The Omoe Brush

Published Dec 19th 2008

A Danish sea trout fly meant to imitate a small clamworm

By ,

The Omoe Brush and its originator Ken Bonde Larsen

The Omoe Brush could have been called the Brush from Om Island (Omø in Danish), but Omoe Brush is more like the Danish name. Pronounce the word Omoe as uhm-eh, and you will sound almost Danish.
The name refers to clamworms or ragworms, which are literally called brush worms in Danish, and the fact that the originator Ken Bonde Larsen tied the fly first on the island Om in Denmark.

It's originally meant to be an imitation of a small clamworm like a small Nereis, but can be considered a generic pattern more than an exact imitation of these polychaetes. The color and materials are quite simple. Taking its vantage point in the red body feathers of the Golden Pheasant, the Omoe Brush is a rich, rusty nuance of red, and as such not a complex fly. It's simple to tie, and uses only three materials in its basic form: a bit of flash, rusty brown yarn and the red body feathers.

The fly has since branched out a bit, and Ken ties a smaller variation using red-brown chenille and bead chain eyes. But apart from that he has staid very true to the fly as it was first tied.

I have tied and caught fish on versions using the yellow pheasant feathers in combination with a light tan body rather than the red ones over a dark body. This version of the fly looks much like a yellowish shrimp, but most of my Omoe Brushes have been red like Ken's original.

The alternative hackling method, which is described further down in this article came even later, and is just a way of hackling, which to some tiers are easier than winding the short-stemmed and fragile pheasant feathers.

Front and side

A flounder

Omoe Brush
TypeCold saltwater fly
Ken Bonde Larsen
Year of origin

HookSaltwater streamer hook, #6-2
WeightLead free wire
Tying threadRed
TailA few straws of clear flash and a small red Golden Pheasant body feather
BodyThree sections of rusty brown yarn
HacklesThree red Golden Pheasant body feathers
HeadTying thread

Tying instructions
See how to tie it in this sequence of images.

Step 1 - varnish the hook - If you use a non-stainless hook, give it a layer of varnish or nail polish. That will prolong its life significantly
Step 1 - varnish the hook
Step 2 - add weight - Add a bit of weighted wire to the front of the hook
Step 2 - add weight
Step 3 - start the thread - Start the thread in front, cover the weight and the hook shank with open thread wraps, and end up in the rear of the hook shank
Step 3 - start the thread
Step 4 - add flash - Tie in a few straws of flash in the rear end of the hook
Step 4 - add flash
Step 5 - bend back - Bend back the flash and tie over the doubled part
Step 5 - bend back
Step 6 - tail - Strip most barbs off a Golden Pheasant feather, leaving the straight tip. Tie this in as a flat tail.
Step 6 - tail
Step 7- tail done - Pull the tail to its final position while the thread is still loose and continue the thread over the shaft of the feather
Step 7- tail done
Step 8 - thread base - Cover the shaft of the tail feather with thread all the way to the front of the body, clip the surplus and take the thread back to the rear of the fly
Step 8 - thread base
Step 9 - yarn - Tie in the yarn right in front of the tail and start winding it forward in tight, even turns
Step 9 - yarn

Step 10 - first body section - Wind the yarn to one fourth of the shank length, tie down and trim
Step 10 - first body section
Step 11 - prepare hackle - Strip the fluffy part off a red Golden Pheasant feather, grab the tip and stroke back the remaining barbs
Step 11 - prepare hackle
Step 12 - tie in - Trim the tip, leaving a small triangle to tie in and tie in this triangle so that the feather points rearwards, shiny side out
Step 12 - tie in
Step 13 - turn hackle - Wind the hackle carefully, stroking back the barbs. Take care not to pull too much. The tied in tip is very fragile
Step 13 - turn hackle
Step 14 - finish first hackle - When all the barbs are on the hook shank, grab the stem with the thread, tie it down and trim
Step 14 - finish first hackle
Step 15 - second body section - Start a second body section. Tie in the yarn and work it forward yet another fourth of the shank length
Step 15 - second body section
Step 16 - second section done - Tie down the yarn and trim the surplus
Step 16 - second section done
Step 17 - prepare second hackle - Again, stroke back barbs and trim the tip to a triangle
Step 17 - prepare second hackle
Step 18 - hackle - Tie in the hackle and wind it forwards in close, touching turns, again stroking back the barbs
Step 18 - hackle

Step 19 - third section - With the second hackle done, tie in a new piece of yarn, work it forward leaving space for the last hackle and a small head
Step 19 - third section
Step 20 - last section done - The last yarn is on and the fly is ready for the front hackle
Step 20 - last section done
Step 21 - front hackle - The front hackle is prepared, tied in and wound exactly like the two before it
Step 21 - front hackle
Step 22 - finishing front hackle - Like with the previous hackles you need to be careful not to break the tip and make sure you utilize the whole feather, which usually means 2-3 turns
Step 22 - finishing front hackle
Step 32 - whip finish - When the stem is trimmed, whip finish to form a small head and cut the tying thread
Step 32 - whip finish
Step 24 - roughen up - Stroke the fly with a Velcro stick to spread the barbs and tease out the body
Step 24 - roughen up

Last step - varnish

Tiling the hackle
If you struggle with the short and brittle hackle stems of the Golden Pheasant body feathers, you can consider two strategies: treat your Golden Pheasant skin with hair conditioner to soften and strengthen the feathers or use a simple "tiled" hackle technique as shown here:

Smaller version with eyes
The last version of this fly is tied on a smaller hook, has a set of bead chain eyes and has only two body sections and two hackles. This is a typical autumn fly here and can be tied down to a size 10 hook. Select chenille or yarn as well as feathers that suits the size of the final fly, which can be fairly thick bodied.

