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Sail Wing Dun

Mayfly imitation



"This is one of the more interesting and practical wing styles we've seen in a while." Art Schech, editor Fly Tyer about the Sail Wing Dun.



André Brun, ørret

"Waiting in anticipation for the streams to open for a brand new season I searched a bit for new fly patterns. During this pleasant search I came across the Sail Wing dun, a pattern developed by Andre Brun, I just knew there was stacks of potential in this pattern. My first two outings of the season proved my initial suspicions were spot on, with numerous fish eagerly rising to the Sail Wing dun. In my opinion this fly carries all the attributes of a great all-round mayfly imitation. - Easy to tie on a range of hook sizes. - Easily adapted to different mayfly species. - Low floating profile. - Floats well. - High visibility. - Quite a realistic impressionistic pattern. - Imitates the emerging stage of the insects when they are extremely vulnerable. Tie a few for your next outing and won’t be surprised as the first fish rise to your Sail Wing dun."
From Fly Talk


I am going to put up an article I've written on this fly in a while, but for now I will tell you some of the important things about this dun-nymph hybrid: The most important feature on the Sail Wing Dun, I think is the wide wing profile. The second most important feature seem to be the hybrid apperance of the Sail Wing Dun. rising trout in NorwayThe fact that it is a fly that both have features of a wounerable nymph in the surface film AND the wide profile of a fully developed dun wing, makes it extremly versatile for brown trout and grayling. When designing flies I always try to let the trout decide what's the best material at a certain place on the fly. This meens a lot of tying, fishing, trying a new thing and back to the river again. But at the end it seems to me like a good method and maybe the most secure way to get a fly that will do great in brown trout streams, rivers, lakes and ponds.

ab_c&r_orret.jpg (15905 bytes)On the other hand, I enjoy fishing and tying, so there is no problem for me that a fly takes years to develop. I really hope that you'll enjoy this fly aswell and that it'll give you some great fishing experiences when the mayflies are abundent. 

Be sure that the wing isn't too heavy - use small amounts of poly yarn, and make thin sparsly dubbed abdomens. 




A couple of examples: 

Sail Wing Dun (Ephemerella aurivillii) 


: Mustad R30, #14


: Uni 8/0, Rusty Dun


: Dark brown Antron/Zelon fibers


: Fly-Rite, # 11 (Orange) and # 23 (Olive Sulphur) mixed 50/50, a proven mix. 


: Ginger rooster


: Gray poly yarn, attached with the Sail Wing technique, about 13 mm long

NOTE: The E.aurivillii curves its abdomen upwards, so instead of tying it on a #12 hook, it's better imitated with a #14. You may also use a R48 hook for this one if you'd like. 

Sail Wing Dun (Baetis rhodani) 


: Mustad R30, #14-16


: Uni 8/0, Olive


: Olive Antron/Zelon fibers


: Fly-Rite, #22 with some #15 mixed in


: Dun rooster


: Gray poly yarn, attached with the Sail Wing technique, about 11 mm long

This color combination is also very useful to imitate some of the smaller and common species of Baetis sp. so tie it in a couple of smaller sizes aswell. You may of course use the R48 hook if you prefer that. Both are very fine hooks indeed. 



1) Tie in a small bunch of olive Zelon/ Antron fibers as a trailing shuck.



2) Dub a tapered abdomen, leaving ample room for the wing, thorax, and hackle.



3) Now for the fun part, 
the Sail Wing technique
. A piece of poly yarn contains much more material than you need, so use your dubbing needle to split a length of yarn into three, four or five pieces, according to the size of the fly. Tie one of the pieces in front of the abdomen as shown, binding it down with several snug wraps of thread. The space between the two wings are for the first two wraps of hackle. 

For a #14 hook: Split the yarn into 4 pieces and even take out a few more fibres. 



4) Raise the forward end of the poly yarn and make several turns of thread in front of it, propping it upright.



5) Tie in the hackle at the rear of the thorax area. Spin some more dubbing on your thread and dub a tapered thorax on the fly.



6) Make two wraps of hackle between the wings and three wraps in front. Tie off the feather and clip the excess.



7) Trim the bottom of the hackle - almost flat. Gently brush the wing material and then trim the wing to length and shape. Apply a drop of cement to the head. If necessary, trim the trailing shuck to length. 

For example 
13 mm wing on a #12 fly, 
11 mm wing on a #14 fly etc. 



8) The Sail Wing Dun on water.
A very effective pattern during the 
Use a long thin tippet to get a long drag free 
float down the currents. 


Ephemera Vulgata!  3,2 kg. brown trout


André © Brun


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