Alice’s Angle: The Flav

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Photo by Louis Cahill

By: Alice Tesar

Prunella Flavilinea, What is it and why you should be fishing it. 

Quickly mistaken for a dwarfed Green Drake or Blue Winged Olive this versatile fly, which presents itself as a crawler nymph and crippled dry, are musts this time of year on western rivers. I stumbled upon the effectiveness of using a flav pattern while speaking with long time guide and angler, Doug Garber. Eager to use dry flies on my home waters this spring I asked Doug what his favorite early summer patterns were. After naming the staples for this time of year: Olive Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, Parachute PMD, and a Schroeder’s Oliver Hopper, he mentioned a flav pattern he ties. The Drunella flavilinea, “flav” has three tails, a brownish-olive body, and dark gray wings. Its most distinguishing feature is that it is smaller than the Western Green Drake. For Doug it is all about matching the size for this Mayfly in all of its stages. “The nymph has huge forelegs – like he is on steroids. Thin but broad,” says Doug. Their muscular forelegs and their eagerness to relieve themselves of their shucks makes them an excellent hatch to match. 

Fishing with a flav nymph pattern like a #14 Olive Hare’s Ear or #16 Pheasant Tail in fast runs during the afternoon can work well. As evening comes and fish begin to rise tie on a #14 Green Drake pattern or Film Critic to tempt the trout to a dry fly dessert in the slower water. 

The flav can be found in western Wyoming and NW Colorado late June through mid-July. 


Alice Tesar
Alice guides for Steamboat Flyfisher in Steamboat Springs CO.
Gink & Gasoline
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