In the darkest corner of one of my dry fly boxes lies a blue winged olive pattern that catches lots of fish, and is pretty darn ugly. Well, ugly might be a bit harsh but it certainly lacks some of the pretty characteristics of say…Catskill patterns. A quill-bodied, beautifully hackled, split-winged pattern…..nope. This pattern reminds me of what a guide once said to me: "…..most flies are designed to catch fisherman"…
One look into his fly box would leave you wondering if his flies were ALL badly chewed-up by trout already. They truly looked more like a box of bare hooks than a box of flies. Almost half of them were only two-material patterns, many looked like thread alone. This nagged at me. Enough fish took my hackled patterns….they must like something about them. Then it happened. During a great BWO hatch, I began to get refusals on my hackled little BWO patterns. I studied them, as I’m sure countless anglers have, and captured a few samples. They were smaller, lighter in color and lower-riding than my patterns. Olive dry fly dubbing turned a very dark color when wet, and sat above the water~not in it. Back to the vise. Using synthetic-colored dubbing kept the color true, the CDC looked awful on the vise~but very real on the water and it was VERY quick to tie. I cranked-out a bunch and went back to that spot the next night. Problem solved.
I still prefer to tie on a CDC biot comparadun, but confess it probably has more to do more with my aesthetic sensibilities than anything else. When trout won’t take it though, I secretly tie one of these…..
NOTE:This design is pretty easy to tie in smaller sizes. I like the tails to be long and "flared" to a sort of fan shape. It helps to keep the fly
upright in the water when it lands.
Tying The Blue Winged Olive Fly Pattern
Hook:Tiemco 101 Size#18-#22
Tail:Med.dun spade hackle (microfibbetts would work well too)
Body:Pale olive/gray synthetic
Wing:Pale gray CDC
Start thread and wind back to the bend. Tie in approx. 8 hackle fibers and trim the butts.
Dub the body forward, stopping where shown.
Align the tips of approx. 6 CDC feathers (the "trash" feathers are fine) and tie in as shown. Trim the butts and makes several wraps of thread to secure and smooth the tie-in point.
Make a few wraps of dubbing in front of the wing to complete the fly, tie-off.
vise by: www.peakfishing.com