"A couple of years ago, fishing a pale morning dun emergence on a favorite stretch of northern California's Hat Creek, I was shocked to experience the hyper-selective rainbows refusing my Missing Link. Not just once, but day after day!
This led to time on the stream observing the behavior of the natural emergers the fish were taking, as well as collecting some samples of those same emergers in a small net to look at more closely. Initially I was stumped, not seeing much that would explain the fish's reticence to take my old favorite.
But slowly, after scrutinizing a larger number of takes, a slight pattern difference emerged.
It seemed that the fish had enough naturals to choose from that many were keying in on emergers still attached to their shucks, insects that were truly helpless for several seconds as they drifted on the surface.
Collecting a few in this stage, I noticed the segmentation of the emerging bodies was quite pronounced, and it was easy to imagine that the clinging shuck would wiggle a bit as the insect struggled to free itself.
Not needing to reinvent the wheel, I simply added a two-part soft shuck to my Missing Link, and substituted a quill body in place of the original's thread and Flashabou abdomen.
Those Hat Creek fish never knew what hit 'em! To be fair, I still use the original Missing Link a lot...but when I have a tailwater or spring creek situation where I know I'll need my A-game, the Stealth Link comes out first."
- Signature Tyer Mike Mercer