Hendrickson Color

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
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catskilljohn
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Hendrickson Color

Post by catskilljohn » Thu May 01, 2014 9:23 pm

After getting a real close up look at a fresh Hendrickson last weekend, I was going through my dubbing selections and classic color furs wondering where the hell "pink" comes into play. These bubble-gum pink flies you see in bins are a far cry from what is floating down the Willow on a spring afternoon.

I do detect a little pink around the thorax area, but it seems to me the primary color is olive

Look for yourself...

Image

I love pink fox fur, and will continue to utilize it on my Catskill Hendrickson patterns, but looking at them compared to natural mayflies reinforces the idea that color is absolutely the least important criteria in fly selection. CJ
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SgtMajUSMC
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by SgtMajUSMC » Thu May 01, 2014 10:04 pm

John,

Great picture and comments.

I make up a blend of fox belly, tan Australian opossum, med olive fur, and a bit of yellow. I might tweak it a bit here and there, but the overall mix is a olive/tan/yellowish blend. Sometimes I'll use yellow thread, sometimes olive.

I also find that dark dun hen hackle points make a better wing than wood duck flank, too.

A dark brown antron shuck is a nice trigger, too-especially when the flies are drifting on the water before flying.

Great post, and hope you get some good fishing on them!

Tim

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quashnet
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by quashnet » Thu May 01, 2014 10:52 pm

Natural color variations occur even in same-stream populations. If your fly comes from a stream with a dark substrate and surroundings, the biologist might tell you that "it exhibits significant phenotypic variation, particularly in abdominal color patterns." Or, if there are two different color patterns and the difference is not explainable by how the rocks look, the entomologist might say, "The existence of color polymorphism is not explainable with regard to the appearance of background habitat context." This is a particularly classy way of saying, "Durned if I know."
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redietz
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by redietz » Thu May 01, 2014 11:49 pm

catskilljohn wrote:
I do detect a little pink around the thorax area, but it seems to me the primary color is olive
You bet it is.

The English have a related fly, Ephemeralla ignita (Well, it's actually been recently re-classified to the closely related genus Serratella):
ignita02.jpg
ignita02.jpg (13.48 KiB) Viewed 3477 times

It's about a size 14, has 3 tails, is olive-grey and has smokey grey wings. You can't see in picture, but there's a bit of pink on the underside. The male is slightly smaller, red and is sometimes called a Red Quill. For all intents and purposes, it's a Hendrickson.

Do you know what the English call it? ...

A Blue Winged Olive!

It still doesn't stop me from fishing pinkish Hendrickson dries with wood duck wings (not exactly blue-grey) for subvaria. And the fish don't care. And I suspect if I ever make it across the pond, the fish rising to B-WO's will take a Hendrickson just as readily.
Bob

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ewpeper
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by ewpeper » Fri May 02, 2014 8:20 am

Back when I fished the Hendrickson hatch regularly, my dubbing mix comprised olive, rust, tan and a bit of yellowish cream to come up with kind of a muddy looking olive. As to the woodduck wings, I recall once writing that the wings on a Quill Gordon were actually a better imitation of the natural's legs than they were of the wings, and the hackle (legs) imitated the wing better than the legs. :-) Of course, we all know the original patterns work just fine and catch a lot of fish . . . but so do variants. :-)

Eric
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wiFlyFisher
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by wiFlyFisher » Fri May 02, 2014 9:55 am

Image

Image

Midwest E. subvaria duns.

http://www.wiflyfisher.com/hendrickson-mayfly-hatch.asp

My new improved Hendrickson emerger for 2014 (pink thorax :) )

Image

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Niklas Dahlin
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by Niklas Dahlin » Sat May 03, 2014 6:40 am

John.. Did you compare the colours of the fly as wet or dry? the color of the thread, dubbing and the grey hook when wet maybe is more similar in colour than dry..

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Joe Fox
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by Joe Fox » Sat May 03, 2014 8:33 am

This is always something that bothers me! I have had anglers get in my face about how pink the bug are and I just don't see it. We have Flick to blame for this! Steenrod's Hendrickson had no pink. I personally think Flick's choice of dubbing had little to do with the real color of the insect, just the effectiveness of the material for other reasons.

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Eperous
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by Eperous » Mon May 05, 2014 8:13 am

Joe Fox wrote:This is always something that bothers me! I have had anglers get in my face about how pink the bug are and I just don't see it. We have Flick to blame for this! Steenrod's Hendrickson had no pink. I personally think Flick's choice of dubbing had little to do with the real color of the insect, just the effectiveness of the material for other reasons.
We have Flick to THANK for this... :o :) ;) though it's had to find, and could be more fable than fact, I love tying my Hendrickson's with urine stained pink fox... :roll: :D

narcodog
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Re: Hendrickson Color

Post by narcodog » Mon May 05, 2014 8:52 am

I also love to tye with UB fox and mainly because of the UV property's. If you put it under a UV light it lights right up. I also mix it with other natural material when I can to get the same effect.

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