The Hawthorn fly, is not actually a water born insect like many of the insects we bio-mimic in fly fishing, it is a wind-swept terrestrial. Surviving in the surrounding hedgerows, it comes as no surprise that it’s preferred home is the hawthorn bush.
Easily identified by their low hanging, long black legs they are rather cumbersome and lethargic in flight, so stiff breeze usually means the end of the road for these insects as they make contact with the surface of the water, unable to escape. Soon after hitting the water these flies drown, as they just do not have the strength to escape the tension of the surface film, so when fished on a floating line takes can be fast and furious.
My preferred Hawthorn imitation pattern would always be a dryfly and include a foam body such as this, to help with continued floatation throughout the day, take after take.
Best fished: Always fish this pattern with a leader as long as you dare for the ultimate in stealthy presentation. Fish this method static on the surface of the water with a fully degreased leader, introduce the odd twitch to the fly every 30 seconds, to represent the natural counterpart’s last pulses of life.