The mosquito is a classic Catskill-style dry fly, but without the feather wings; it’s an “all hackle” fly. While it has fallen out of favour over the past decade or so, almost every fly tier’s first attempt at a dry fly is still a mosquito. It is an excellent place to start. If you can get the dimensions correct on a mosquito, you can tie almost every Catskill-style dry fly in existence. To make it even better, the mosquito is a very good imitation of a speck- led mayfly (Callibaetis). I still use it now and then and really enjoy watching it work its magic, especially on smaller trout.
Hook: Mustad 94840 #16 to #12
Thread: Fine black prewaxed
Tail: Black bear tips or moose mane tips
Abdomen: One brown and one white moose mane hair
Wing: None (or one variant-length grizzly hackle)
- Wrap on the thread and tie in a tail of four or five black bear hairs, about shank length.
- Tie in one brown and one white moose mane hair, then wrap the thread forward to halfway between the hook point and the hook eye.
- Wrap the moose mane forward, forming a striped abdomen. Ensure you do not overlap the hairs. Tie off and trim the excess halfway between the hook point and the eye of the hook.
- Tie in the grizzly hackle and wrap the thread forward to the eye of the hook. Leave enough room to tie off the hackle and form a small head of thread.
- Wrap the grizzly hackle forward forming the hackle and wing. If you decide to use a variant-length hackle, wrap the longer feather forward first and trim the bottom half off. Then wrap the standard hackle forward, weaving it in between the variant hackle fibres.
- Tie off, trim excess, whip finish, and cement.