emergence behavior down pat. I sure don't.

Some clever and enterprising angler graduate students will someday take advantange of the recent explosion in underwater video tech that has become affordable and and teach us some things. It's been done to a limited extent, but not very systematically. All in the name of science, of course.

Posted on: 2013/5/20 20:13


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
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All interesting answers. I think I get some words confused in this topic, or maybe some words just aren't well defined.

I'll have to try fishing a pheasant tail "in the film" some time and see what happens. I may also have to read a book about mayflies at some point... Maybe that'd clear this up a little.

Posted on: 2013/5/20 20:53


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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Quote:
I'll have to try fishing a pheasant tail "in the film" some time and see what happens.


This is a good tactic on anything in the ephemerellidae family. This includes hendricksons, true sulphers, and the Drunella variety of BWO's (the big ones that typically come off in June). Nymphs swim to the surface and ride just under the film for a while before emerging. Also, the Baetidae family (the smaller BWO's) also do this, but typically in slower water.

It is NOT a good tactic for the Heptageniidae family, which includes March Browns, Cahills, Quill Gordons, and some "fake" sulphers, such as the Epeorus genus (Pink Ladies or Little Maryatts, which some people also call sulphers). The nymphs transform on the bottom, no nymphs on the surface.

The drake family (ephemeridae) also swim to the surface and emerge on top, but they do so very quickly, the nymphs aren't around for long.

This is why I always say it can be advantageous to identify the species, or at least family/genus, rather than just pick a similar size and color and go at it. Knowing some of these habits, combined with observation, can lead to catching more fish. But it's not all that important to correctly categorize patterns. If you know what you want a fly to do, then make the fly do it, and don't worry about what it's "supposed" to do. It's ok to fish a dry as a wet, or an emerger as a dry, or even a nymph as a dry!

Just my 2 cents.

Posted on: 2013/5/21 9:56


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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From Souderton PA
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:

Just my 2 cents.


I think you nailed it Pcray! Know the bugs behavior, and in the absence of that information, observation and experimentation will make a better fisherman than knowing the names of the patterns.

Posted on: 2013/5/21 21:04
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Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
Posts: 1736
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Quote:



4. Aren't the low-riding "parachute" patterns also technically a stage of emerger?


thats likely a Klinkhamer, which is most definately fished as an emerger.

as pcray says, many flies can be fished as an emerger - soft hackles, wets, unweighted nymphs, drowned dries, comparaduns etc.

i normally fish em on a very short tippet off a dry or on their own dead drifted.


Posted on: 2013/5/21 21:05


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions

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2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
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I look at parachutes and comparas this way:
A trout has a brain the size of a pea...
If they are keying on the emergers, the trout see it as an emerger because the body makes contact with the film.
If the trout are keying on the dries, it looks like a dry because of the upright wings.

I fish mostly comparas and parachutes for this reason. I used to fish full hackle and get refusals when the trout keyed on the emergers.
I would fish emergers and get refusals when trout were feeding on dries.
Many times, different trout (that are side by side) are keying on different phases. The comparas and parachutes are a happy medium that often takes both fish without having to go through the frantic retying exercises.

Posted on: 2013/5/21 21:28


Re: "Emerger" pattern questions
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Quote:

David wrote:
I look at parachutes and comparas this way:
A trout has a brain the size of a pea...
If they are keying on the emergers, the trout see it as an emerger because the body makes contact with the film.
If the trout are keying on the dries, it looks like a dry because of the upright wings.

I fish mostly comparas and parachutes for this reason. I used to fish full hackle and get refusals when the trout keyed on the emergers.
I would fish emergers and get refusals when trout were feeding on dries.
Many times, different trout (that are side by side) are keying on different phases. The comparas and parachutes are a happy medium that often takes both fish without having to go through the frantic retying exercises.


A parachute looks like a spinner too, especially when sulphurs on are on the water.

Posted on: 2013/5/22 7:03



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