|Rusty Spinner, Size 16|
I'll tell you what it could be, and probably was all those times that I was getting frustrated. It was probably a mayfly spinner fall, is was it was. I finally figured that out one evening, fifteen years ago or so, and once I switched to a mayfly spinner imitation, I started to consistently catch fish. What a fun breakthrough that was!
Mayfly spinners are fairly easy to tie. I like to use a goose or turkey biot for the abdomen, and dubbing for the thorax. But you can use dubbing for both. Or any other number of materials. For the wings I prefer antron yarn, but other things like poly yarn, hen hackle tips, and organza can work well, among other things.
For a while I liked to tie the antron wings spent, like a normal spinner, but then also add an antron post and a parachute hackle for visibility. That is an added dimension that can be frustrating to tie, so now I have gone back to the spent wings-only approach. Some people add a little piece of yellow foam over the thorax for visibility. That can be a good idea, since spinners can be difficult to see on the water's surface.
Here's how I tie them:
Rusty Spinner Pattern Recipe
Hook: Tiemco 101 or other straight-eye dry fly hook, size 12-24
Thread: Brown or rust, 8/0 or smaller
Tail: Mayfly Tails, dun
Wing: Antron yarn, white or dun
Abdomen: Goose or turkey biot in rust, brown or tan
Thorax: dry fly dubbing in rust, brown or tan