Viking Lars | Saturday, 6 May 2023
Two of the most significant hatches to in May are the Yellow May Dun and the Brown May Dun. The first named Heptagenia sulphurea, the second Heptagenia fuscogresia, in latin. They hatch more or less simultaneously, the Yellow May carries on a little further into June than the Brown May. I think the Brown May is the ones called Large Brook Dun in English fly fishing terms.
The Brown May dun is less prolific than the Yellow May and sometimes the hatch doesn’t really draw fish to the surface. When the Yellow May comes on, fish often take them both, so an imitation is worth having.
Contrary to what many believe the North Country spiders are actually imitations and for many there are specific seasons given in the classic literature, as Robert Smith has clarified in his book.
I was looking through some of the old fly lists that Robert Smith has published in his book and stumbled on James Blade’s pattern, Brown May Dun. I wondered if this is indeed an imitation of the H. Fuscogresia and I think it is. Whether this is the case or not, it is quite a fine imitation. The original pattern calls for maroon silk - I used a brown. It’s cousin, the Yellow May I imitate with this pattern of my own, which I call the Yellow Oliver (named after recently deceased Oliver Edwards).
Both will be hatching soon, if not already and I look forward to fishing these two on the same cast. The Yellow Oliver fishes quite well and has done for a few years. I’ve never fished Blade’s Brown May Dun, but I have no doubt it’s effective.
I googled a little for the English name of the H. Fuscogresia and I saw that Robert Smith has made a video on the tying.
Have a great weekend!