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More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)
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Rather than hijack Paco's current thread on crippled emergers, I thought I'd start another. Here is the pasted continuation from Paco's thread indicating my approach with some additional info and photos.

Being a big fan of closed cell foam I've spent a lot of time over the years trying to design an emerger pattern that satifies me and after dozens of different iterations I still can't seem to nail this fly, esp the smaller midge sizes. I have found that a fly that hangs just under the surface film in a HORIZONTAL plane rather than vertical seems to work best so I usually put the foam midshank. Although midges also emerge from their exo in a horizontal position, I still design my midges to hang vertically. Anyway, frustration aside, here's where I am these days with emergers.

The trouble with foam is getting the right size "ball" or foam clump to float the fly and it seems that the slightest difference in weight will require a different amount of foam, while keeping the foam to a minimum so as to maintain the fly's narrow profile. To deal with this problem, I'll tie several complete emergers with an extended foam post that protrudes up from the hook shank about a quarter inch for a typical #16 sulpher. Once tied, I'll soak the flies and throw 'em in a bowl of water. Each fly's foam post is very carefully cut down in tiny increments until the fly floats just at the surface level. I find you have to do this with each fly rather than trimming all to the same size. Some may be overtrimmed and sink. These flies are immediately discarded to the recycle bin. As you trim down the foam post and drop the fly back in the water, push it under the surface and watch as it floats back up. With some practice, you'll be able to "estimate" the float return rate and when to stop trimming down the post. To be sure, this is a slow and painstaking process but it's worth it has it ensures that every emerger in your box will perform (ie float at the correct level and position) that you expect.
The ultimate goal is to keep the fly's profile narrow and sparse while maintining enough foam to keep it at the surface. Many emergers are tied too thick and bushy in my opinion.
The top photo shows the fly tied with a large post ready for testing.
The second photo shows the fly in a clear glass water bowl with trimmed down foam post. Note that the fly hangs just below the surface tension. This is where you want it.
The third photo shows the floating fly from underneath as a rising trout would see it.

Attach file:



jpg  Emerger1.jpg (35.76 KB)
26_4b7416d044bee.jpg 296X239 px

jpg  Emerger2.jpg (42.40 KB)
26_4b7416db968cc.jpg 320X214 px

jpg  Emerger3.jpg (101.75 KB)
26_4b7416e748315.jpg 610X480 px

Posted on: 2010/2/11 9:40


Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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That is a real nice pattern. I might tie somthing like that.

Posted on: 2010/2/11 10:41
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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Good stuff, Fishidiot. Out of curiosity, have you ever experimented with looping something like antron yarn or krystal flash or both over the foam post? Not saying it would make a difference, just wondering it you tried it and discarded the idea.

Posted on: 2010/2/11 11:29


Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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I like the looks of that fly in the water. I've never done that but it does give you a realistic picture of what the fish sees.

Nice Job!!

Posted on: 2010/2/11 11:40
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)
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DGC,
Yes, I've tried looping some antron over the foam post. This does make for a better looking fly in the vise and also allows for the foam post's hard profile to be a bit better "camoflouged." The reason I usually don't do this is the post can't be trimmed to size if it's surrounded with hair. If you add the hair after trimming down the post you risk a fly too heavy that sinks.
On very small emergers, like midges or BWOs, I'll often go with a hair clump or CDC rather than foam due to the impracticality of using foam with very small flies. This system is certainly easier to do with flies size #18 and larger.

Posted on: 2010/2/11 11:48


Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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wow that looks good when sumerged , anyone ever tie one of Gary Lafontaines halo mayfly emerger described in his book "proven patterens" where he uses closed cell foam looped at the thorax , if so any succses with it ?

Posted on: 2010/2/11 15:09
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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is there a difference between closed cell foam and the stuff you buy at a craft store?

Posted on: 2010/2/11 15:12
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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ry, according to Lafontaine`s`s book the closed cell is translucent and lets light through

Posted on: 2010/2/11 15:26
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)
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Quote:

ryguyfi wrote:
is there a difference between closed cell foam and the stuff you buy at a craft store?


Ry,
No difference. I use craft store foam sheets all the time - they're closed cell and float. I prefer the white stuff as you can color it with Sharpie pens. Frankly, it's so cheap you can get all the colors, in particular the bright orange and green are great for bass flies.

Posted on: 2010/2/11 15:58


Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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Quote:

ryguyfi wrote:
is there a difference between closed cell foam and the stuff you buy at a craft store?


yeah, about $4 a sheet!

Posted on: 2010/2/11 16:03
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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i do think there is a difference, if you look at the foam you get say from packaging or shipping it has small air cells in it , the colored foam in craft stores is dense and vert tight

Posted on: 2010/2/11 16:09
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)
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jrcll does make a point worth noting: Not all closed cell foam has the same properties or bouyancy. For example, if you look at the photos I posted above, the foam has large, noticeable "cells" and is a bit more bouyant than the denser, smaller cell foam that is usually offered in thinner strips in craft shops. However, the craft shop stuff is actually the same as most of the foam sold in fly shops for tying. Also, how hard you cinch down foam with your thread and how packed down with thread wraps it becomes - this will also effect bouyancy.
Anyway, because foam does vary a bit in terms of bouyancy, that is why it is imperative to test in a bowl of water EVERY fly that you tie with small foam sections.

Ryguy,
That green foam they sell in foot square sheets in the craft shops is perfect for those inchworms.

Posted on: 2010/2/11 16:44


Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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i have a PMD pattern i tied when i first started tying that has a foam post on it like that but this was a parachute and i also wanted to comment on the use of sparse antron along with natural materials i have started tying emergers like that i think it will work well because it with give the natural material like pheasant tail some sparkle and maybe even some movement what are your thoughts on that?


EDIT: have you guys ever tried tying something with a really small corkie or indicator on it something very bouyant but doesnt mess with the profile?

Posted on: 2010/2/11 17:37
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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Yea there is a fly out it's a attractor type dry fly. It's called "Grillos Sideshow Bob". Here's a link.
http://store.theflyshop.com/catalog/popup_image.php?pID=7702

Thingamabober is also making 1/4 inch size indicator to put ontop of a indicator fly. Like for a hopper dropper

Posted on: 2010/2/12 0:07
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Re: More Emerger Stuff (Tie 'em and test 'em)

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Very nice tie with the foam. Thanks for sharing. Is that trailing shuck tied at the tip? If so how do you do that?

Posted on: 2010/2/12 0:32
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