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Barbless Flies

Match The Hatch

The Mayfly

All the information you need to help get the most from your Mayflies.

Mayfly Insect Information

The Mayfly is a member of the Ephemera family, there are three mayflies commonly found in the British Isles, these are Ephemera danica, Ephemera vulgata & Ephemera lineata, for the purposes of this email we are treating them all as one (as the differences as negligible). Mayflies can be found in both still and running water, but the majority are found on our rivers, it does not seem to matter the strength of the flow.

All of the information contained within this page below will give you a great overview and introduction to the Mayfly, its lifecycle and the best imitations to use when fishing a Mayfly hatch.

As well as all the basic insect information contained within this page, we are now also providing live tracking of Mayfly hatches across the UK, click the button below to view the live map:

View Our Live Mayfly Hatch Tracking Map

If you woud like more "In Depth" details and unique Mayfly patterns, take a look below, otherwise, keep scrolling down:

Unique Mayfly Ptterns

These are the very best quality flies on the market today, tied with the best materials on the best quality hooks (Ahrex) - and are available to you directly (and only) from us. We cannot praise these flies highly enough - they are the best quality commercial flies we've ever seen - and we have over half a million flies pass through our doors every year - yes, they are that good!

Artisan Mayfly Nymph
Artisan Mayfly Nymph
Artisan Mayfly Nymph
Artisan Mayfly Nymph
Artisan Mayfly Nymph
Artisan Mayfly Nymph
Artisan Mayfly Nymph
Artisan Mayfly Nymph

Artisan Mayfly Nymph

£2.25
Artisan Mayfly Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Emerger

Artisan Mayfly Emerger

£2.50
Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger
Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger

Artisan Mayfly Loop-Winged Emerger

£2.50
Artisan Mayfly Dun
Artisan Mayfly Dun
Artisan Mayfly Dun
Artisan Mayfly Dun
Artisan Mayfly Dun
Artisan Mayfly Dun
Artisan Mayfly Dun
Artisan Mayfly Dun

Artisan Mayfly Dun

£2.50
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly
Artisan Crippled Mayfly

Artisan Crippled Mayfly

£2.50
Artisan Spent  Mayfly
Artisan Spent  Mayfly
Artisan Spent  Mayfly
Artisan Spent  Mayfly
Artisan Spent  Mayfly
Artisan Spent  Mayfly
Artisan Spent  Mayfly
Artisan Spent  Mayfly

Artisan Spent Mayfly

£2.50
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly

Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly

£30.00

The Mayfly - In Depth ...

FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly
FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly

FLY Series: Fishing The Mayfly

£9.99

The second in our series of collectable books on the various aspects of fly fishing. Each book takes a 'deep dive' into a niche aspect of fly fishing.

This 2nd book in the series, produced by ourselves and FlyFishMedia, contains a detailed analysis of how to get the most from fishing the Mayfly hatch.

Book Details:

Number of Pages - 80
Format - A6 (10.5cm x 14.8cm)

In this book, you will discover how to imitate the full lifecycle of the Mayfly, along with an in-depth 'deep dive' into each stage of its life cycle, including how to then imitate them with the most common fly patterns.

This book also discusses the type of conditions you can expect to face and the various tips, tricks and techniques used the fish them.

Our book also includes details on the most suitable equipment to use and some leader configurations to get the best from the Mayfly hatch on your own waters.

Please Note: This is a physical book, printed in English.

 

Mayflies are found throughout the British Isles in all types of river and stream. They are easily identified in May and June as they will be the biggest up-winged fly on the water and white or yellow in colour. Mayflies can range quite considerably in size, from 15 to 25mm long (usually a size 14 to size 10 hook).

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The Mayfly - Lifecycle

The lifecycle of the Mayfly is outlined below. The Mayfly is one of the up-winged flies where all of the stages can be imitated by the fly angler.

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Lifecycle Stage - Nymph

Mayfly nymphs are quite large and are found in the silt of a river/lake bed. The nymphal stage usually lasts either one or two years where they are buried in the silt. When the nymphs emerge the best imitation for these is a fat, long nymph (beaded when used in heavier flows). When imitating the Mayfly nymph, please take note of the body thickness, the body should be thick and long. Mayfly nymphs can be up to 25mm long and 5 to 7mm wide (just about the same as a size 10 or 12 hook):

mayfly-nymph-web.jpg__PID:e98fa3e6-bbc3-4637-b678-5e983e71d3eb

Once the nymph decides the time is right to hatch (this can be anytime between 1pm and 6pm) the nymph swims through the water column to the surface.

Lifecycle Stage - Emerger & Dun (subimago)

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The nymph then transforms into the dun in open water and takes a few moments for its wings to unfold and dry out (it is at this point where it is able to fly). From the time the nymph arrives at the surface to when its wings dry out is the point that trout usually take them (either just below the surface or as they emerge), so don't be too quick to retrieve your fly if it should start to sink!

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You will also notice that when the trout takes the fly it will be a very splashy take, they know that the mayfly is one of the best meals of the year and need to make sure that they do not escape. I have even seen trout slash at hatching Mayflies just to disable them and then turn around to take it knowing it cannot escape.

mayfly-leaf2.jpg__PID:df61ce8b-0ad4-4096-8878-0db761fea19e

Mayflies famously only live for one day. From the time they hatch, they will fly off to some local vegetation (the underside of tree leaves is a favourite spot, where they will rest (which can be for up to 24 hours) then transform again into a spinner (the sexually mature adult).

Lifecycle Stage - Spinner (imago)

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Once the adult mayfly is ready to mate they will form together in clouds above the river and dance, this is a stunning sight - when you are on a river in the early evening, just look up and watch them.

