Bob's Deer Hair Emerger (DHE)
9 December 2006
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The Double Trigger Deerhair Emerger is featured in the summer (July/October 2004) issue of Fly Rod & Reel magazine here
The DHE is also featured in Tying Emergers, by Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer, 2004, here.
The window for what we call selective behaviour is actually quite narrow, observed only when the trout’s prey is super-abundant and the trout becomes temporarily preoccupied, a kind of tunnel-vision when the trout ignores anything that does not fit what biologists call its search-image. However, survival demands that the trout’s search-image is normally quite generalized, to permit the fish to take advantage of a range of food forms. Just as importantly, the trout has to respond to the shifting shapes and postures presented by a specific insect throughout the process of its emergence. Otherwise, if trout were as choosy as they are often described, they would miss too many meals.
Wyatt calls the image that the fly presents to the trout its prey-image. Borrowing the essential features of Fran Better’s Haystack and Usual, Al Caucci’s ComparaDun, and Hans van Klinken’s Klinkhamer Special, the DHE is designed to present a strong prey-image. It incorporates a couple of primary stimuli, or ‘triggers’: a visible wing and a sunk abdomen. While suggesting natural aspects of the insect, these exaggerated features ensure that the fly will be noticed - what behavioral ecologists call a super-normal stimulus. The sunk abdomen presents the greatest trigger of all to a predator, the appearance of vulnerability. The moment of ecdysis, the emergence from the nymphal or pupal shuck, is the most vulnerable point in a mayfly’s life. The DHE is designed to represent that irresistible ‘sitting duck’ phase of the hatch.
The DHE is easy to tie, and more or less indestructible. To fish the DHE, touch only the wing and thorax with gel floatant. Keep the floatant away from the abdomen, so it will be sure to sink
The tying recipe for the DHE can be found here