"Furiously changing flies is a sign of panic and trout fishermen in a state of hysteria seldom catch trout" John Gierach
It seems that the Spring is a good time to pull out the "Classic" flies and give them a try. The Hornberg is one of them.
The story goes that back in the 1920's one Frank Hornberg of Wisconsin developed the all purpose fly - a dry fly/streamer hybrid that he named the Hornberg Special. It could be fished dry, it's prime purpose, and then fished wet like a streamer. It was murder on the water and it's fame quickly spread. As time went on it became more of a sunken fly (sort of) which is how it's presented today.
Half dry fly, half wet fly presents problems because it will never float like a true dry fly OR sink like it should when fished wet. So I tie a wet version and a dry version.
Hook - size 8 to 10 nymph hook
body - mylar
underwing - yellow marabou (the original had yellow hackle tips but marabou absorbs water and sinks the fly)
wing - Mallard breast feathers
Cheek - jungle cock
hackle - soft webby grizzly hackle
Dry Version (the dry in the photo is a bit "busy" for me. Guess I was having a bad fly day!
Use a dry fly hook, back to yellow hackle tips for the underwing and still grizzly for the hackle
TIP - many get frustrated when tying in the mallard wing because the fibers will split and splay out. A tier of Atlantic Salmon flies gave me this trick: apply very light pressure on the first few wraps and then tight pressure on the rest. The feathers will behave themselves.
I've decided to tie up a dozen in both styles and give them a workout this Spring and Summer. I'm thinking of the EB in the evening around mid June.......