Published Nov 23. 2023 - 3 months ago
Updated or edited Nov 29. 2023

Taco Emerger

The Taco Emerger was inspired by the split case patterns which are popular in the US

Taco Emerger
Taco Emerger
Nick Thomas

The Taco was inspired by the split case patterns which are popular in the US. These are intended to imitate species of mayflies that split their wing case as they rise up through the water column on their way to hatching. A typical example is Joe Mitchell’s Split Case PMD which features a piece of bright yellow foam tied in over the thorax and partially covered with black goose biots on either side to represent the split wing case.

I set out to tie a nymph with an actual split wing case with the inner contents spilling out from the top of the thorax. A few experiments later the Taco was hatched, the name was pretty obvious.

The profile
The profile
Nick Thomas
Taco Emerger
Pattern type: 
Nick Thomas
Sprite S 2200 #12
14/0 copper
Coq de Leon
Hends BGM39 micro body glass
Brown partridge
Wing case
Virtual Nymph 3mm natural nymph skin
Vicuna hare’s ear substitute dubbing
Skill level/difficulty: 
  1. Run on the tying thread and take down to the bend in touching turns.
  2. Catch in the tail fibres, tie down up the shank, trim the waste and take the thread back to the bend.
  3. Tie in the body glass flat side down, wind forward in touching turns, tie in and trim off the waste.
  4. Strip the fibres from the base of a partridge feather, snip out the tip to form a V and tie in under the hook.
  5. Tie in a length of nymph skin on either side of the thorax area with the free ends hanging back towards the bend.
  6. Loosely dub the thorax to build up a fat tapered shape.
  7. Fold one piece of nymph skin forward along the side and bottom of the thorax, tie in then stretch and trim off the waste.
  8. Repeat with the second piece of nymph skin on the other side of the fly.
  9. Build a neat head, whip finish and remove the thread.
  10. Pick out the dubbing from the gap in the wing case and varnish the head.

In the light
In the light
Nick Thomas

In the water the fine hollow Vicuña fibres trap air bubbles and give the impression of an upwing nymph struggling to unfold its flying gear. This stage of life is very attractive to hungry fish, it being an easy snack that isn’t going to fly away.

Fished naked the fly will sit fairly high up in the water, I had to poke the one in the underwater image several times to get it to sink. Dress the fly with a light coat of floatant and it will hang in the surface film, so you can serve it up just as the fish want it.

An underwater Taco
An underwater Taco
Nick Thomas
Taco trout
Taco trout
Nick Thomas

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