Pat Torrey’s Tiny BWO Soft Hackle

I recently received an email about this fly, couldn’t find the recipe on this site, and thought I should remedy that. I featured Pat Torrey’s Tiny Blue Winged Olive soft-hackle in an old American Angler article called “Match Game: Matching the Hatch with Wet Flies.” You can read it here.  This is a wet fly I like to fish as a dry, dusted with Frog’s Fanny, although it works subsurface as well. I first saw Pat’s fly on the UpCountry website many years ago, and it’s been a staple in my fly box ever since. (Hint: by changing the tail, body, and hackle color, the intrepid tyer can create a fine midge, Trico, or Needhami imitation.)


Hook: 1x fine curved emerger, size 20-26
Thread/Body: 8/0 dark brown
Tail: Brown or tan Antron
Rib: Fine copper wire
Hackle: Webby blue-grey dun hen

7 comments on “Pat Torrey’s Tiny BWO Soft Hackle

  1. Peter Varkala says:

    Don’t intend to hijack this post, but cool story is I bought a handful of these several years ago in the early fall at Upcountry. A week later I was fishing a local stream in Westchester County NY and saw similar bugs coming off the water but different size and color. This was THE fly I used as a model to tie my own interpretation of what I saw hatching. Went to the same spot the following week and saw the same bugs hatching in a few moments of sunlight hitting the water. Took a cast and caught my first fish on a fly that I had tied. Total game changer, and this was the pattern I used. Pretty much went to tying all my own flies after that. Easy tie and definitely effective. I’ve mostly fished as a dry too. Thanks for posting.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Good stuff, Peter. Not a hijack at all. If you haven’t already, check out Syl Nemes’ “Soft-Hackled Fly and Tiny Soft Hackles.” Lots of interest little beasties in there.

  2. Gios says:

    Why is it that the only place we hear about “Antron” now is fly tying? Are we stuck in 1971? Haha, (Seriously though: why Antron? I see it all over the place.)

  3. […] Get a Wiggly, Chernoble ant, hopper, cricket, big Isonychia dry — and drop a small (16-22) soft-hackle or nymph off the hook bend or on a dropper tag. This is a great searching method and a very […]

  4. […] tiny BWO dry fly arsenal includes, from left, comparadun, comparadun with Z-lon shuck, parachute, Pat Torrey’s Tiny BWO soft hackle, and foam wing. The trout sometimes favor one of these over another, and the only way […]

  5. […] one of my favorite tiny soft hackles, Smut Number 1, I use a Whiting cape for hackle; likewise with Pat Torrey’s Tiny BWO Soft Hackle.) That’s a huge range of sizes, and those tyers who value both extremes will be in hackle […]

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