This fly doesn't look like much -- with good reason too. It is size 16, which means you could fit four of these things comfortably on a dime. And that's the large size; people tie them down to size 22 which would make them of half that still. But don't let the tiny size of the Barr's Emerger fool you; this is a proven pattern that works when trout are on the feed just below the surface but there's no hatch in sight. It imitates mayflies emerging from their nymphal forms and ones that are crippled. Basically, it's a great searching pattern, but there are also variations for Blue-winged olive and Pale morning dun versions. Flashback material is often used to spruce them up too.
As small as it is, the Barr's Emerger is not that difficult to tie, provided you have the right material, good magnification or keen eyes.
The recipe is as follows:
Hook: Scud hook such as Mustad C-49S
Tail: Brown hackle fibres, about 12 fibres for a size 16 from a spade hackle feather. (Hackle quality is not really important on this pattern but colour and length of the fibre is.)
Wing case and legs (which are folded back from the fibre tips after the case is tied down): Same as tail but about 18 fibres.
As you can see, this is a relatively inexpensive fly to tie and another one that should be in your nymph box for when those trout get fussy.
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