Emerging March Brown Soft-Hackle – Flymph

My friend Bill in Maryland sent me this photo of a March Brown Soft-hackle / Flymph that he recently tied all in the style of and following the recipe of Vernon L. “Pete” Hidy. Bill is an excellent tier and does great work on these patterns. Here is the e-mail message from Bill. I started off asking him a question about this fly, was it a soft-hackle or a flymph? Here is Bill’s reply, the fly photo, and recipe.

“Technically it’s both; all flymphs are soft hackles. “Flymph” is the term coined by Pete Hidy to describe the type of pattern that Jim Leisenring developed to imitate the stage between a nymph and an adult. Here’s the recipe for this Pete Hidy version of an emerging March Brown as published in T. Donald Overfield’s Famous Flies and their Originators. (Note: Both Leisenring and Hidy used large ribs on many of their patterns, so I substituted for the ribbing in the Overfield recipe to make it look more like their original flies.) Great tying Bill!

Pete Hidy style Emerging March Brown, dressed and photographed by Bill Shuck.

Pete Hidy style Emerging March Brown, dressed and photographed by Bill Shuck.

Emerging March Brown Soft-hackle / Flymph

Hook: Long shank mayfly, Size #12 Mustad R50U

Thread: Pearsall’s Gossamer silk, #19 hot orange

Hackle: Brown partridge

Tail whisks: Brown partridge

Rib: Gudebrod “D” rod winding thread (sub for Primrose silk or gold wire)

Body: Blend of hare’s poll (90%) and orange-brown wool (10%) spun in orange silk thread on a Clark spinning block.

Very nice tying job, Bill! Thanks for sharing the photo and information!

11 comments on “Emerging March Brown Soft-Hackle – Flymph

  1. Kelly L says:

    Bill’s fly is SUPERB!!! Donnie, some of your text is not coming out right.

  2. Hi Don
    I have a lot of success on still waters here in the UK with Flymphs and this one looks like a real fish-killer:)
    But I think the web-gremlin has had a pop at your text …;)


  3. Aaron Marzec says:


    This is a great post. I have a very soft spot in my heart for soft-hackle flies. I don’t know if it is just my confidence in soft-hackles or what, but I catch more fish with them than any other nymph pattern.

    Aaron Marzec

  4. Aaron Marzec says:


    My email shows your post all messed up, but when opened in a Chrome; it is fine.

  5. Kelly L says:

    Donnie, ya got it working! This thread is exquisite now. Thank you.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Kelly! Yeah, after having that issue a few times I always check my posting on the blog after I make them. Bill just sent me another soft-hackle a Hare’s Ear pattern. I’m going to post that. Wait til you see that fly! Sweet! Thanks for your devotion and comments!

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