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Blog > Fly Tying > Fly of the Month: Sulphur Emerger

Fly of the Month: Sulphur Emerger

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/11/2011 (15910 reads)
By FlyfishingNZ

Sulphur EmergerIt is almost time for the sulphurs (ephemerella dorothea) to start appearing on Spring Creek, my local PA trout stream. The hatch starts around the beginning of May and you can expect to see them up until the end of June, however with this years weather it could be all over the place. While the weather is bad and the rivers blown out it is time to experiment with tying for this hatch.

For the sulphur tying swap I decided to put together this little number that also incorporates a number of skills I picked up from Oliver Edwards. This is not completely my own creation but my inclusion of a weaved body makes the fly that little bit more interesting. By using a weave it is possible to achieve a two tone body section which can not be easily achieve with straight tying techniques, unless you little marker pens.

This fly sits low in the film surface and the tail section should sit below the film giving the trout that perfect silhouette. Even before the sulphur hatch has begun I have seen some very nice trout being fooled into taking this fly.

I hope that you enjoy this step-by-step guide to my weaved body sulphur emerger and it brings you much enjoy on the river as it has for me.

Tight Lines,


Step by Step Guide after break

Sulphur Emerger Step-by-Step guide

Sulphur Emerger

Materials list:
Hook – TMC 206BL size 16 (I have done up to 18)
Tail – pheasant tail
Nymph Body – Embroidery thread – yellow and brown or two shades of yellow
Sulphur Body – 2 mm of close patch foam in yellow (not pictured)
Under Body – Dry fly dubbing – sulphur yellow (or CDC dubbing for extra floating strength)
Wings – Hackle in Grey
Tools – as pictured
Tying Guide

Step 1 - Place the hook in the vise so that the bend is exposed and Tie in 3 (or more) pheasant tail fibers
Sulphur Emerger

Step 2 - The embroidery threads have 6 strands, pull out two from each colour and tie them in down the bend of the hook on each side. Whip finish the tying tread and cut off, else it will get in the way while weaving
Sulphur Emerger

Step 3a - The Knot Weave – out of all the weaves I know this is the easiest, because it is not really weaving and you do not have to keep tension during the weave so you can drink your beer while you do it. First thing is to decide what colour you want on top; here I am wanting brown on top. So all you do is thumb knot with the colour you want on top going in front of the colour on the bottom. This weave is from Essential Skills w/ Oliver Edwards, part 3.
Sulphur Emerger

Step 3b - Next thing is to split the knot and slide it on the hook, here the hook eye is between the brown and yellow thread. Slide the knot to the back of the hook where the tails were tied in and tighten.
Sulphur EmergerSulphur Emerger

Step 3c - For the size 16 I do about 5 knots on each side, which you can count when you look at the side of the fly
Sulphur EmergerSulphur Emerger

Step 3[/b]d - Retie on the tying tread and tie down the weaving threads and clip off the waste
Sulphur Emerger

Step 4 - Tie in a strip of foam ~2 mm wide foam and a hackle that is about one and a half times as long at the gap of the hook
Sulphur Emerger

Step 5 - Dub the underbody with sulphur yellow dubbing, this helps reduce the hackle from slipping.
Sulphur Emerger

Step 6 - Wind on the hackle and tie off, I did five turns here. However, I think this might have been too light, I would maybe do about 6-7 turns
Sulphur Emerger

Step 7 - Split the hackle collar and fold down the foam and tie down. Here I folded back the foam and put a whip finish under the foam near the eye to lift the foam up out of the way of the eye, like what you would do for a deer hair caddis.
Sulphur Emerger

Step 8 - Now you can either remove the tying thread now, but I find it is best to keep it on right now so it does not untie. What you want to do is use a brush/fingers to pull the hackle from under the fly up the sides so that it is a hemisphere and you will get two separate wings. This will make the fly sit low in the water, perfect for an emerger. Last thing is put on some head cement, additional you can go in with a brush and bring out some of the dubbing from the underbody to make it more buggy.
Sulphur Emerger

To follow more from flyfishingNZ you can catch him on his blog.

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Author Thread
Published: 2011/5/12 11:08  Updated: 2011/5/12 11:08
Joined: 02/15/2011
From: Philly
Comments: 35
 Re: Fly of the Month: Sulphur Emerger
Very nice fly NZ! I'm liking the very last pic (bottom right) too...looks like fish food!
Published: 2011/5/13 16:38  Updated: 2011/5/13 16:38
Joined: 07/07/2008
Comments: 4
 Re: Fly of the Month: Sulphur Emerger
I have to apologize for all the grammatical errors...will have to do more proof checking next time.

When I took the image from below I was hoping to get a better photo, but the container had a matte finish to it.
Published: 2011/5/13 18:52  Updated: 2011/5/13 18:52
Joined: 09/13/2006
From: SW PA
Comments: 24
 Re: Fly of the Month: Sulphur Emerger
Guys in the Sulpher Swap are in for a treat, this fly is even better looking in hand!! That's for sharing, this pattern rocked my fly tying world when I opened the package.

Published: 2011/5/15 21:12  Updated: 2011/5/15 21:12
Joined: 04/12/2011
From: Warriors Mark, PA
Comments: 8
 Re: Fly of the Month: Sulphur Emerger
Great Article!!! These have already began coming off on the Little Juniata, and I have had some great results.

A good strategy to fish sulphurs, and increase your success BIG TIME, is to fish a "dry-drop" tandem rig, with a sulphur spinner on top, and the emerger on the bottom.
Published: 2011/5/17 17:24  Updated: 2011/5/17 17:25
Joined: 09/09/2009
From: canonsburg pa
Comments: 13
 Re: Fly of the Month: Sulphur Emerger
I prefer a Yard's Jefferson Ale to Guinness as part of my fly tying material. Seriously though, nice fly, I'll have to give it a try



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