Sometimes a high-riding dry fly pattern is the key to success; this isn’t one of those flies. Fishing Blue Wing Olive hatches can be frustrating whether it’s the size of flies you have to match or some other factor making the fish selective. This pattern was designed to give the fish everything they need in a fly; a trailing shuck, a realistic emerging profile, some sparkle, and if you fish it just right, a cripple imitation. What more could they want? Furthermore, the added options increase the size of the fly slightly so you can use a size larger than you would for a standard dry fly (a bonus to us tiers and anglers with less-than-stellar eyesight).
Begin the thread right behind the eye and wrap back to the half way point of the flat part of the hook shank.
Taking a 1″ length of McFlylon, I’ll divide the strand and set one half aside for the following fly. Double-over the half of length around the hook and secure it to the top of the hook shank. Then, take wraps around it building the post. On smaller flies (size 18 and under) I’ll put one drop of head cement or super glue on the post and then give the post fibers a twist. This was a neat little trick showed in one of Tim Flagler’s videos of Tightline Productions and it works really, really well. Once the post is secure, move on to the body of the fly. To make matters easier, I’ll re-orient the fly in the vice to make sure the shuck sits correctly on the shank.
Starting behind the post, I’ll tie in the trailing shuck. Like we did with the post, I’ll divide the strand in half and use that for another fly. The length of the body is dependent upon the size of fly you’re trying to imitate. Here, I tied the shuck to sit at about a 45 degree angle relative to the eye of the hook. Next, build up a tapered thread body up to the level-section of the hook shank before adjusting the hook’s position in the vice back to the way we had it to begin with.
Using about a dozen individual fibers from McFlylon, Tie it in just behind the post and make wraps to the thickest part of the body. This will serve as the secondary set of wings of the emerger.
Snip the fibers off so the back of the wings sit flush with the bottom part of the hook. What is left is a nice little triangular wing. Take the thread forward to just behind the eye of the hook.
Strip an appropriately sized hackle about 1/4″ and tie it in just behind the hook. For this particular fly, I “up” the size by one or two because I want to ensure proper flotation. The “cupped” portion of the feather should be facing forward in order to orient the hackle correctly. Take wraps to the post and tie the hackle stem in vertically on the post. Then, work down and behind the post with the thread.
Dub the thread with a small amount of your favorite dubbing. The idea is to build a slightly larger abdomen in front and behind the post. Using a sparse amount of dubbing and adding more as you go along is a wise way to go about this segment of the fly. End with the thread BEHIND the post and draped over the front of the fly for the following steps.
Wrap the hackle around the post from the top to bottom and once you come in contact with the thorax of the fly, carefully take your thread and wrap it between the hackle and the body of the fly being careful not to trap fibers as you go along. Two or three wraps here will secure it. Use the tips of your scissors to snip the hackle stem off. Then, whip finish around the base of the post, once again, being careful not to trap any fibers.
What you’re left with is a souped-up Klinkhamer-style fly with all of the options. Next time the trout turn picky in the middle of a BWO hatch, tree one of these. Float it as you would any Klink and if it still doesn’t work, let it sit just below the surface…it’s bound to attract some takers.
The BWO LTZ
Thread: UTC 70 (Olive)
Hook: Daiichi Klinkhamer (Size 20)
Shuck: Montana Fly Company Z-Yarn (Dark Olive)
Body: Thread (UTC 70 – Olive)
Thorax: Dave Whitlock’s SLF (Olive)
Post and Wing: McFlylon (Grey)
Hackle: Hackle Cape (Dark Dun)