The Dirty White

Published Nov 14th 2008

The light gray and white shades has earned this fly its name

By ,

The Dirty White

Hackling a tube fly with mallard is a great way of finishing it. The long mallard fibers will not only give it a great speckled veil, but also gather the rest of the fly in the water when the fibers sweep along the body and wing of the fly.

The Dirty White uses discrete and light colors combined with a natural light gray mallard front hackle to obtain a subdued but still nice appearance. The combination of yellow, white and light gray makes it a fine fly for bright conditions in clear water.

Danish fly tyer Ken Bonde Larsen has again utilized the winging technique where the wing is tied in in sections separated by flash. Since we want a fly, which is slender and torpedo-shaped there is no hackle between the sections to lift the wing, just a body hackle to add some volume to the rear of the fly.

This fly has a silver metal cone mounted, but you can omit that and tie a plain head or substitute it for a plastic cone or dish where weight is not allowed.

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

TubeHalf inch clear tube with inner tube (FITS)
TailPale yellow Antron
RibOval silver tinsel
TagFlat silver tinsel
BodySilver flash dubbing
Body hackleBadger
Wing flashPale yellow twinkle flash
First wing sectionYellow Arctic fox
Wing flashSilver Angel Hair
Second wing sectionSilver fox - gray tipped
Front hackleMallard, natural
ConeFlat silver dish

Tying instructions
See the pictures below

Step 1 - the tube - A short outer tube with an inner tube glued in place
Step 1 - the tube
Step 2 - the tail - Tie in the tail material in the center and fold it backwards. That will secure the tail from being pulled out
Step 2 - the tail
Step 3 - folded tail - Here the tail is folded back and tied down
Step 3 - folded tail
Step 4 - trim the tail - Taper the tail fibers a bit with the scissors
Step 4 - trim the tail
Step 5 - ribbing - Tie in the ribbing right in front of the tail
Step 5 - ribbing
Step 6 - flat tinsel - Tie in some flat tinsel for the tag
Step 6 - flat tinsel
Step 7 - varnish - Varnish under the tinsel tag. This will make it much more durable
Step 7 - varnish
Step 8 - tag - The finished tag wrapped over the wet varnish
Step 8 - tag
Step 9 - body - Dub the thread sparsely and form a short body
Step 9 - body

Step 10 - tease out body - When the body is done, tease out the fibers with a velcro stick
Step 10 - tease out body
Step 11 - hackle - Prepare a badger hackle to be tied in stem first with the shiny side forward
Step 11 - hackle
Step 12 - wrap the hackle - A salmon fly has five (5) turns of hackle
Step 12 - wrap the hackle
Step 13 - start the rib - Turn the ribbing through the hackle the opposite way to catch it. Avoid mashing down any hackle fibers.
Step 13 - start the rib
Step 14 - watch the hackle - Wiggle the ribbing back and forth to release the hackle fibers
Step 14 - watch the hackle
Step 15 - trim hackle - Remove the tip and the butt of the hackle
Step 15 - trim hackle
Step 16 - wing flash - Add a couple of straws of flash under the wing
Step 16 - wing flash
Step 17 - first wing section - Lay down a small bunch of yellow Arctic fox as the first wing section
Step 17 - first wing section
Step 18 - first wing section - Trim off the butts
Step 18 - first wing section
Step 19 - flash - Add some Angel Hair between the wing sections
Step 19 - flash
Step 20 - fold back - Fold back the flash and tie down
Step 20 - fold back
Step 21 - trim the flash - Trim the flash to a suitable length
Step 21 - trim the flash

Step 22 - second wing section - Prepare a second bunch of Arctic Fox - this one white and a bit longer than the first one
Step 22 - second wing section
Step 23 - tie down - Tie down the wing and make sure it spreads out over the top of the tube
Step 23 - tie down
Step 24 - trim the butts - Trim the secon wing section close to the thread wraps
Step 24 - trim the butts
Step 25 - jungle cock - Prepare two JC feathers
Step 25 - jungle cock
Step 26 - JC tied in - Notice how the fibers are cut not pulled off the feather. This makes it easier to get it to lay flat
Step 26 - JC tied in
Step 27 - symmetry - The trick is to get the second feather to lie symmetrical on the backside of the fly before you tighten the thread
Step 27 - symmetry
Step 28 - front hackle - Prepare a mallard hackle by stroking back the fibers and trimming the tip
Step 28 - front hackle
Step 29 - wrap the hackle - Carefully stroke back the fibers for each turn and make sure the feather doesn\'t twist while being wrapped
Step 29 - wrap the hackle
Step 30 - hackle done - Once the hackle is wrapped, trim the butt
Step 30 - hackle done
Step 31 - cone - Add a bit of glue right in front of the head and slip a cone over the tube
Step 31 - cone
Step 32 - meltdown - Trim the inner tube close to the cone and melt the remaining bit
Step 32 - meltdown
Step 33 - be rough! - Take a trimmed down tooth brush and comb the materials together
Step 33 - be rough!

User comments
From: Lorenzo Swanson · lorenzo_swanson·at·  Link
Submitted September 29th 2009


This site is most interesting with the Dirty White fly pattern shown here. I would like to try this pattern on some of the rivers in Michigan where Trout, Salmon, and Steelhead are plentiful. I have only been fly fishing since March and I am hooked. By any chance do you sell these flies? Are they sold from any particular Web site?

Best Regards,

Lorenzo Swanson
South Holland, Illinois

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