Blue Winged Olive Soft Hackle

Curtis Fry - March, 2017

Iremember one time fishing on the Firehole river many years ago in Yellowstone National Park. We ran into a phenomenal PMD hatch that saw an old-timer hip-boot wearing guy above us fishing what turned out to be soft hackles. He slayed and we caught only a few fish. I was sold.

Since then, I've always made it a point to have soft hackles across most of my pattern types. I've had great days fishing soft hackles with incredible success during hatches with midges, blue winged olives, green drakes, callibaetis and whatever other winged bug you can think of.

This pattern is a great emerger or even drowned adult. Sylvester Nemes mentions a pheasant and starling in his famous soft hackle book which got me thinking about this one. Plus, it's hard to beat such a good natural combination as pheasant tail fibers and the very soft and supple feathers from a starling.

Although this one represents a Baetis or blue winged olive, you can mix up the colors to match whatever mayfly or bug you'd like. They're easy to tie and fun to fish.

Material List
  • Hook: Fulling Mill 35050 Ultimate Dry Fly Hook, Barbless - 16
  • Thread: 8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge - Olive Dun
  • Body: Nature's Spirit Ringneck Pheasant Center Tails - Olive
  • Hackle: Nature's Spirit Starling Skin
  • Ribbing: UTC Ultra Wire - Olive - Small
  • Thorax: Nature's Spirit Fine Natural Dubbing - Baetis
Materials & Alternate Materials Listed Below
UTC Ultra Wire
UTC Ultra Wire

UTC Ultra Wire - Small

$1.75
8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge
8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge
8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge

8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge

$3.25
Nature's Spirit Ringneck Pheasant Center Tails
Nature's Spirit Ringneck Pheasant Center Tails

Nature's Spirit Ringneck Pheasant Center Tails

$4.99
Nature's Spirit Fine Natural Dubbing
Nature's Spirit Fine Natural Dubbing
Nature's Spirit Fine Natural Dubbing

Nature's Spirit Fine Natural Dubbing

$2.50
Fulling Mill 35050 Ultimate Dry Fly Hook, Barbless
Fulling Mill 35050 Ultimate Dry Fly Hook, Barbless

Fulling Mill 35050 Ultimate Dry Fly Hook, Barbless

$12.95
Nature's Spirit Starling Skin
Nature's Spirit Starling Skin

Nature's Spirit Starling Skin

$9.50