Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Light Sedge; or, Light Dun

This dressing substitutes a mottled quail covert for "light-barred" landrail coverts and uses a red fox squirrel belly fur rather than the "reddish fur from the thigh of a squirrel."

Hook:

14-18
Thread:

Yellow
Body:

Red fox squirrel belly fur
Hackle:

Quail covert
Head:

Cock pheasant tail herl



In their Brook and River Trouting (1916), Harfield Edmonds and Norman Lee included the Light Sedge as a dressing for a June trichoptera that will fish well throughout the rest of the season. They dressed it with

“WINGS.—Hackled with a light-barred reddish feather, from the lesser coverts of a Landrail’s wing.
BODY.—Yellow silk, No. 4, dubbed with reddish fur from the thigh of a Squirrel.
HEAD.—A reddish herl from the tail of a cock Pheasant.”


Michael Theakston’s original dressing is variable enough to allow for a wide range of materials and substitutions. This dressing takes the following liberties: it uses burnt orange thread, Wapsi synthetic blend red fox squirrel belly fur for the body, and an American woodcock rump feather for the hackling.



Michael Theakston includes a dressing for the Light Dun in his List of Natural Flies (1843), which might correlate to the Light Sedge that Brooks and Lee list for June. Theakston’s Light Dun (a dun is a caddis or sedge in Theakston’s nomenclature) “commences hatching this month [April], and are plentiful in May in June, and again in autumn; but are out most in the dusk of evening.” Theakston’s insect is “the produce of the codbait,” a case-building caddis that constructs “artificial cases of some of the codbait tribe” with “small particles of vegetable substances mingled with those of stone, attached to them, which may impart a darker shade or freckle to the flies. The largest codbait creepers, when the case is covered with particles of stone only, produce the largest and lightest colored flies.”

Dressed in classic soft hackle style, rather than the winged pattern Theakston's preferred, the Light Dun is: “imitated with feathers from the landrail, brown owl, dotterel, brown hen, etcetera; with tawny, coppery colored silks, of lighter or darker shades.”

While it certainly was not dressed to match a British hatch, Ernest Schwiebert drew on the “little Scottish pattern called the Corncrake and Yellow” as the “basis for the accompanying pupal imitation for the accompanying pupal imitation of the Little Sand Sedge” he included in Nymphs (1973).The Little Sand Sedge American caddisfly that seems similar to those that historical British angling authors describe:

Hook: Sizes 12-14 Mustad 3906 sproat
Nylon: Tan 6/0 nylon
Body: Pale dirty-yellowish dubbing
Thorax: Light brown dubbing
Wing cases: Light gray duck quill sections tied at sides
Antennae: Lemon woodduck fibers
Head: Tan nylon”

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