Easy Water Boatman Fly Pattern

Stillwater Bug

A chunky Water Boatman eater.
If you've got Water Boatmen zipping around the weeds in your local stillwater, this is a pattern to throw in your box. Or if you're like a lot of fly fishers out there and haven't really tried targeting fish feeding on these little buggers, you're in for a treat.

There are a couple of lakes we fish quite a bit and they're both loaded with Water Boatman. While the fish aren't always keying on them, I've found this pattern to almost always produce a few fish.

One key to tying Boatmen would be to match the size and color to your local waters. I use Black Thin skin on this pattern but you'll see them come in a variety of colors, so just match the Thin Skin as closely as you can to the naturals.

As for fishing it, you'll need to find where fish are feeding and select the proper line type for the depth and conditions. I usually use a midge tip, intermediate or even type III full sink if I need to get deeper. I also like to vary the retrieve from smoother hand strips to more erratic line wiggles and quicker jerks in order to imitate the bugs' unique motion in the water.

Water Boatman

And finally, the pattern itself is pretty simple to tie. I have a similar pattern I used in the past but tend to go with this beaded version more nowadays.

Material List
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Hook: Fulling Mill 35005 Heavyweight Champ, Barbless - 12
Thread: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier - Black
Bead: Plummeting Tungsten Beads - Fl. Chartreuse - 7/64" (2.8mm)
Body: Hare'e Ice Dub - Hare's Ear
Legs: Midge Flash - Rootbeer
Shellback: Thin Skin - Black
Coating: Loon Fluorescing UV Clear Fly Finish

Other tools from the tutorial:
Loon UV Infiniti Light
Stonfo Comb/Brush Tool