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Here the adults mate and the female will return to the water to lay her eggs (she can lay up to 10,000 eggs in one evening).

Lifecycle Stage - Spent

Once the female has laid all her eggs, she will die and float away (this is called a spent mayfly):

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Once the female Mayfly has laid her eggs, she dies, these flies float down the river with their wings outstretched, and are easy for the trout to intercept. Due to the large number of Mayflies which hatch, there are usually lots which are malformed when they hatch, these are easy pickings for trout.

From a fly fishing perspective the stages which we must try to imitate are:

  • Nymph - mornings until 1pm
  • Emerger - from noon to 3pm
  • Dun - from noon to 4pm
  • Spinner - from mid-afternoon until dusk
  • Spent - from mid-afternoon until dusk

The Mayfly hatch usually starts in the south of the UK in mid- May and lasts for two weeks. The hatch progresses north around 100 miles every week (weather dependent) so Scotland will usually see a Mayfly hatch starting in early June.

Specialist Mayfly Selections

Each of our Mayfly Selections below offer outstanding value for money, giving you all the flies you need to have a great Mayfly season. From a "Taster Selection" which give you one each of all the different Artisan patterns, to the Luxury Mayfly Selection which contains all the Mayflies you need, presented in an Oak fly box. 

Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection
Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection

Artisan Mayfly Taster Selection

£12.50
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection
Mayfly Nymph Selection

Mayfly Nymph Selection

£22.00
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection
Mayfly Selection

Mayfly Selection

£22.00
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection
The Ultimate Mayfly Selection

The Ultimate Mayfly Selection

£40.00
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection
Bosnian Mayfly Selection

Bosnian Mayfly Selection

£24.00
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly
Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly

Match The Hatch Selection - Mayfly

£30.00

Mayfly Nymphs

Spot Them: Mayfly nymphs incubate in its silt burrow on the river bed for 2 years and in a morning will start swimming to the surface (generally before 1pm).

Expert Skill: 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 cream coloured Mayfly Nymph (the nymphs are up to 2.5cm long) so a size 10 or 12 is a good imitation.

Pro Tip: Remember you are looking for sections of river which are below a slow running silty section and preferably where the river narrows. This 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.

Olive Mayfly Nymph
Olive Mayfly Nymph
Olive Mayfly Nymph
Olive Mayfly Nymph
Olive Mayfly Nymph
Olive Mayfly Nymph

Olive Mayfly Nymph

£1.75
Brown Mayfly Nymph
Brown Mayfly Nymph
Brown Mayfly Nymph
Brown Mayfly Nymph
Brown Mayfly Nymph
Brown Mayfly Nymph

Brown Mayfly Nymph

£1.75
Walker Mayfly Nymph
Walker Mayfly Nymph
Walker Mayfly Nymph
Walker Mayfly Nymph
Walker Mayfly Nymph
Walker Mayfly Nymph

Walker Mayfly Nymph

£1.75
Golden Nugget Mayfly Nymph
Golden Nugget Mayfly Nymph
Golden Nugget Mayfly Nymph
Golden Nugget Mayfly Nymph
Golden Nugget Mayfly Nymph
Golden Nugget Mayfly Nymph

Golden Nugget Mayfly Nymph

£1.75

Mayfly Duns & Spinners

The most popular imitations for emerging and adult  Mayflies are any of the flies below. Don't worry if you don't have these exact patterns, as anything which has the same general colour, profile and size will do. These flies should be fished as you would any other dry fly, and they should be used as soon as you start to see the Duns sailing down the river; this can be anytime from about 1pm until 6pm.

Top Tip: Only apply floatant to the hackle of the fly, this will make the rear sit just beneath the surface.

CdC Mayfly Dun
CdC Mayfly Dun
CdC Mayfly Dun
CdC Mayfly Dun

CdC Mayfly Dun

£1.75
Loopwing Mayfly
Loopwing Mayfly
Loopwing Mayfly
Loopwing Mayfly

Loopwing Mayfly

£1.75
Mayfly Spinner
Mayfly Spinner
Mayfly Spinner
Mayfly Spinner
Mayfly Spinner
Mayfly Spinner

Mayfly Spinner

£1.75
Stillborn Mayfly
Stillborn Mayfly
Stillborn Mayfly
Stillborn Mayfly

Stillborn Mayfly

£1.75
White Wulff
White Wulff
White Wulff
White Wulff

White Wulff

£1.50

Mayfly - Hatch Notes

This information is brought to you with the sole intent to spread the knowledge around so we can all maybe learn something.When fishing with Mayfly imitations here are a few tips:

Nymphs - You need to present the mayfly nymph as near to the bottom as possible - if you're not catching the bottom every now and then - you've not got your nymph deep enough!

Duns - When fishing any dun style pattern, only apply floatant to the tips of the feathers near the eye of the hook. This will allow the fly to present correctly (just like the natural) on the water surface.

Dry Flies - As with all dry flies, correct application of floatant is the key when fishing these patterns. Only ever apply a gel/liquid floatant to the fly when it is fresh from your box and 100% dry (gel/liquids trap in moisture). Once your fly is wet, dry it with a cloth/amadou and then apply a powdered floatant to refresh it.

Spent Patterns - When targeting Mayflies with 'spent' style patterns, always step up the thickness of your tapered leader & tippet (it's not uncommon to use 3X tapered leaders and 4X tippets). It can also help to use as short a length as possible. Spent patterns are designed with outstretched wings, and these act just like a helicopter rotor when you cast them and can easily twist your leader, so thicker and shorter is the name of the game.

If you would like to buy any of the above Mayfly imitations for your fishing forrays, we do hope that you will consider us and see what flies we have to offer. If you are considering any of the above flies, they can all be found in our insect-specific selections here: