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Cloud Emerger Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Cloud Emerger
2X-short emerger hook (here, a Dai-Riki 125), sizes 12-14.
Olive, 6/0.
Mayfly-brown Zelon.
Rusty brown Australian possum.
Goose feather segment.
Peacock herl and natural snowshoe rabbit’s foot, in a waxed dubbing loop.
Tying thread.
You can imitate many other mayfly emergers by changing the colors and hook size.
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Video Transcript:

From the mind and vise of Matt Grobert comes this really unique mayfly emerger pattern he calls a "Cloud Emerger".

Matt likes to tie it on a Dai-Riki #125. The Hendrickson he's going to tie here is well suited to a size 12 or 14. After mashing the barb and securing the hook in his vise, Matt loads a bobbin with a spool of olive 6/0 Danville. Truth be told, he rarely ties with anything else.

Start your thread on the hook shank, leaving a good eye-length space behind the eye. Wind your thread rearward to about the hook barb.

For the trailing shuck of the fly, Matt snips a small section from a hank of Mayfly brown Zelon. Secure it to the hook shank at the barb and take a few wraps down the hook bend to make the shuck point slightly downward. Then, take wraps up the shank to further secure the butt ends of the Zelon before returning your thread to the hook barb position. Snip the fibers off to form a shuck about half the length of the hook shank.

Australian Possum is used to form the abdomen. For this Hendrickson, Matt's using a somewhat rusty brown. Make a nice slim dubbing noodle on your tying thread and then begin taking adjacent wraps up the hook shank to create a smoothly tapered abdomen. Don't you just hate how easy he makes that look?

For the wing case, cut a double wide segment from a goose feather. Snip the tip of the segment off square. Tie it in on the near side of the hook shank allowing thread torque to carry it to the top.

Select a single peacock herl, either from an eye or a strung clump, and secure it, butt end first, right at the front of the abdomen.

Apply a generous skim of tacky wax to about 2 inches of your tying thread. Snip a small clump of hair free from the bottom of a naturally colored snowshoe rabbit foot. Pull out and discard the longer guard hairs and then re-grip the clump in order to snip off the fluffy underfur. Using just small amounts at a time, touch dub the rabbit hair to your tying thread.

Double the thread over to form a dubbing loop and then wind your thread back to the front of the abdomen and then forward to behind the eye. Insert the tip of the peacock herl into your dubbing loop and pull the loop and the herl into taut alignment. If you've tied "Matt's Gnat", you already know the drill.

Give the loop/herl combo a good spin. Matt calls the resultant fuzzy noodle a "rabbit twist". With your hackle pliers, get hold of the rabbit twist and start taking wraps toward the eye to form the thorax. Do your best to pull the fibers rearward as you wrap. When you reach the eye, use your tying thread to tie the rabbit twist off well.

Pulling everything including the twist rearward will give you some space to build a small, neat head. You can then snip the rabbit twist off close.

Use your dubbing needle to help fold the wing case over the thorax to the head of the fly. While holding the wing case down with the thumb of your left hand, pinch the feather segment with the thumb and index finger of your right. Imagine you're making a matched set of quill wings on a wet fly.

Pinching tightly, take one loose wrap and then raise your thread to vertical and pull up. As you can see, this technique produces a wing case that looks like it's about to split. Matt calls this a "tent" wingcase.

Snip the remainder of the fibers off close to your thread wraps and then take a few more wraps to make sure everything stays put. Throw on a 5 to 6 turn whip finish then snip or cut your tying thread free and your Cloud Emerger is complete.

You can change hook sizes and the colors of materials to match many different species of emerging mayflies. Cloud Emergers are meant to ride in the film with their shuck and abdomen hanging downward. Absolutely deadly.