Several imitations have worked for me in the past. However, always keen to adjust a pattern's effectiveness, I have followed the advice of others and made some changes that are here to stay:
The original imitation I used to carry was a simple spent wing of poly-yarn and micro-fibbet or Coq de Leon tails. These have served well and give a nice imprint in the surface. The challenge was identifying the location of the fly, especially as the light faded.
So the next version incorporated a simple pink post (TMC Aero-wing). I tied a batch this year with the Partridge Spider Hook (Size 16) - a really strong hook and one that is becoming a firm favourite for several patterns:
Whilst this pattern has worked this season for me and is an improvement on the original design, I couldn't help being tempted by some versions tied by Matt Eastham and Paul Procter who both fish the Eden regularly - a river which sees decent BWO spinner falls. This newer version employed a bend in the shank to suggest the natural's kinked body. This is a technique I have used for Mayfly spinners, but not for BWO imitations. Their patterns also had a parachute hackle trimmed front and back - far more delicate a profile than the poly wing and much more durable than CDC. Looked like a winner. So off to the vice one evening to tie a few new version - still on the Partridge Spider hook (#16).
|A battle-scarred version of the BWO Para-spinner on the Partridge Spider Hook|
It must be wondered whether the old poly-yarn, straight hooked version may have been ignored at the last minute. Who knows?
|My first fish on the new pattern|
|A solid fish feeding hard on BWO spinners|
Paul also showed a version with synthetic wing. I tied a few of these up too, albeit, without the pink wing post on some. It looks spot on and perfect for those extra fussy fish...
|Raffia wing on the Partridge Spider hook|
Both new versions have a permanent place - thanks to Matt and Paul.
Check out Paul's blog here
and Matt's blog here.