Chinese White

Published Nov 5th 2008

A white and yellow tube fly with a Chinese hat on. What else could it be called?


Two White Chinese - the front one with a rubber cone for use in water where metal cones are banned
Tied by Ken Bonde Larsen

This salmon fly is tied in the Scandinavian tradition by Danish fly tier Ken Bonde Larsen. It's tied on a tube, which makes it light and easy to cast, still voluminous and good looking. And tying it on a tube makes it quite easy to get the wing both wide and good looking.

Tubes are a perfect foundation for hair wing flies, and making the with look good on a tube is mainly a question of tying it in in sections and making sure that it spreads over the upper half of the tube - in a controlled manner of course.

Many Scandinavian tube flies are tied with cone heads. This both finishes the fly in a harmonic and easy way, and at the same time adds a bit of weight, which can be crucial to the seducing movement of the fly. The metal cones are banned in some water - referred to as "weighted flies" - and for use in such water you will have to tie the fly with a traditional head or use the rubber or plastic cones, which are available. The "Chinese hat" cones seen here will spread the water over the wing and add turbulence, which again will make the wing move more.

This fly may seem bright, but in clear, greenish waters it will blend in, and not apprear nearly as luminescent as it looks on these pictures shot against a dark background.

The materials

The Chinese White
TypeTube fly
Ken Bonde Larsen
Year of origin
Target species
Atlantic salmon (sea run)
Steelhead (sea run)

Tube1 inch green plastic with inner tube (FITS-system)
TailYellow Antron
TagBright chartreuse Antron
RibMedium silver
BodyWhite pearlescent Angel Hair
Body hackleOne badger and one chartreuse
FlashYellow Twinkle
WingWhite Arctic fox - two sections separated by a little Angel Hair
Front hackleYellow ostrich
ConeFlat metal or rubber cone - chartreuse

Tying instructions
See picture series below

Step 1 - the tube - As you can see the tube consists of two parts: a thin inner tube and a thicker outer part. These are glued together.
Step 1 - the tube
Step 2 - the tail - Tie in the tail material. It folds back to create the finished tail
Step 2 - the tail
Step 3 - folded tail - Fold the tail back and tie it down
Step 3 - folded tail
Step 4 - trim the tail - By holding the scissors at an angle you get a tapered tail
Step 4 - trim the tail
Step 5 - rib and butt material - Tie in the ribbing material followed by the butt material
Step 5 - rib and butt material
Step 6 - the butt - Leave the ribbing and wind the butt forwards to cover half of the thick tube. Trim the surplus.
Step 6 - the butt
Step 7 - the dubbing - Apply dubbing sparsely to the thread
Step 7 - the dubbing
Step 8 - form the body - Cover the front half of the thick tube with several layers of thin dubbing
Step 8 - form the body
Step 9 - the body - The finished body, ready to be fuzzed
Step 9 - the body

Step 10 - velcro - Use a small brush or velcro strip to mess the body material
Step 10 - velcro
Step 11 - body ready - The body is now fuzzy and voluminous
Step 11 - body ready
Step 12 - hackle feathers - Strip one side of each hackle feather as shown
Step 12 - hackle feathers
Step 13 - prepare the hackle - By cutting the hackle as shown, it will stay put even when pulled hard
Step 13 - prepare the hackle
Steo 14 - wind the hackle - Wind the hackle counter clockwise - 5 turns, no more no less
Steo 14 - wind the hackle
Step 15 - ribbing - Rib the fly clockwise to catch the hackle
Step 15 - ribbing

Step 16 - flash - A couple of straws of flash add some sparkle under the wing
Step 16 - flash
Step 17 - wing preparation - Remove the underfur from a small bunch of white Arctic fox
Step 17 - wing preparation
Step 18 - first wing section - Place the first wing section right in front of the hackle. Notice how it\'s spread out to get volume
Step 18 - first wing section
Step 19 - wing shape - After securing the first wing section with a couple of wraps, make sure it\'s evenly spread, but still under control. Then tie it down firmly
Step 19 - wing shape
Step 20 - flash - Trim the butts of the first wing section and add some Angel Hair between the sections
Step 20 - flash
Step 21 - trim - Trim the flash to the length of the wing
Step 21 - trim
Step 22 - second wing section - Remove the underfur for a second section and measure for lenght. It should be slightly longer than the first section
Step 22 - second wing section
Step 23 - pinching - Here you see how the wing material is pinched to form the wing
Step 23 - pinching
Step 24 - ostrich hackle - The tip of an even ostrich feather is used for the hackle
Step 24 - ostrich hackle
Step 25 - hackling - Wind the hackle 2-3 times to form a nice collar
Step 25 - hackling
Step 26 - finishing the hackle - Trim the feather, secure it with thread and varnish. Notice that the hackle ends in the thin inner tube
Step 26 - finishing the hackle
Step 27 - cut inner tube - By cutting the inner tube at an angle it becomes easier ti slide the rubber or metal cone over it
Step 27 - cut inner tube
Step 28 - ready for the cone - The fly is finished and ready to be coned
Step 28 - ready for the cone
Step 29 - cone - Slip the cone over the thin tube, superglue the head of the fly and press the cone in place
Step 29 - cone
Step 30 - cone - Hold the cone firmly in place until the glue sets
Step 30 - cone

Step 31 - cone in place - Once the cone is set you are ready to trim the tube
Step 31 - cone in place
Step 32 - cut - Cut the tube with a knife to keep from squeezing it. This will keep the hole open when you melt it
Step 32 - cut
Step 33 - leave a bit - Make sure you leave enough inner tube in front of the cone to melt a collar
Step 33 - leave a bit
Step 34 - melt - Melt the thin tube with a lighter. It will curl back and lock the cone
Step 34 - melt

The finished White Chinese - here with a metal cone

User comments
From: Peter Cook · petertc2·at·  Link
Submitted November 7th 2008

I love your tying articles and sequencing the links in your enlarged photo steps is a great technique and very helpful. Thank you!
I've searched the internet for the rubber "turbo-style" cones without success. Can you suggest a source for them?

GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted November 5th 2008


True enough that Norling and Frödin are the fathers of this style, but honestly - Sweden or Scandinavia... to us (to you) it might be a big deal, but to the rest of the world we're just a bunch of countries in the northern end of Europe.

We at GFF usually refer to Scandinavia as a whole, Scandinavian coastal fishing (actually Danish), Scandinavian tube flies (actually Swedish), Scandinavian two hand casting (actually Swedish). We're an international site, and we don't care much about these borders, hope you don't mind.


From: Magnus the Swede · plisskus·at·  Link
Submitted November 5th 2008

Calling this style of pattern "Scandinavian" its like calling the seatrout fly Magnus "Scandinavian" and not Danish. This style was originated from Sweden, Håkan Norling and Mikael Frödin. It should be called the "Swedish" style.

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