BWO Sparkle Dun

  • Hook: #16 1x or 2x Short Emerger
  • Thread: UTC Olive 70 Denier
  • Wing: Dun Deer or Elk Fur (I prefer Elk)
  • Post: White or Dun Antron
  • Body: Tying Thread
  • Shuck: White Antron
  • Thorax: Olive/Brown Dubbing

Investing in the future over here at the winonaflyfactory and I’m not talking about my 401k (although we should all be planning). No, I’m thinking about late March and Early April when the water temps reach 45°F, dreaming of the days when you can sit on the edge of a creek and watch the emergence begin. I’ve had days in the past where I would drive to a specific creek, hike to a specific run, temp the water at the riffle below then sit and wait. I drink coffee, enjoying the peace of those few hours in the morning when the water is warming up and the fish are starting to key in on the nymphs beginning to move around. The first dun that floats past elicits an almost hysterical response. Then comes the waiting and watching for the first few fish to spot them on the surface and the show begins.

This pattern is well known and fished heavily. I’m a fan of it because it’s relatively easy to tie and it just gets the job done. I like the antron for the added visibility and it offers the option to switch up to a different material like “wing n’ flash” which can be a good variant when the fish have seen your fly float past twenty or thirty times prior.

Some tying notes regarding this pattern. 1. I try to go sparse, seems to take me four or five flies before I get the right amount of deer hair figured out and the shuck needs to be sparse in my opinion. 2. The dubbed thorax should be kept to a minimum, again sparse. The body of the fly is nice and thin with the tying thread, don’t mess it up by adding a ball of dubbing when you really only need 2 or 3 passes to get the wing to stand up. 3. Tie it in various shades of Olive/Grey/Brown and #16-20. I’ve seen some really small BWO’s, granted they are typically seen in the fall but if you tie them now you won’t have to later.


  1. I like the new layout of the blog. Looks great. I am curious why the white antron tail and not an olive/brown to represent the natural shuck? Have you had success with it in the past? In reality, it’s such a killer pattern when baetis are going that it doesn’t matter what the color is.

    avatar Jake
    1. Thanks Jake. I guess I like the white because when wet it creates an almost clear appearance on or just below the surface of the water. I guess it’s worked well in the past for me and could be that the white shines or shimmers when light hits it. I have olive shuck patterns but I tend to fish this one more when there are lots of BWOs about, the white for the shuck may act as a kind of attractor. Just my thoughts I guess. Take care

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