Published Jan 16. 2019 - 4 months ago
Updated or edited Jan 17. 2019

Mirror Dip ($3 Dip / Serendipity var)

I recently went out for a good long walk in the cool winter air of Southern Ontario and decided to listen to Dave Stewart and Pat Dorsey on the Wet Fly Swing podcast. There was a good conversation about the flies Pat ties and uses on the tailwaters he fishes. Flies in sizes #18-26 are the norm for him. I'm used to tying flies in the #12-18 range, for the most part, mostly tying mayfly nymphs and caddis larva for the local trout.

This pattern fits into that small fly for tailwater fly fishing slot, but I'm using the Mirror Dip as a dropper fly in mid-sized rivers. I've tied it as the dropper on a dry dropper set-up where fish were feeding at the surface and just below. It's also been a good fly tied behind a bead head nymph.

Both the original Serendipity and the popular variant called the $3 Dip, originally known as the $3 Bridge Serendipity, are effective patterns to have in your fly box. This variation offers a highly reflective mirror finish and a dark head. I imagine this imitates a caddis larva or a midge pupa but serves as an easy food item for foraging trout.

The original Serendipity was designed by a guide from California named Ross A. Merigold. He was fond of fishing the Madison River in Montana, so much, in fact, you can now find a bronze plaque honoring his legacy. If you are crossing the Raynold’s Pass Bridge look for a boulder that houses the plaque just above the bridge that identifies the Ross Merigold Hole.

Mirror Dip fly pattern recipe
Hook: Firehole 633 #18-20
Thread: Olive Brown 8/0 (70d)
Rib: Copper Wire (sm)
Body: Mirage Flashabou
Wing: Congo Hair or Sparkle Yarn or Z-lon
Coating: Bone Dry UV resin


Southern California by Riot (Royalty Free Music)

Camera: Nikon CoolPix B700
Vise: Griffin Montana Mongoose

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