Craig Mathews’s Sparkle Dun needs no introduction, as its popularity across the country is well established. As winter begins to turn to spring, hatches of blue-winged olives offer some of the best dry-fly fishing, but you can tie this pattern to match any mayflies.
In this great video from Tightline Productions, Matt Grobert, an author and blogger, shows his technique for creating this useful, yet simple pattern. Note how he handles the deer hair, both as he’s cleaning and stacking it and then when it’s on the hook. That thumbnail trick will save you a lot of hassle.
BWO Improved Sparkle Dun
Hook: 2X-short emerger hook (here, a Dai-Riki #125), size 18.
Thread: Olive, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Wing: Dun-colored deer hair, cleaned and stacked.
Tail/Wing: Midge Gray Straight Zelon.
Abdomen: Tying thread.
Thorax/legs: Dark olive Australian possum dubbing
Head: Tying thread.
Tools: Fine-tooth comb.