Thanks for your e-mail . . . The one question that is bugging me
as a beginner is the definition of the word "Dun." Every time I think I
understand it is used in a completely different context. My original thought
was that dun is a color, but after seeing it used in the context of a
material and as a stage in the life as an insect I am once again hopelessly
Maybe it is all of these things? Leon Stenzel
Thank you for the e-mail question. What is "Dun?" Dun is a color, Dun
is a hackle, and Dun is a stage in an insects life cycle. It all depends on
how the word "Dun" is used and in what context.
FAOL, has a Fly Tying Terms section, that
has excerpts from Keith E. Perrault's, Perrault Standard Dictionary of
Fishing Flies. Here are the
definitions for Dun, listed there!
Dun: Color - usually some shade of gray.
"Sub imago" is the stage when the mayfly, shucks out of it nymph
body, on the surface of the water, and unfolds it's wings. It is at this
stage of its cycle of life, that the Mayfly is said to be a dun color.
Dun: Also the sub imago stage of a Mayfly.
The Mayfly will go thru another transformation once it gets to shore
and rests on a leaf or branch, molts out of its shuck,
into its final stage "Imago" becoming a Spinner Mayfly. In the last
two stages of a mayfly's life, it does not have a mouth. The male
mayflies have larger front legs for holding onto
the females during the mating ritual during the spinner fall in the
evening. Sorry about the extra info, but it helps to understand the cycles.
Dun Hackle: Gray-brown to medium gray, sometimes with a tinge of
So is Dun some shade of gray (grey?) or is it Gray-brown to medium
gray, sometimes with a tinge of blue. I have seen recipies for fly patterns
that call for Dark Dun, how does that differ from light Black? I guess it is
in the eye of the beholder. ~ Parnelli
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the
Bulletin Board, on FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them along.
Someone else thought up most of this material before we did,
they just forgot to tell anyone about it. Or else we just
forgot about it, while learning something else. Let us
share with each other, all the things we know!
~ Steven H.
McGarthwaite (Chat Room AKA Parnelli)