Hendrickson - Reversed Hackle Burnt Wing was developed by well known Michigan tier and fly fishermen, Chauncy Lively. Chauncy had lived on the banks of the North Branch of the Au Sable River for almost 40 years and had developed many unique patterns which can be found in a book justly named Chauncy Lively's FlyBox, by Stackpole Books. He was a longtime FFF member, TU member, and Anglers of the Au Sable board member as well. He is very fondly remembered by many older Au Sable anglers and was an important caretaker of this wonderful resource.
Chauncy spent countless hours perfecting fly patterns, photographing them close up and studying them in the water from a special tank he built in his home. The "V" wing adaptation was created as an improvement to the full thorax wrap introduced by Vince Marinaro, Author of A Modern Dry Fly Code , in 1950. This pattern style can be applied to any mayfly imitation and always seems to ride upright and high on the water, due to this superior design. I never had the pleasure of meeting Chauncy in person myself, but accounts from the river elders leaves me with a strong impression that He and his wife Marion, were good people and they certainly have left a strong legacy to our sport.
This is one of them. When you tie this pattern up and have success using it, consider donating to the Anglers of the Ausable, an FFF affiliated non-profit that is dedicated to protecting and dealing with issues that affect the Au Sable river. Visit the Anglers of the Au Sable here. The site is a little outdated but has many excellent articles and plenty of information on the Au Sable River and the issues surrounding it. - Jeff Selser
HOOK: Standard dry fly 16
THREAD: Brown 8/0
TAIL: Lt/med. grey spade hackle (sparse)
WING: Lt/med. grey hen hackle (burnt)
BODY: Dark tan (BCS 99)
HACKLE: Med/dark Dun
Species: subvaria, invaria
Common Name: Hendrickson
Instructions: Two things make this fly pattern; The reversed hackle may seem unorthodox but it really supports the fly and with the 'V' cut on the underside (which is hard to see in this photo) makes it really sit on the water much like the natural duns.
The second thing are the wings, Chauncy actually used cut Mallard Wing quill segments coated in vinyl cement which is definitely an option. A important footnote according to Chauncy is these wings must be set straight on the hook to prevent helicopter spins when casting.
Dun (sub imago stage of a mayfly) - The time to fish these are when you look out on the water and see what looks like little sailboats drifting down stream and because of the enormous amount that hatch the birds are also the tip off. Again , these are normally found in riffle water. I recommend using a longer leader 11 to 12 feet, as these fish really get hammered during the opener and I think the longer length really makes the difference in the strike ratio.
Michigan Emergence Schedule: Mid April through May. Low or no wind, ambient temperatures above 60 degrees and water temperatures above 55.
NOTE: We would like to thank Bruce Derington for supplying the tied pattern and a little background on this wonderful fly. Bruce has a new video out called the Basics of Fly Tying - What you need to know to start tying flies. That is available at Flymart Fly Shop and soon in the web store as well. Bruce is a well accomplished fly tier whom is an instructor at regional events and a regular instructor at Flymart Fly Shop. He has been tying flies for close to 30 years and is a regular contributor to Flymart Online. Thanks Bruce. - The Editor
Articles of Interest
Michigan Trout - Opening day and the Mayfly - Bruce Derington
Here at FMO
Fishing with Chauncy- by George Aiken
at the Anglers of the Au Sable Web Site.
Fishing with Vince Marinaro
by Joe Backer at Central PA magazine