I started to use partridge feathers. I like the silhouette at once! When I showed this pattern to a couple of other anglers, they said "PMD spinner wings are not mottled"................ yeah, right.......... But we are anticipating spinner falls in the evening till dark. Running out of lights, trout lose color recognition just like we do. In that case, the number 1 factor of successful fly is silhouette!!
Actually, we typically see PMD spinners from previous evening come back and fall next morning. This pattern has been successfully taken! Need we still debate over mottled or not?
Not just I, but also my clients can testify that!!
PMD size 16 & 18
Then I started experimenting with baetis = Blue Winged Olive. Another approval by trout!
Certainly this can be counted as one of arsenals for Mystery Spinner.
Baetis size 18, 20, & 22
Another great Mayfly Paradise is Yellowstone National Park waters, especially northeast waters = Lamar River, Soda Butte Creek, and Slough Creek. To the west side, Madison and Firehole Rivers also host great numbers of mayflies.
These streams do have good PMD and baetis hatches. Hence above two patterns are great patterns to keep in your boxes.
Northeast streams are famous for "bigger cousins" = Green Drake, Gray Drake, Hecuba, and so on = during summer months. So I expanded sizes while keeping the same silhouette by applying the same materials. These have been approved by Native Cutthroat too!!
Occasionally, for above PMD and baetis versions, I make sparse and thin wings by adjusting the partridge feathers. For Northeast species, I go with big & thick wings so it will float and remain visible on the tumbling surface.
Over all, most anglers/fly tyers regard partridge feathers ONLY for soft-hackles. Certainly barbs tend to absorb more waters compared dry-fly hackle barbs. Yet, tied right and treated right with floatant, as proven, partridge feathers can be great dry-fly wings.
Green Drake size 12 & 14