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BWO Hackle Stacker Emerger

BWO Hackle Stacker Emerger

For many anglers, the Blue Wing Olive (also known as BWO) hatch is one of the most prolific and anticipated hatches in the world. Being a staple food source for fish coming out of the cold harsh winter months, or just before this hits they are a staple food source for fish ready to bulk up for recovery or for a long winter. Coupled with the fact that they can be found in rivers and streams all around the world, you have a fly worthy of its prominence in every anglers box.  One of the most effective ways to do this is with emerger patterns, and the Hackle Stacker Emerger is at the top of our list. 

The BWO Hackle Stacker Emerger pattern is a fly designed to imitate the emergence of the Blue Winged Olives. This fly pattern has a unique design that helps it float in a very natural position on the water, and extremely effective due to how it incorporates a few key elements that make it irresistible to a feeding fish.  The BWO Hackle Stacker Emerger is a fly that sits just below the surface of the water, imitating the BWO as it emerges from its nymphal shuck, and a BWO struggling to break free from its nymphal shuck and reach the surface.  This pattern is tied to float in the surface film of the water to mimic the behavior of a mayfly as it struggles to break through its nymphal shuck and reach the surface. 

When to fish BWOs

BWO hatches occur throughout the year, but are primary hatches in both the spring and fall, making them one of the most reliable hatches for trout to feed on. In addition, Blue Winged Olives tend to hatch during overcast and wet weather conditions, making them a great option for anglers to fish during less-than-ideal weather.

History of the Hackle Stacker

The BWO Hackle Stacker Emerger pattern was first developed by the well-known fly tyer and author, Bob Quigley. The design was based on his observation of mayflies as they emerged from the water. Quigley noticed that mayflies tend to emerge with their wings folded over their backs. This observation led to the development of the hackle stacker pattern, which creates a very realistic representation of a mayfly emerging from its nymphal shuck.

Hackle Stacker Tying Tutorial

Materials List

  • Hook: Moonlit Premium Togatta ML102 Barbless Hook sz14-20
  • Thread: Semperfli Classic Waxed 12/0 Olive Dun
  • Tail: Hends Microfibetts Iron Blue
  • Body: Magpie Premium Wild Barred Turkey Biot Olive Dun
  • Wing: Whiting Medium Dun Rooster Saddle
  • Thorax: Semperfli Kapok Dubbing Pale Olive

In conclusion, the BWO Hackle Stacker Emerger pattern is an incredibly effective fly pattern for imitating the emergence of the Blue Winged Olive mayfly. Its unique design and lifelike profile make it an irresistible option for trout during a BWO hatch. It is a must-have in any angler's fly box, especially during the spring and fall when these hatches are most prolific. So next time you head out to the river, make sure you have a few of these flies in your box, and you might be surprised at the results you get!

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Mike Gieringer - July 14, 2023

Beautiful emerger fly — thanks for the great video.

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