Fly Tying 1 min read

[Video] Pale Morning Dun Patterns

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

July 10, 2010

With summer upon us and my thoughts out west, I thought it fitting to dedicate the next series of Friday Night Fly Tying videos to Pale Morning Dun patterns.

Pale Morning Dun Patterns

One the more famous hatches of the year in the Greater Yellowstone area, including the fabled waters of Yellowstone National Park and southern Montana is the Pale Morning Dun or PMD hatch. As George Anderson put’s it,

This is THE hatch of the year on the famous spring creeks of Paradise Valley, like Armstrong’s, DePuy’s and Nelson’s. Anglers in the know book early to secure a space on these spring creeks during “prime time” of the PMD hatch, knowing that this will be some of the finest fishing – especially dry fly fishing – of the entire year.

This hatch occurs on most Montana streams, usually in July, but different species of the same basic insect make this perhaps the most important hatch of the season, especially on the flat-water streams like the spring creeks, the Firehole, Slough Creek, Soda Butte and the Lamar river in Yellowstone Park and also tailwaters like the Lower Madison and the Missouri.

Pale Morning Dun Emerger

It is natural to think that during a full blow PMD hatch, trout would feed on the high riding duns, but many have found that fishing emergers, cripples and even emerging nymphs is usually the ticket to catching more fish. Trout, like most wild animals, prey upon the weak and often pass on the duns that can fly off the water at any given moment and prefer emerging PMDs struggling in the surface film, trying to free themselves from their nymphal shuck.

John Barr realized this back in the 1970’s and developed the infamous Barr Emerger. Since then numerous variations of the Barr Emerger have evolved including this one shown to us by Aaron Jasper in tonight’s fly tying video.

This is a pretty quick fly pattern to tie and you don’t need to fuss too much, just go easy on the dubbing so as to maintain a thin profile on the fly.

Material List

  • Hook: Tiemco 2499 SPBL
  • Body: Lifecylce Dubbing, Dark Brown
  • Thorax: Superfine Dubbing, Pale Morning Dun
  • Wing: Z-Lon, White
  • Tail: Darlon, Dark Brown
  • Ribbing: Crystal Flash, Brown