Notes: The California Mosquito pattern goes back to sometime within the 1950's. During the '60's and 70's, this pattern was
one of the most popular dry flies within the Sierra Nevada. They even became a popular graying fly within Alaska.
The downwing makes this pattern unique. Mosquitos are known for raising their hind legs in the air when they alight onto the surface film of the water. This brings
their body into close proximity to their wings. The pattern is still a producer, particularly within the high elevation
lakes and meadow streams.
Often, you will find mosquito clusters beneath overhanging branches and next to brushy shorelines. Cast the California Mosquito upstream of the overhangs and let the current bring the fly into the fish zone. It is important that you choose the size of fly that mimics the actual mosquito. If the pattern is larger than the naturals, the trout will ignore the presentation. At times, fish will be keying on subsurface pupa emergers, especially during the evening. If you find that they are not
taking the dry, you can modify this fly into a pupa emerger by trimming the hackle so that the fly lies lower
within the surface film.
The Red Tail Mosquito is an important variation of this fly. The red butt has been an attractor on many flies and
it's properties work particularly well on this pattern. One local variation is the Twin Lakes Special out of
Mammoth Lakes, CA. Note that this fly does not have the downwing but an upright wing similar to catskill
drys. However, the split wing is placed to the rear of the hackle wraps.
Another variation is the Lake Mary Mosquito , also out of Mammoth Lakes, which has no wing but heavily hackled. The body is simply a threaded body coated with a layer of Sally's Hard as Nails.