Step I - prepare - Make a small tying thread cradle for the eyes
Step I - prepare
Step II - secure eyes - Secure the eyes with tight figure-of-eight wraps
Step II - secure eyes
Step III - weight - Add a little weight behind the eyes
Step III - weight
Step IV - flash - Add a bit of flash as first part of the tail
Step IV - flash
Step V - tail - Tie in a small feather as a tail
Step V - tail
Step VI - first body section - Use chenille for the body and make the body in two sections - not three as on the original
Step VI - first body section
Step VII - first hackle - Hackle in front of the first body section
Step VII - first hackle
Step VIII - hackle done - Trim the stem of the hackle when it\'s wrapped
Step VIII - hackle done
Step IX - Second body section - Add a second piece of chenille and turn it to right behind the eyes
Step IX - Second body section
Step X - front hackle - Prepare a hackle feather and tie it in right behind the eyes
Step X - front hackle
Step XI - trim hackle - Wrap the hackle and trim the stem
Step XI - trim hackle
Step XII - whip finish - Cover the eyes with more tying thread and whip finish
Step XII - whip finish

Final step

User comments
From: Niclas - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted November 29th 2012

Must say that this fly is the best !!! I found it at Bornholm 2005 , and have fished it since then. Here at Öland nearly all locals use that fly today! Tight lines! Niclas

From: Pike · pike007·at·  Link
Submitted February 24th 2010

Very similar fly in orange color with spectra flash dubbing body has caught a lot of sea trout especially in the beginning of the season. It has been very popular in group of Czech flyfishers till the pink pig comes :-)

GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted December 31st 2008


Hope you do well with the Omoe Brush. Let me know. Gold Pheasant is actually sometimes available dyed, and if you could get your hands on a blueish version, it might be worth considering for more naturally colored clam worm imitations for your waters.

I fished in Puget a long time ago, but had no luck (or skill), but certainly realized the potential there. With all those rivers and streams with spawning fish, there should be lots of options for fishing in the salt too.


From: kelvin kleinman · kkrvp·at·  Link
Submitted December 30th 2008

Thank you! that is what I thought.
We have the same type of clam worms here (althought ours are a very blue in tint) and have always thought a pattern that looked like a clam or pile worm would be highly productive.
I have tied up a few and am planning on being on the water for our sea run trout this weekend.
Hopefully I will send you a few pictures of some hungry searun cutthroat in next few days.
Happy New Year!

Send me your address and I will send you some highly productive bait fish patterens

Good luck and tight lines... aka get some GRAB!
Love your sight and all the sharing on how to tie these flies!

I Live in USA in western Washington State in Seattle on Puget Sound and I love the thought of hooking a trout or salmon on a fly first tyed in Denmark truely a global experience!

Thanks again

GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted December 29th 2008


Stripping pattern is a very individual matter, which depends on what you are fishing for, where and many other factors. When used for sea trout here in Denmark, most flies are stripped in foot-long medium speed jerks. Nothing I would consider special in any way. The natural worms move in long, undulating movements, which cannot be imitated easily by this fly, but honestly I don't think it matters much. Do as you usually do with most flies where you fish, and I think you will be fine.


From: kelvin kleinman · kkrvp·at·  Link
Submitted December 29th 2008

ok i just how to tie it
how do you fish it
stripped slow or fast?

GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted December 22nd 2008


This fly is a far cry from the GP, and certainly no ripoff. As you can see from any recipe on the GP, the techniques used are clearly different although there might be a superficial similarity between the flies - very superficial if you ask me. We have the pattern for Poul Joergensen's GP online here, and you can clearly see the difference. The GP is supposed to look like a shrimp, has a flat back and distinct "eye spots" in the form of the GP tippet. Yes, both flies use red GP body feathers in sections, but that's not really enough to make them identical. This fly has hackles, the GP has flat feathers.

The Omoe Brush is as original as most flies you can think of. You know as well as I do that there are only few truly "original" fly patterns - at least not if you look at flies from that latest half century. New materials, new colors, new ways of combining things. but very few really new patterns. Even though new flies come out our vices spawned by our imaginations, most of them have seen the light of day before in someone else's vice.

Should this fly owe anything to anyone, it's certainly more likely to be the Swedish Ullsok-style, which again owes to the Irish shrimps, which again owe their legacy to even older salmon flies.

No, Ken's fly is original enough, I promise you, and certainly no copy of a General Practitioner. Still I would be delighted to tip my hat to Drury (and so would Ken, I'm sure), but for different reasons than originating this fly! We both tied and fished the GP, and thanks for that, colonel!


From: Mark Gustavson · mg·at·  Link
Submitted December 22nd 2008

Let's be careful with the term "originator". This fly is another simplification of the the great General Practitioner and other old shrimp flies. The GP is a fly that Ken Abrames has been using and recommending to saltwater fly fishers as a killer clam worm fly for striped bass for a long time. At least tip your hat to Col. Edmund Drury and his GP.

Comment to an image
From: ..M A G POLAND · MAGVIP·at·VP.PL  Link
Submitted January 3rd 2009

Hi..We wish You Happy New Year 2009 ;) p.s. very nice pictures....:)

Comment to an image
From: Jim · jim9449·at·  Link
Submitted August 30th 2011

Very good step by step

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