Learn how to tie the Blue Wing Olive dry fly pattern including step-by-step instructions, a video tutorial, pictures, and much more. Improve your fly tying skills here.

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The Blue Wing Olive is one of the most iconic mayflies in North American trout streams. Due to their small size, they can produce up to three generations each year. They make excellent dry-fly insects because they hatch in large numbers, and the duns ride the water for a long time before taking flight. Follow along as Levi shows the step-by-step directions needed to tie this effective pattern.


Step One:

Start the pattern by tying the thread around the hook's center, then wrap it to the bend. Next, rewind the thread to the thorax area.

Step Two:

For the wings, hen feathers are going to help shape the pattern's iconic up-wing profile. When picking the feathers, make sure to choose two that are roughly the length of the hook's shank. Remove excess fibers, place the first feather on the center of the shank, and tie it on. Make a few supporting wraps in front of the feather; this helps position the feather upwards. Clip off the excess material facing the shank's bend, then tie on the second feather.

Step Three:

After completing the wing section, rewind the thread towards the hook's bend. Next, pick out a half-dozen strands of the mayfly tail's fiber. Make sure they are roughly the size of the shank and tie them on with a pinch-wrap. Wrap the thread up to the wings, clip the outward-facing material off, then rewind the thread to the front of the tail section.

Step Four:

Dubbing is going to add depth to the fly's body, as well as help act as a floating agent. Take a small puff of the Super Fine Dry Fly Dubbing and gently work into the thread. Remember, less is more when working with dubbing. Wrap the thread forward with neat wraps that lay in front of each other. As you get closer to the thorax, go ahead and make the wraps slightly tighter, stopping right before the wings.

Step Five:

For the final section, strip off the saddle hackle's excess fibers and tie it on below the wing. Next, apply another small pinch of dubbing and add a few wraps around the thorax. Pull the hackle parallel with the hook shank,  make three wraps behind the wing, then three additional wraps in front of it. Clip off the excess hackle material and complete the pattern by securing a whip finish below the hook's eye.