Simple BWO Emerger – by Petr Holecek

featured, Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on September 9, 2016 3:20 pm

There are many similar emerger patterns. This fly is one of my favorites, because it is easy to tie. And it is efficient throughout the whole season.


I use it usually for fast flowing stretches of small mountain rivers. Emergers are in those streams often a better choice than using standart dry flies. The reason is that – especially for BWO´s, in the fast-flowing waters mayfly emergers often need much more time for drifting and finishing transposition from nymph to dun. The pattern does not have to imitate only small olive mayflies. In different sizes and suitable color combinations it may also present midges or caddis flies.


Hook: Gammarus (for example Tiemco 2457 ), size 14 – 18
Thread: Orange elastic thread 10/0
Body: Hare Ear Ice dubbing
Rib: Gold tinsel
Thorax: Natural CdC dubbing
Wings: Natural or grey CdC

Place the hook in a vise and attach binding thread.


Tie gold tinsel.
(Pearl and silver color are also successful.)


Tie the fly’s body. Do not try to put on too much hair. The body should be thin. Whisk or chuck is not used for this pattern. It does not seem to me that the fly could be made more effective. I believe in simplicity and impressionistic patterns. Leave some space for thorax and wings at the head of the fly.


Rib the body. Fix tinsel with the thread.


Emerger wings are from the CdC. Prepare 2 alike feathers, and attach them with inner side together. Then pull back CdC fibres with your fingers.


Attach CdC feathers upright to the hook. Fix it with 3 turns of the thread and adjust correct length of wings with careful pulling feathers to eye direction. The wings are slightly shorter than at dry flies. Do not trim CdC with scissors, then it looks unnaturally. If you have to shorten it, rip off the unnecessary fibers carefully with your fingers. The fly should have a soft and not sharp-edged silhouette. Finish attaching wings with thread and carefully remove the remaining material at the eye of the hook.


Prepare CdC dubbing. Strip barbes from CdC stem and dub it on the thread. Make several wraps behind the wings and then at the eye of the hook. Create the thorax 2-3x stronger than the body. Remove excessive dubbing from fly silhouettes. The pattern must have a distinctive thorax and a head from the CDC.


Form the head and whip finish the fly. With a dubbing needle pick out the thorax fibers to form the legs.


I fish with emergers like I would with a dry fly. The emerger is concurrently suspended in the surface and it moves freely in the dead drift. For this type of fishing the biggest problem is a fly visibility. The floating indicator, tapering leader and constant contact with the fly are absolutely crucial. I respond immediately with strike to any pulling or stopping of the line. Personally, I like to fish on small rivers with a glass rod (7.4 feet long and 4 AFTMA). It allows me thanks to its short length and parabolic action to present the fly precisely and softly between the bushes and trees. Also, I can use very light tippet and I have perfect contact with the fly with the glass rod. Glass rods are really a perfect choice for small streams.

Place some emergers in your dry fly box. And if you see active fish but they refuse your dry fly, then surely it is the time for emergers.


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