Blue-winged olives are among the first great hatches of the year in many parts of the country, especially on cloudy and raw days. These bugs often have difficulty breaking through the surface tension of the water, so you want a fly pattern that sits low. Flies with CDC wings are a great choice for that very reason. Fish these flies in slow-water sections and eddies, where trout will often slurp up lots of mayflies in an attempt to fatten up after a long winter.
This pattern, demonstrated by author and blogger Matt Grobert, not only uses CDC, but Matt also clips the bottom hackle fibers to keep the fly in the surface film. Like all the fantastic videos from Tightline Productions, this one offers clear, step-by-step instructions for tying the pattern, as well as important tips that will help you when tying other patterns. Here, you’ll learn how to use a dubbing ball to splay the hackle fibers that form the tail, as well as a great way to tie in the front hackle stem securely.
Thorax-Style CDC Blue-Winged Olive
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (here a Dai-Riki #305), size 16-24.
Thread: Olive, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Wing: 2 natural CDC feathers.
Tail support: Olive Superfine dubbing.
Tails: 12 stiff dun hackle fibers or Microfibetts.
Body: Olive Superfine dubbing.
Thorax: Olive Superfine dubbing.