Mercers Missing Link

Mercer's Missing Link

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Mercer's Missing Link, Little Yellow May
Missing Link, Sulphur Dun
Tying Instructions
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      Actual Sulphur Dun Emerger
      callibaetis emerger


Notes: Mike MercerThis pattern was designed by Mike Mercer, in 2010, originally for caddis hatches. However, the design was also very effective on other hatches, such as Mayflys and Stoneflies, by modifying both coloration and size of hook. Mike called the pattern, Missing Link, since it seemed to solve the mysteries of how a fly pattern can be quite effective on one day and totally ineffective on another. Despite designing the pattern specificaly for the caddis hatch, the principals of the pattern can be applied to any insect that is molting into a dun at the surface of a stream or lake and encounters difficulty. From the fish perspective, this difficulty in the transformation could look like a real mess rather than the silouette of a complete nymph or dun and this "mess" might be exactly what the fish are looking for on a given day. The "mess" occurs when the transformation fails and the insect dies from drowning. It's a meaty meal for the fish with very little effort needed to take it.

The body of the pattern is meant to be thin and weak from the transition of a nymph to a dun. To achieve this look, Mike decided to use a simple thread body as seen on many mayfly patterns. He would add a strand of flashabou to represent the trapped gases that the nymphal case would have and protect both the thread and the flash with a coating of Softex or Loon's UV Clear Fly Finish, Flow. The pattern needed a downwing profile that was both frail and translucent. A sparse number of Z-lon or Antron fibers could achieve this look if the strands were separated by a small clump of dubbing on the hook shank. Finally, the pattern need floatation that would achieve a low riding profile. Ralph Cutter had a solution to this with his E/C caddis pattern where the Elk Hair was a wingpost with a parachute hackle at it's base and Mike incorporated that feature into the Missing Link pattern. The hook that Mike prefers is the TMC 102Y, which is a wide gap dry fly hook similar to the TMC 100. The wider gap is an advantage when tying parachute patterns and allows the thread body to extend down the bend of the hook. The hook wire is 1X fine which is subject to bending with large fish, so some turn to a TMC 100sp-bl for a heavier wire.


Morris May Emerger Baetis
Morris May Emerger Baetis

Materials: (to Order Material, click the link)



Mercer's Missing Link PMD
Morris May Emerger PMD

Materials: (to Order Material, click the link)



Morris May Emerger Green Drake
Morris May Emerger Green Drake

Materials: (to Order Material, click the link)



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