Some time back when i was first entering into the world of a serious dry fly approach for wild Scottish loch trout I stumbled on how effective the traditional Bibio could be in this role when I pitched by flies out onto the flat calm ‘glass’ surface of Loch Veyatie in Sutherland and almost immediately took a fish ‘blind’.
That day I went onto a great day’s sport fishing two Bibio’s but noted how many more fish ‘shied away’ from the high riding fully dressed fly although the offer to hook rate was improved with a little bit creative use of my scissors to trim the bottom of the fly and let it sit flat in the surface.
Back home again and I looked long and hard at the actual fly itself and through a process of elimination along with trial and error I finally arrived at what I call the Bibio Emerger, a pattern that’s stood me in great stead over the years since especially as an emerging buzzer or non-descript terrestrial fly. In fact you could say through the process I simply ‘de-constructed’ the original Bibio, leaving out materials as I went. First to go was the body hackle as I wanted a slim profile pattern preferring the ‘buggyness’ of the brushed out rabbit / hare dubbed body. Next was the omission of the silver wire rib (or silver oval tinsel if you’re going to be really true to the original dressing) as I preferred a tying thread rib with the ‘sparkle’ coming via a pinch of olive Glister I mix through a range of my dubbing materials which simply adds to the appearance without being too flashy. End result was a slim, simple and very effective little fly.
You can also fish it as part of a more ‘traditional team’ as it works well when fished across or through the surface of the waves as well as been ok when fished deeper although I’d suggest you tie these on a Wet Fly Supreme with the heavier hook wire helping the fly to ‘sit’ into or through the surface giving that all important 45 degree angle when it breaks through the wave fish find so irresistible.
However it’s as an out and out static dry that this pattern really stands out and the alteration from the original black hackle to a more eye catching white helps make this fly easier to spot without taking anything away from its fish attracting abilities, in fact I use white (or grizzle) head hackles on a number of my loch dries for this very reason.
‘Gink’ the entire fly when fishing and work as part of a team of two (I feel easier to watch two dries than three) covering rising fish with confidence, sparse and simple the way flies should be with the trimmed hackle keeping it sitting in that easy vulnerable prey window our wild (and stocked) trout love so much. Easy to tie, easy to fish and well worth a place in any Stillwater anglers armoury.
Hook: Partridge Barbless Patriot SLD or SLD2 light wire size 10 – 14 (if you want a barbed fly then Dry Fly Supreme same sizes)
Thread: Uni 6/0 or 8/0 thread in black
Body: Mix of black rabbit/ black hares ear and a pinch of olive Glister front and rear thirds, with scarlet rabbit / hare centre, tied sparse
Rib: Tying thread tag
Hackle: White cock saddle (I prefer a saddle hackle here as it gives a slightly ‘webby’ finish opposed to the sharpness of a neck hackle meaning it’s a little more versatile when fished on a figure of eight or pulled retrieve.
Head: Varnish of choice
Step 1 Catch in thread and wind down in line with middle of hook point (where barb would be), remember to leave a long tag to act as rib.
Step 2 Form dubbing 'rope' black rear and front third, scarlet centre.
Step 3 Wind on dubbing to form body.
Step 4 Pick out with velcro to get rough 'buggy' body.
Step 5 'Flatten' thread tag with fingers being careful not to split and rib fly in even turns.
Step 6 Select hackle with length to be roughly from head to just short of body length.
Step 7 Prep hackle by running fingers lightly down and making them 'square' to stem, then catch in by hackle tip and wind two turns to form hackle.
Step 8 Catch in hackle and tie off, whip finish head.
Step 9 Turn fly over and trim hackle 'level' below to it sits 'flat' on water surface when fished.
Step 10 Varnish head.