Slate Drakes, or isonychia mayflies, are a very important part of the trout food chain. On rivers where they are present, fish will key in on these larger insects whenever they are readily available. On some rivers they hatch sporadically, on others they hatch en masse, but either way they are a meal that trout can’t resist. The nymphs are swimmers, so animated presentations can make all the difference.
Vary your presentations: dead drift under an indicator, fish as a dropper off of a dry fly in the heads of faster runs, or swing them like a wet fly or soft hackle— then hang on, as the takes can be violent. These particular insects prefer faster water so fish them accordingly, and don’t be afraid to bulk up your tippet as these bugs attract some of the larger fish in any given stream.
Hook: TMC 2302 size: 14-8
Thread: UTC 140 Rusty Brown
Underbody: Lead or Lead-Free Wire
Tail: Ostrich Herl, Dark Brown
Shellback: Sybai Body Stretch or Scud-Back, Brown
Stripe: Holographic Silver Tinsel
Rib: Black Ultra Wire
Dubbing: Spectrumized Rabbit, Dark Brown
Legs: Brahma Hen