Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Brown Hackle Bee

Tied & photographed by ARB

My favorite fly -- when in doubt, fish the BHB. This is a simplified (i.e. wingless) cousin of the McGinty, Western Bee, or Hari Kari Bucktail, developed a few years ago during a bad yellowjacket season. The fly works well wet or dry, in rivers or in lakes. The fish seem to take it for a yellowjacket, stonefly nymph, or dragonfly nymph, depending on where & how it is fished.

hook: #10-14 TMC 3761 or equivalent wet fly hook
thread: black or dark brown
tail: claret hackle fibers; substitute red-colored Golden Pheasant fibers (from body feathers)
body: black angora or similar dubbing, ribbed with dark gold floss (Pearsall's #156 Stout)
hackle: brown hen or soft rooster, palmered through front 1/3 of body. Counterwind a lightly dubbed thread through the hackle before finishing the head; this improves durability & provides a full, buggy silhouette.

The McKenzie River trout finally chewed through the silk rib of this BHB, but the fly is otherwise intact. (photo by ARB, September 2008)

image of Brown Hackle Bee

The Brown Hackle Bee was featured in Gene Trump's "Fly Wrap-Up" column in Flyfishing, November/December, 1997 (Portland, OR: Frank Amato). Tied & photographed by Gene Trump, reprinted by permission

A BHB Testimonial From Maine
Thu, 28 Jun 2001 09:14:31 -0700
From: "Werner J. Rothbacher"
Subject: Re: oregon flies (was:Fishing guy's address)
To: "Andrew R. Bonamici"
Organization: Bowdoin College

Thanks for your message and yes my son and I had good luck with your Brown Hackle Bee in one stream up in the woods of Maine, we had a bite
in almost every pool and we had great fishing for two days, but there were lots of biting flies too. Nothing like the fishing in Oregon.

A BHB Testimonial From Eastern Oregon [Blitzen River]
August 11, 2003
Andrew --
Thanks again for the flies.... I used your bee imitation with great success. I caught at least two dozen fish on them before breaking them off (poor tippet). They held up beautifully....
Best regards,


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