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Fly Tying: The PMC Emerger (With Pictures and Video)

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I am an avid fisherman and hunter from the great state of Texas.

The PMC Emerger can be fished dry or wet and is used primarily for trout.

The PMC Emerger can be fished dry or wet and is used primarily for trout.

Easy DIY Fishing Lure

The Plain Mayfly Crooked Emerger (a.k.a. PMC Emerger) is a dual-use fishing fly that is fished dry or wet as conditions dictate. It is tied with minimal material, follows a simple pattern, and can be tied quickly.

Why Is the PMC Emerger Such a Good Lure?

Its effectiveness is the pattern's ability to simulate an emerger that is just breaking through the surface—specifically, part of the emerger remains submerged while the remainder rests on the water's surface.

Moreover, with a quick twitch of the rod tip, the PMC Emerger will break the water's surface tension and begin to sink enticingly slowly, triggering wary trout to strike! Do give this pattern a try when you get the chance!

In this article, you will find both a photo guide and a video showing how to make this lure. Good luck and happy fishing!


  • Size 14 or 16 Streamer Hook
  • White Closed Cell Foam (2mm thick)
  • Dacron Tying Thread 7/0 (Black)
  • Grizzly Hackle
  • Head Cement (or Hard As Nails Clear Polish)


  • Hackle Pliers
  • Whip Finish Tool
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Bobbin

Step-by-Step Guide to Tying the PMC Emerger

Bending the hook.

Bending the hook.

Step 1: Putting the "Crooked" in PMC

The first step in tying the Plain Mayfly Crooked Emerger calls for bending the hook as follows:

  1. Secure the hook on the vise.
  2. Then, using needle-nose pliers, bend the hook as shown above. The forward 1/3 of the hook shank should be bent at 10 to 20 degrees.
Threading the base and body.

Threading the base and body.

Step 2: Thread Base and Midge Body

In this step, you'll build the thread base and then shape a midge body as follows:

  1. Begin wrapping a thread base as you would normally do when tying a fishing fly.
  2. Then, continue wrapping the thread to shape a midge body on to the rear section of the hook shank (the unbent part of the shank).
  3. Once the midge body is shaped, continue wrapping the thread on to the forward section of the hook shank (bent part of the shank).
  4. Stopping just short of the hook eye, secure the thread with a half-hitch, then proceed to Step 3.
Attaching the foam indicator.

Attaching the foam indicator.

Step 3: Form and Attach the Foam Indicator

This step is where the closed-cell foam indicator is formed and attached to the hook. The foam indicator makes the PMC Emerger more visible when fished dry and slows its sink rate when fished wet.

  1. Cut a 1/4" by 1/8" rectangle from the white closed-cell foam.
  2. Cut the corners at an angle on one side of the rectangle to form a point.
  3. Next, attach the foam to the top of the hook shank about a hook-eye's length behind the hook eye using several wraps of tying thread.
  4. Be sure the foam remains on the top of the hook shank, and then secure with several more thread wraps and a half hitch.
  5. Once secure, trim the foam to form a small square shape, then apply a drop of head cement to the thread wraps to include the midge body.
  6. Let the cement dry, then proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: Add the Hackle

Finally, you need to attach the hackle to the hook to give the PMC Emerger its ability to simulate an emerger "just breaking through" the surface! Attach the hackle as follows:

  1. Attach the hackle concave side down at the bend in the hook shank that was formed in Step 1.
  2. Using a Dry Fly Wrap, build the "wings" as noted in the sidebar.
  3. When done, complete the fishing fly with a whip finish, cut the thread, and apply head cement.

When the head cement is dry, you are ready to fish the PMC Emerger!

A completed Plain Mayfly Crooked Emerger (PMC Emerger).

A completed Plain Mayfly Crooked Emerger (PMC Emerger).

Step-by-Step Video Guide

Tips for Using This Lure

When fishing the PMC Emerger, here are a few suggestions!

  • When fishing the PMC Emerger as a dry fly, let the fishing fly sit undisturbed for a 10 count, and then give the rod tip a twitch, and repeat 2–3 times. If no strikes, recast the fishing fly and try again.
  • When fishing the PMC Emerger as a wet fly, fish the same as noted above but use a 5 count instead of a 10 count. After repeating 2–3 times, instead of recasting, retrieve the fly line using short, fast pulls.
  • If a school of trout is actively feeding near the surface, then cast forward of their path and let the PMC Emerger sit on the surface for a 5 count, then twitch the rod tip. Repeat 2 times, and then slowly swing the rod back to make the fishing fly move steadily through the feeding school. Look for the one trout that breaks from the school and starts chasing your fishing fly! Be ready to set the hook when the white foam indicator disappears from view.
  • Use the PMC Emerger when you see trout actively feeding near the surface, especially when trout are either porpoising instead of slurping while feeding. Also, be sure to match the hatch with emphasis on using the right size fishing fly!
The PMC Emerger in action!

The PMC Emerger in action!

© 2017 hbng84


hbng84 (author) on January 02, 2017:

New article posted. Fly tying a simple pattern that is working on stocker trout this season!