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 stream's 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 dubbing loop to make the abdomen more fluffy to represent the feathery gills of the Brown Drake nymph. 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 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
Hook: Partridge 15BN size #14 or similar
Thread: Uni-thread 8/0 Black or Dark Brown
Tail: partridge fibers
Body: Medium yellowish-brown hare's mask (spun with dubbing loop)
Ribbing: Pearsall's Gossamer 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 thicker barbs which I like for these bigger nymphs.
The burrowing brown drake nymphs have flared feathery gills along the sides of their abdomen, a dubbing loop helps give a similar effect to the nymph imitation.