The Global FlyFisher
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A versatile Bibio pattern with a foam sheet wing
A while ago I read Steve Schweitzer's article on a great fly of his, the PeeMew Midge. It uses thin, semi-translucent foam for a wing, and when wet the foam becomes even more realistic as a wing. This foam is the type of foam used as packaging material for stereo or computer equipment. It comes in sheets, is white, and about 1 mm thick. The result looks perfect. This fly uses the same type of foam as wing material, so: thank you Steve!
Traditionally, the end of April is Bibio time. Bibios (Hawthorn fly, or Bibio marci) are black flies that can be as big as 15 mm, and their most striking feature is a pair of long, dangling legs. Bibios fly and hover around hawthorn bushes and other vegetation, and are listed as terrestrials. They hatch from underground. Apparently they are clumsy, and awkward fliers. They often fall from streamside bushes and trees, or are blown into the water by the wind. And trout like them.
Lake Oostvoorne, a brackish, windswept lake on the Dutch coast, holds big rainbow trout. The lake is surrounded by bushes, and by the end of April the Bibio's are on the wing. Around that time it's a good idea to go to the upwind shore, and fish a Bibio. Until a few years ago, any black fly would work, but the last few years we noticed that on our lake a damp Bibio outfishes a high floating dry one. Mart's Bibio is the result of some experimenting with foam, hen hackle and black Angel Hair to produce a fly that does not quite float, but does not really sink, either. Here are the materials and the tying steps.
One of the nice things of this Bibio is that it's versatile. Play with it, use lighter of heavier hooks, fish it with or without floatant to the thorax or hackle, wrap a thinner or denser hackle (unlike popular belief, a dense, good quality hen hackle can float a fly), and so on. But make sure you have some Bibios in your flybox by the end of April.