THE MOSQUITO FLY

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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

Thorax: None

Wing: None (or one variant-length grizzly hackle)

Hackle: Grizzly

TYING STEPS

  1. Wrap on the thread and tie in a tail of four or five black bear hairs, about shank length.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Tie off, trim excess, whip finish, and cement.

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