The comparadun is really a modification of the Haystack which was originated by Fran Betters. The Haystack replaced the traditional catskill style hackle with a deer hair wing. Fran used a deer hair tail to add more buoyancy. The comparadun uses a micro fibbet split tail to replace the deer hair tail of the Haystack. There is also a sparkle dun variation that uses a few fibers of emerger yarn for the tail. Personally, I find split microfibbet tail to work best on larger flies (hendricksons, sulfurs, and isonychia) and use the emerger yarn for dries size 20 and smaller (olives).
Here why I like the comparadun so much. It sits low in the water, it can be fished as an emerger, dun, or spinner, uses simple and inexpensive materials, is quick to tie, durable, and floats really well. You can see the recipes for the Hendrickson, sulfur, and isonychia comparaduns in the fly box to the right. Just click on the link.
|#24 olive snowshoe variation|
One new variation that worked very well for my in the late fall for small olives (#20-#24) is the olive snowshoe emerger. This simple little fly uses an olive thread body, 4-6 strands of brown emerger yarn for the tail and snowshoe rabbit for the wing. The snowshoe rabbit wing has less bulk behind the wing compared to a deer hair wing and this helps keep the fly’s body slender, key for these tiny flies. The snowshoe rabbit wing makes it easier to see this fly.