Published Feb 19. 2004 - 18 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 8. 2020

Waterhen Bloa

All trout anglers should tie one

Over the weekend, I tied up a couple dozen soft hackled flies. I love 'em, and fish them quite often. I'll probably tie another batch or two before the season opens. I don't lose 'em very often, but it's nice to open a box and see a bunch of them waiting to be tied on. They are easy ties, and whipping up two dozen takes hardly an hour.

This batch included some Waterhen Bloa's. It's a simple fly, as most soft hackles are, but the tying techniques are a little different that usual. The hackle and thread body are classic "spider" style, but the body is dubbed with mole dubbing such that the thread will show through. To achieve this look, that challenge is to avoid using too much material. The thread should be barely dusted with dubbing. It was fun to see how *little* dubbing I could use, but still get a nice looking body on the fly.

I gotta say - these look deadly. A couple centuries old and still as killing as they were back when.

I also dug out my stash of Mustad 3906 hooks. I haven't used one of these in years, favoring instead the chemically sharpened Japanese made hooks. I have to admit, though, the bright brassiness of the Japanese hooks is a turn off. The rich bronze tone of the Mustad was perfect, and the size and shape seemed to fit nicely with the flies I tied. The silk thread on spiders is supposed to darken when wet, so the dark bronze Mustad is more appropriate of a hook in my mind.

Maybe I'll post a step-by-step of some of these fellas. Folks should have some of these in their box.


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