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BWO Soft Hackle Emerger

BWO Soft Hackle Emerger

Blue Winged Olive (BWO) soft hackle emergers are some of the most effective patterns for fly fishing during BWO hatches. Here's how we like to set up and fish them, as well as when to use them:


  1. Start by selecting an appropriate soft hackle emerger pattern, and dry fly to match. Choose a size and color that matches the BWOs in your area.

  2. Rig your fly with mono tippet to dry fly to match size of fly, and than run 18-24in of fluorocarbon tippet to match.

  3. Look for rising fish or likely holding spots. Cast your fly upstream and let it drift naturally downstream with the current.

  4. As the fly drifts downstream, use short, gentle twitches of the line to impart movement to the fly. This imitates the natural movement of a BWO and the emerging insect trailing as it rises to the surface.

  5. Keep a close eye on your fly and be ready for a strike at any moment. When you see a fish take your fly, set the hook with a quick, firm motion.

Best Time:

BWO hatches usually occur when water temperatures are cool, typically during the spring and fall. The hatch typically starts in the afternoon and continues into the evening. Look for overcast or rainy days, as these conditions can trigger a BWO hatch.

During the hatch, the fish will be actively feeding on emergers as they rise to the surface. This is the best time to fish BWO soft hackle emergers. Be sure to have a variety of sizes and colors on hand, as the fish can be picky during a hatch.

BWO Soft Hackle Emerger Tying Video


Materials List:

  • Hook: Moonlit Premium Togatta Barbless Hook ML102 Sz14-18
  • Thread: Semperfli Classic Waxed Thread 12/0 Olive Dun
  • Tail: Perdix California Quail Hackle Fibers
  • Body: Semperfli Classic Waxed 12/0 Thread Olive Dun
  • Rib: Grey or Black Alcohol Marker or Sharpie
  • Thorax: SRF Club Dub Seal Sub Dubbing Dark Olive
  • Hackle: Perdix Premium California Valley Quail
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