This mayfly emerger pattern is very simple, durable and is tied with enough attention to detail to fool the most difficult trout. When mayflies hatch they split their nymph shell, break the water surface and pop out as an adult. Their wings are soft and need to stiffen before they can fly and sometimes the old nymph shell doesn’t quite let go. Mayflies are easy trout snacks at this stage.
Our Justa ‘Merger mimics this exact stage. The tail is the color of a nearly discarded nymph shuck, the body is lightly segmented like the emerging. Cul de Cunard, the wing feather, is soft and floats well while perfectly imitating the not yet upright wing of the sub adult mayfly. We work in a slight touch of sparkle to mimic trapped air bubbles.
Fish the Justa ‘Merger like any emerger. If fish are up but breaking the surface with only their dorsal they are likely taking emergers just below the surface. Put on a Comparadun with a Justa Emerger behind it. When the fish decide to take the adults they will eat the Comparadun, if they want an emerger they’ll eat the Justa ‘Merger. Sometimes the emerger needs to sink a couple inches, just shorten the wing with nippers and let the fly sink a bit. Switching to fluorocarbon tippet for the dropper can help sink the Justa ‘Merger too.
The Justa ‘Merger comes in hook sizes 14-20 and generic colors, brown, olive and pale yellow. Avoid using paste or silicone flotants on the CDC wing, it will matt down and stay that way. Just dry it in powder and get the fly back in the water.