Published May 16. 2009 - 7 years ago
Updated or edited Nov 17. 2015

The White

A very simple, universal, shrimpy kind of woolly bugger like hackle fly

The white - A generic fly - imitating small light shrimps and fish
Henning Eskol

The White was originally tied by Danish angler Rasmus Hansen. Rasmus earned the nickname "The Fork" in my circle of anglers because he once wrote an article about turning fork handles into lures for spinning.

These days Rasmus is almost exclusively a fly angler, mostly known for his pike fishing and his trips to Lapland in Northern Sweden. But he does often fish the coast for sea trout, and I personally meet him now and again when I roam the Northern coast of the Island I live on.
He also used to write for the same Danish angling magazine that I do, and we have met on many an editorial summit - often memorable because of the good company and the fishing, but of course also for slight dozes of serious editorial work - but that's a whole other story.

Rasmus himself tells the story about The White - or The White One as he calls it - on his home page. The fly stems from 1993 and has since been refined and forked out to other patterns, but the original tie is still a stable pattern in Rasmus' flybox, He uses it as a provocation (read: attractor) or as a shrimp imitation, and prefers it for turbulent water and autumn fishing.

The flies on this page are tied by Ken Bonde Larsen except for the one with eyes, which was done by Kasper Mühbach.

Moonfish


The White with eyes


Massive


Spotted


Martin Joergensen - Kasper Mühlbach - Ken Bonde Larsen
The White
Pattern type: 
Cold saltwater fly
Originator: 
Rasmus Hansen
Materials: 
Hook
Saltwater streamer hook, #6-2
Thread
White
Tail
White Arctic fox
Rib
Monofilament
Body
White pearlescent Angel Hair
Hackle
White, soft hen or rooster
Head
Tying thread
Difficulty: 
Easy
Instruction: 
See pictures below

Step 1 - weight


Step 2 - start the thread


Step 3 - tail


Step 4 - tie down tail


Step 5 - secure tail


Step 6 - finished tail


Step 7 - tie in rib


Step 8 - cover rib


Step 9 - dubbing


Step 10 - finish dubbing


Step 11 - prepare hackle


Step 12 - tie in the hackle


Step 13 - wind the hackle


Step 14 - tease out hackle


Step 15 - start ribbing


Step 16 - finish ribbing


Step 17 - tie down rib


Step 18 - trim rib


Step 19 - whip finish


Step 20 - trim thread


Step 21 - varnish


Martin Joergensen

Comments

February 2011
Simplicity is the second most appealing thing about this fly. The first is obvious: it should appeal to virtually any species. It's thrifty, too, a great use for hackle feathers that don't match each other as wings and tails.

Martin Joergensen's picture

Witz,

It would be easier, yes, but t would also remove the function of the rib, which is to secure the hackle and keep it from breaking. And should it break (to fish' teeth), the rib will keep it in place for a while.

Martin

Wouldn't it be easier/simpler to tie in the mono ribbing before palmering the hackle, rather than afterward? If I'm wrong, why?

I saw a similar pattern in a book about Irish sea trout fishing back in the seventies. the first year or two i tied in the tail and body, however just winding a hackle tied by the butt forward to the eye (over the thread base) gives the same profile. i've tried several colors, my favorite is a dark dun, though white and black work well also. i tie them on #12 dry fly hooks. if i was restricted to a single pattern this would be it. the pattern has taken just about every species of fish i've run into. without weight it fishes dry or wet. it really is an amazing pattern.

You could tie this in different sizes to suit the location and the shy fish refusing a larger version. Just go down a size a size and see what happens. Start with Say a size 12 or 10 to start with. I am in Ireland. It would be great lake fly to fish for Brown Trout as it has a bushy appearance like the Irish Lake flies. I would fish it on a sunk leader or tippet.and retrieve it slow and steady.

Hey Martin
I'm proud to see that you have taken my simple but effective pattern "The White" into your collection of seatrout patterns. It really is an effective fly, and I still use it as my "first choice". Lots of flyfishers has been really sceptical to this pattern, I think mainly because it is so simple and easy to tie. For rough conditions I put a lot of weight under the dubbing. A "turbo" version with some flash (for example som flashabou tube) tied as a collar works fine too. The strange thing is that the fly often works best in larger sizes and taken in very slowly. On the right day it's a real Killer, I've often experienced loads of takes when other flies didn't produce anything, stangely enough...

Thanks
Rasmus Hansen


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