Published May 16. 2009 - 14 years ago
Updated or edited Apr 13. 2018

The White

The White is a stable pattern in originator Rasmus Hansen's coastal sea trout flybox, He uses it as a provocation (read: attractor) or as a shrimp imitation, and prefers it for turbulent water and autumn fishing. The fly is simple, one color only, and one of these universal flies that can catch anything.

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.


The White with eyes



The White
Pattern type: 
Cold saltwater fly
Rasmus Hansen
Saltwater streamer hook, #6-2
White Arctic fox
White pearlescent Angel Hair
White, soft hen or rooster
Tying thread
Skill level/difficulty: 
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


February 2011 Simpl...

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...


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.


Wouldn't it be easie...

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 patt...

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 i...

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 prou...

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...

Rasmus Hansen


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.