Video: How to Tie a Great CDC Blue-Winged Olive

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.
 12 stiff dun hackle fibers or Microfibetts.
Olive Superfine dubbing.
Hackle: Dun.
Thorax: Olive Superfine dubbing.

22 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie a Great CDC Blue-Winged Olive”

  1. Great fly, and great tyer. Professionally done and very impressive. I’ll try this one on the Deschutes this May.

    1. And unfortunately I missed the Orvis Fly Tying 101 class at the Portland store this month. Haven’t bought the setup yet, but looking forward to a new hobby.

  2. I tie mostly Catskill patterns but I like the BWO and there are good, clear instructions. Perhaps it will produce some action on eastern creeks too. I am looking forward to tying some and using them. Thanks a lot.

  3. This was a very nicely done video. I really liked the way the wing was measured and positions. I can’t wait to try your method of tying in the hackle.

    Thanks So Much


  4. great informative video. Matt patterns are proven fish producers. can someone tell me how I can obtain a copy of Matt’s book ” FLYFISHING NEW JERSEY”

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