The BWO Sub Emerger

The BWO Sub Emerger

An ace-in-the-hole

  • By: A. K. Best
There seems to be a Blue-Wing Olive hatch on every trout stream in every country around the world. I never leave home without them. One of my ace-in-the-hole patterns when fishing this hatch is what I call the Sub Emerger. It's a fly that imitates the nymph with the beginnings of wings. The beauty of this pattern is that it can be fished subsurface at any depth as well as greased and fished in the surface film.

Hook: Your favorite dryfly hook, sizes 22 through 16
Thread: Danville's olive, 6/0
Tail: Three fibers of dark brown pheasant tail
Rib: Brown 6/0 thread
Body: Light-green dubbing (color of split-pea soup or avocado flesh)
Emerging wing: Small loop of light gray poly yarn. Split the segment to suit the size of the fly.
Wing case: Dark gray goose segment. Width to equal hook gap.
Thorax: Dubbing one shade darker than the body

1) Attach thread at mid shank, wrap to the end of the shank and tie in three tail fibers. Lash to thorax area, clip off butts, attach rib and lash to the beginning of the bend.

2) Tie in the goose segment by its tip with the dull side down.

3) Apply thin and firmly dubbed tapered body and wind into thorax area. Fold the goose segment forward, tie down, reverse wrap rib and tie off in thorax area.

4) Split a segment of poly yarn in half for size 16 flies and into thirds for size 18 and smaller. Stretch the yarn before splitting and liberally rub with dubbing wax to help straighten the fibers.

5) Snip one end to even the fibers and tie in at the rear of the thorax area on top of the goose segment with the remaining strand to the rear.

6) Make a small loop in the poly yarn to the rear, tie down firmly and clip off remainder.

7) Hold goose segment back to expose only the loop tie down, anchor with two or three turns of thread, and dub a fuzzy thorax.

8) Carefully fold the goose segment forward over the thorax, tie off immediately behind the hook eye, clip off the remainder, whip finish and apply a drop of head lacquer to both the head and the goose segment.

Note: On size 16 and 18 flies, I will often tie in a short segment of mottled brown hen back as a beard hackle. I don't think it's necessary on size 20 and smaller. Just tease the dubbing when you've finished the fly.