Mayfly - Compara Dun

Mayfly - Compara Dun

Fly of The Week Mayfly Compara Dun - Tie It!

We take a look at the mayfly compara dun, a fly you need in your box for the mayfly season!

There’s countless mayfly patterns out there, which decorate our fly boxes and granted most of them are killing patterns. However, it seems many of them fall into one of two camps, those for stillwaters and the others for use on rivers. There are some though that cross the divide and appeal to trout on both lakes and running water. One such dressing is the Compara Dun Mayfly. And whilst it trades on being a ‘adult dun’ pattern in essence, such is its low riding profile it will easily pass off as an emerger.


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Tie It!


Hook: Kamasan B-120 size 10

Thread: Semperfli primrose 8/0 waxed thread

Tail: Veniard’s moose mane fibres

Body: Semperfli superfine danica/mayfly blend

Wing: Olive/dun dyed elk hair

Thorax: Olive dyed hare/grey squirrel fur



Step 1 Having caught on your thread behind the eye, secure a bunch of elk hair tips (pointing forward) a few turns back from the eye and trim away the waste butt ends.

Step 2 Take thread to hook bend and secure several moose mane fibres for a tail. Be sure to bind these down all the way back to the elk hair butt ends to create a taper.

Step 3 Take thread back to hook bend before dubbing on superfine dubbing and forming a neat, tapered body.

Step 4 Stop the body just behind the elk hair wing and form a dubbing loop.

Step 5 Loosely arrange olive dyed hare/squirrel fur in dubbing loop before spinning tight. Then form a buggy thorax both behind and in front of the wing.

Step 6 Complete the fly with a 5-turn whip finish.

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Fish It!


On reservoirs and lakes it’s vital to determine in which direction trout are moving, so you can present your fly a little distance ahead of them in anticipation. Casting directly into the rings of a rise should be avoided at all costs as the trout will have already moved on. As stranded mayflies often ‘kick’ in an attempt to become airborne, it’s worth tweaking your fly occasionally to mimic this. Otherwise, just leave the fly static.

We’re constantly told to use fine tippets when dry fly fishing. However, mayfly patterns aren’t the most aerodynamic of flies that often spin during casting. A flimsy tippet can’t support them now and ends up twisting into a horrible mess. Given this, we suggest a tippet of 6-7lb breaking strain with the TEF 7.48lb being ideal!




Where rivers and streams are concerned, land your fly a short distance ahead (upstream) of where you see a disturbance. Now your fly can drift towards the target unfettered, thus appearing natural and convincing. If the trout doesn’t take your fly for whatever reason, let it drift several feet downstream before picking up line to re-cast. It can often take a number of casts before the trout actually takes your fly. So, if fish don’t respond to your initial attempts, don’t be disheartened.



Top Tip!

As Mayflies are large, trout often take them slowly and with deliberation. Given this, it’s important to pause for a second, or two after seeing a rise to your fly. This gives trout time to firmly grasp your fly and turn down beneath the surface. Striking immediately when using mayfly dressings is a common fault.

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