Published Nov 2. 2008 - 15 years ago
Updated or edited Jan 30. 2021

The Dirty White

We continue our series of tube flies tied in the Scandinavian style. This fly is another subdued yellow, white and gray fly, well suited for bright light and clear water. It uses a mallard hackle to create a nice, closed shape.

The Dirty White - The gray/white shade of the fly has earned it its name
The Dirty White
Martin Joergensen

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.

Three in a row - You can hook the fly with trebles, doubles or single hooks according to taste and rules
Martin Joergensen
The Dirty White
Pattern type: 
Tube fly
Ken Bonde Larsen
Half inch clear tube with inner tube (FITS)
Pale yellow Antron
Oval silver tinsel
Flat silver tinsel
Silver flash dubbing
Body hackle
Wing flash
Silver Angel Hair
First wing section
Yellow Arctic fox
Second wing section
Silver fox - gray tipped
Front hackle
Mallard, natural
Flat silver dish
Skill level/difficulty: 
See the pictures below

Step 1 - the tube

Step 2 - the tail

Step 3 - folded tail

Step 4 - trim the tail

Step 5 - ribbing

Step 6 - flat tinsel

Step 7 - varnish

Step 8 - tag

Step 9 - body

Step 10 - tease out body

Step 11 - hackle

Step 12 - wrap the hackle

Step 13 - start the rib

Step 14 - watch the hackle

Step 15 - trim hackle

Step 16 - wing flash

Step 17 - first wing section

Step 18 - first wing section

Step 19 - flash

Step 20 - fold back

Step 21 - trim the flash

Step 22 - second wing section

Step 23 - tie down

Step 24 - trim the butts

Step 25 - jungle cock

Step 26 - JC tied in

Step 27 - symmetry

Step 28 - front hackle

Step 29 - wrap the hackle

Step 30 - hackle done

Step 31 - cone

Step 32 - meltdown

Step 33 - be rough!


Martin, This site...


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


Log in or register to pre-fill name on comments, add videos, user pictures and more.
Read more about why you should register.

Since you got this far …

The GFF money box

… I have a small favor to ask.

Long story short

Support the Global FlyFisher through several different channels, including PayPal.

Long story longer

The Global FlyFisher has been online since the mid-90's and has been free to access for everybody since day one – and will stay free for as long as I run it.
But that doesn't mean that it's free to run.
It costs money to drive a large site like this.

See more details about what you can do to help in this blog post.