Wisconsin Fly Fishing for Trout

Brown Drake Mayfly Patterns

Sometime in June in northern Wisconsin as the daylight begins to fade big brownish mayfly nymphs will begin to crawl out of the silt and muck and wiggle their way to the surface. These nymphs are the brown drake (Ephemera simulans) and can be found in many of the northern Wisconsin trout streams. For the brown drake nymph pattern I prefer to use a curved hook and a dubbing loop to make the abdomen more fluffy like the natural's gill plates. Click here for the Brown Drake hatch.

Brown Drake Comparadun Extended-Body Pattern
by John Simonson

Hook: TMC 100BL #12
Thread: Uni-thread 8/0 Tan
Extended Body: Wild boar's hair, dubbing overlay
Tail: Brown Microfibetts or Wild boar's hair
Body: Tannish Brown dubbing
Wing: Deer hair or Elk tied comparadun style

Brown Drake Comparadun dry fly pattern

Brown Drake soft hackle pattern

Brown Drake Soft Hackle Pattern
by John Simonson

Hook: Mustad #3906 size #6r
Thread: Veevus size #14 brown
Tail: Grouse fibers
Body: Gold wool mixed with natural brown Hare's ear (spun with dubbing loop)
Ribbing: 2 threads twisted together of olive Pearsall's Silk Threadr
Hackle: 2 dark colored grouse feathers


Brown Drake Soft Hackle Pattern

Brown Drake nymph pattern

Hook: Partridge 15BN size #14 or similar
Thread: Uni-thread 8/0 Black or Dark Brown
Tail: Grouse fibers
Body: Medium yellowish-brown Hare's ear (spun with dubbing loop)
Ribbing: Pearsall's Silk Brown Thread or similar
Wingcase: Dark Mallard wing
Legs: Mallard shoulder feather or dark grouse feather

The Partridge 15BN size #14 is a big hook, a similar hook size would be a Mustad 9672 size #10.
Mallard shoulder feathers have a thicker barbs which I like for these bigger nymphs.
The burrowing brown drake nymphs have flared feathery gills along the sides of the abdomen, so a dubbing loop helps give a simialr effect to the nymph imitation.

Brown Drake Emerger Pattern

This is really similar to the nymph pattern except the mallard shoulder feather is wrapped all the way around the hook so it becomes a soft hackle pattern. The emerging brown drakes are flopping all over on the surface as they try to escape their nymphal shucks and dry their wings.

Brown Drake emerger pattern

Hook: Partridge 15BN size #18 or similar
Thread: Uni-thread 8/0 Black or Dark Brown
Tail: Fluffy fibers from a grayish-brown hen feather, CDC fibers, or Grouse fibers
Body: Medium yellowish-brown Hare's ear (spun with dubbing loop)
Ribbing: Pearsall's Silk Yellow Thread or similar
Thorax: A little darker Hare's ear, tied bulky
Hackle: Brown & Grizzly dry fly hackle or something similar

The Partridge 15BN size #18 is a big hook, a similar hook size.


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