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Smoke Jumper Emerger Step-by-Step:
We’re swapping ends of the size spectrum for this week’s Step-by-Step as we trade in the Topwater Chimera‘s Size 1 pencil popper hook for a tiny size 18 emerger hook adorned with some thread, wire, peacock herl, and a small tuft of CDC.
An emerging midge imitation in its original form (as tied here), this simple fly has proven remarkably adaptable as a mimic to only midges, but a wide array of mayfly species as well. All that really stands between a #26 midge and a #12 green drake is hook selection and thread color. The rest (a trailing shuck on the drake for example) is purely cosmetic.
|Daiichi 1167 Klinkhammer (#18)||Veevus 16/0 (Black)||Ultra Wire (Silver; XS)|
|Peacock Herl or Dubbing||CDC Oiler Puff (White or Dun)||Tips of CDC Oiler Puff|
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Smoke Jumper Emerger Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:
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Tips and Tricks
Just one item of note on this pattern: Following Step 7, consider using a needle to slightly lift your wing case off your thorax. While I haven’t found it necessary in all situations, it helps to create an air bubble that may more accurately imitate the natural.
Proof of Concept
Once again, proof of concept brings us back to my 2019 visit to Colorado. On our final full day in the state, Jake and I made our way to Dream Lake in RMNP.
Lucking into a parking spot at the packed Bear Lake Trailhead, we made the short trek to Dream Lake in search of Greenback Cutthroat Trout.
After each quickly catching our lifer Greenback near the outlet, we split up in search of space to cast among the throngs of tourists.
Positioning myself on the leeward side of a small peninsula jutting into the lake, I spent the next hour targeting a trio of trout each following its own distinct circuit around the protected cove. Each actively sipped food items from the surface as they made their rounds, but my various offerings resulted in nothing more than refusals.
Finally, I pulled a small Olive Smoke Jumper (#20) from my midge box. I had yet to use the pattern on the trip, but figured it was worth a shot as I was running out of other options.
As the largest of the three Greenback approached on its next pass, I placed the tiny emerger directly in its path. It showed no immediate reaction as the fly touched down five feet in front of it, but casually rose as it passed beneath the fly. Pausing only momentarily to sip before proceeding on.
A short battle later, in front of a surprisingly large crowd of tourists, the beauty to the right lay in my net.
Species Caught on the Smoke Jumper to Date:
- Greenback Cutthroat