Lost & Found - Mayfly nymph imitations for those early morning sessions

Lost & Found

As you may already know, if you've bought anything from us, we love the art of Ryan Keene - an American artist who specialises in Fly Fishing, all of the orders we send out have Ryan's art on somewhere.

A couple of weeks ago we were tidying up our warehouse (creating some space to store all our new Mayfly patterns) and came across an unopened package from our printing company wedged behind one of our cabinets - it was flat and quite heavy (looked like a ream of A4 paper), so it definitely wasn't flies. Curious to find out what it was, we opened it.

Quite a few years ago, we asked Ryan if he could create a piece of "Mayfly" related art for us - which he did (you can see it above). He delivers all his artwork to us digitally, so we can pass it on to our printers for our packaging & cards etc. At the same time, we also asked the printers if they could create some prints from Ryan's Mayfly artwork - this is what we found!

Back in 2018 we did a limited print run (of 100, printed on anti-glare A4 350gsm paper, just ready for a frame) which we offered one Xmas - these are the ones which remain from the original print run - so we now have 40 of Ryan's Wally-Wing Mayfly prints we didn't know we had!

So, what do we do with the prints?

We give them away - for FREE with every order of our Mayfly Nymph Selection placed today (until stocks last - we've only got 40 prints available) just order a set of Mayfly Nymphs and we will include the print when we ship your order ...

A Mayfly "Heads Up"

The Mayfly hatch is the most eagerly awaited hatch on the fly anglers' radar. This year we've pulled out all the stops and have some great content and NEW patterns lined up for you. We will let you know about all of them over the next few weeks.

We're also putting the final touches to something which we believe has never been done before! All I can tell you at the moment is that it's Mayfly-related, will be available to everyone for FREE and we will be launching it on Saturday.

Here's a clue to what's coming your way on Saturday ...

Keep your eyes on your inbox this Saturday morning - we're going to need your help with it!

As we are now just about to enter May, we have a really successful Mayfly Nymph Selection to showcase today - perfect to target those really early Mayfly hatches.

I've fished with these nymphs for the last four years, and they have proved themselves to be very effective no matter which rivers I fish in the UK - there are patterns to suit any condition & colour. There are four pattern variations (Walker, Golden Nugget, Olive & Brown):

The Mayfly Nymph incubates in a silt burrow on the river bed for 2 years and then in a morning will start swimming to the surface (generally before 1pm). We had great success with this selection of Mayfly Nymphs in the really early morning and also just before lunch. Read on for some tips on how to best fish the Mayfly Nymph.


Our Mayfly Nymph Selection contains two of each Mayfly nymph (above) in two sizes (10's & 12's), in total there are 16 flies supplied in our eco-friendly packaging. All of these flies are tied on specialist long-shank barbless hooks, in sizes 10 to 12 using the best quality materials available.

We are selling our Mayfly Nymph Selection for only £22 - individually these Mayfly Nymphs can be bought for £1.75 each.

Remember: The first 40 orders will also receive a FREE Mayfly print from Ryan Keene.

Get them while you can - we did run out last year!

Use an 8ft to 9ft rod, along with a floating line and 8ft to 10ft of leader. Use a cut down 9ft tapered leader;(use the last 5ft) and then 4ft of 5x tippet. Fish a large Mayfly Nymph of your choice (the nymphs are up to 2.5cm long) so a size 10 or 12 is a good imitation.

Our Top Tips for Fishing Mayfly Nymphs:

  • You are looking for sections of the river which are below a slow-running silty section and preferably where the river narrows.
  • The funnel effect will act as a conveyor belt delivering the mayfly nymphs to the waiting trout.
  • The better-sized trout will be at the head of the pool, so steadily work your way up.
  • Mayfly nymphs are best fished in the morning (especially before midday), this is when they are at their most active.
  • Once the Emergers appear on the water the fish will ignore the nymphs.

Get them while you can - we did run out last year!

Spotted Yesterday ...

With all of the rain we had last weekend and now some warmer weather on the horizon, I spotted my first real hatch of Hawthorns, just a few, as the sun poked its nose through the clouds.

Once I see them I know the dry fly season is about to start in earnest. Get ready for them on your local with our specially curated Hawthorn patterns.

It seems like the favourite patterns this year are these two below - the Hi-Float Hawthorn (tied with a pinch of Deer Hair to keep it riding high on the water) and the Hawthorn CdC (tied with a sparkle body and a pinch of CdC to help it float - and look realistic):

Image of Hi-Float Hawthorn

Hi-Float Hawthorn


Image of Hawthorn CdC

Hawthorn CdC


The Hawthorn Fly (or Bibio marci) is a small (no larger than 1cm) black fly, noticeable by its long gangling legs. Hatches of Hawthorn flies usually start in late April (some say it's always the 25th - St Mark's day) and last for no more than a couple of weeks - however with the colder weather we've had just recently these look like they are hatching later and will last a little bit longer

The Hawthorn fly can also be used as a suggestive pattern for a number of different insects, it can imitate a Heather Fly, Daddy Long Legs/Crane Fly and even an adult buzzer. Once the hawthorn hatch starts on your local river, make sure you have these in your fly box these are also great flies to try when searching stillwaters & reservoirs.

The legs on these flies seem to act as a trigger to the fish. All of our Hawthorn patterns are tied on size 12 and 14 barbless hooks with a bushy hackle, this allows them to create a wake on the surface when retrieved on stillwaters, again another trigger point the fish home into.

These flies are also surprisingly effective when fished as a wet fly, so don't be too quick to keep these flies dry, once wet and submerged, if on a stillwater, gently "figure of 8" them back (on a river try fishing them as you would a spider), and hold on!

Top Tip: Fish these Hawthorn patterns in the surface film, do not apply any floatant to them.


Tight Lines & Have Fun!