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Paintbrush BWO Hackle Stacker
Text and photos by Jeremy Barela

I designed this pattern by taking various techniques from a few different flies I've come across during the last year. The wing comes from the unique "paraloop" tying style, where a piece of mono is used to wrap hackle around, similar to a parachute style wing. The second technique I have used on this pattern is the paintbrush fiber abdomen that Rick Takahashi is known for using. With so many colors available, paintbrush fibers make great segmented bodies on various patterns.

You can change the body and tail of this fly to match a specific hatch. I've used hackle, micro-fibets and antron for tailing material. And for the body, I've used paintbrush fibers, dubbing as well as pheasant tail fibers.

Fishing wise, you can use this pattern anywhere there are Blue Wing Olives. It works great when sight casting to rising fish as well as finicky trout.

Materials list

    Hook: Daiichi 1180 #16-20.

    Thread: Olive/Brown UTC 70.

    Tail: Olive antron fibers.

    Abdomen: Olive paintbrush fiber.

    Thorax: BWO superfine dubbing.

    Wing: Dunn hackle tied Hackle Stacker style.

Instructions for Paintbrush BWO Hackle Stacker

    1. Begin thread and wrap back to above barb.

    2. Tie in a sparse tail of olive antron fibers. Wrap thread back towards eye covering antron.

    3. Tie in olive paintbrush fiber near the eye and wrap back to above barb, covering fiber. Then wrap the thread back towards the eye.

    4. Wrap paintbrush fiber in touching turns up to of the shank. Tie off fiber and trim excess.

    5. Then tie in first part of mono behind the eye, then make a loop and tie in other end of mono. I use about a 3-4" piece of mono for the post. Trim tag ends of mono.

    6. Tie in dunn hackle behind eye.

    7. Using hackle pliers, begin wrapping hackle clockwise around the mono loop. This takes practice, but I have found it easier if I hold the mono loop in my left hand and wrap the hackle with my right hand. Wrap hackle 6-8 times around mono loop.

    8. Once you have wrapped hackle, stroke the hackle fibers back, pull the mono loop down towards the eye and tie off using a pinch wrap, making sure not to bind down any hackle fibers. When tying off the mono loop, make sure you pull the mono through your first wrap to get the hackle to stand upright.

    9. Then pull the mono loop back towards hackle post and tie off again for added strength. When tying the mono off, make sure you don't over wrap so you don't have a bulky area. Once tied off, trim mono loop.

    10. Then dub a thorax around the hackle area, creating a ball. The thorax of a hackle stacker is dubbed a little larger than normal. Once you have done this, whip finish fly. Then trim the tail to size, making sure you cut the fibers so they vary in length.

Here are two more tied with the same method, a Pheasant Tail and a BWO in grey. ~ Jeremy


For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.


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