The PMD Cripple By Tim Scott
I think one of the most under rated fly fished in the late spring and early summer is the Pale Morning Dun or the Pale Evening Dun. But for argument’s sake let’s call it a Cream colored mayfly. Fly fishers sometimes don’t notice these bugs coming off the water, but boy the fish do!
They dribble off the water sporadically throughout the day and into the evening and don’t make a great show, unlike other mayflies such as a Blue Wing Olive or Brown Drake. Most fly fishers notice the tons of Caddis when in the midst of them, a cream-colored sailboat floats by. You will be surprised if you ignore the Caddis and tie on a PMD Cripple. This fly has produced some very large fish in the middle of great Caddis hatches. My experience is Trout and even Smallmouth will key on these bigger bugs with an explosive reaction. I have pulled large fish from the banks of very small creeks in our area to check out this fly and eat.
This cripple pattern was developed by Kelly Galloup. This pattern is great to fish for both the dun hatch and during the spinner fall, because cripples happen at both ends of the life cycle. You will notice two parts of this fly. First, the side-bend hook shank makes the bug look as if it is crippled. The second is the wing is on tied to one side of the fly; this represents the look of a crippled mayfly where the wings lay on the water to one side of the body. The crippled look means easy pickings and an easy source of protein to any fish.
Try this fly in the next Caddis storm and you will be surprised that the larger fish could care less for Caddis and more for your protein cripple!
PS. Yes you can tie this for any mayfly species.
(Click on photo to see a full size photo)
Hook: 12-14 TMC 100 Standard
Dry fly (hook bent to the side slightly to get a crippled fly look)
Tail: Micro Fibbets or plastic tailing material
Body: Cream Thread
Hackle: Hi-Vis tied on the side – posted – with cream hackle palmered behind the wing and to the eye – clipped on the bottom for a spinner The PMD Cripple