Tying the Blue and Green Bottle Dry Flies

By Mike Hogue

An old dry fly in the UK is the blue or green bottle fly. What the specific origin of this fly is I am not really sure. I do not know where, when or who created these flies. (Perhaps some of the international readers, can give me some more details?) I do know that these flies are largely designed to imitate the blue bottle house fly. The logic of creating this fly went something like this...........

I was fishing a mayfly hatch in late May and I was attacked by gaint deer flies. These Dracula-dive bombers did some serious munching! I literally killed hundreds of them. As I smashed the deer flies, the dead ones floated down stream. Some time alter , I saw some trout rise and grab a few of the deer flies. I really didn't give this much thought until sometime later I received a book of fly patterns of Ireland and then it clicked......Yes!, I'll make a fly based on house flies....

When I looked at the original Irish antique flies, I didn't really like the style and design. The original blue bottle seemed very drab and lacked some of the personality and details of flies from the US. Like anything I tie, I guess I have to personalize each fly by making changes, improving on it or adding things which I think makes the fly more attractive. While these flies aren't perfect, I think they show how to create stylized versions of things which aren't really new. By incorporating new materials , you can add new life and improve on old ideas. The "Mike's Bottle" flies are impressionistic styles. They are not exact matches.

Tying The Blue Bottle

Hook: Kamasan B401 size 12

Thread: 6/0 Black

Body: Blue Flash-a-bou

Hackle: Black, palmer wrapped

Wing: Dun CDC over Dun Z-lon

Head: Black Ostrich Herl

Begin by runing a thread base along the hook shank. This keeps materials from slipping and makes the tinsel body seem smoother. Tie in 2 strands of blue flash- a-bou. ( if you don't have blue, you ,might wish to try using white z-lon colored with a blue magic marker). Tie in hackle. Wrap tinsel toward eye, leaving 3 eye lengths open. Tie off.

Wrap hackle in even wraps and tie off. ( Notice that the hackle is roughly the gap of the hook. I undersized the hackle so that it willfloat better.)Clip a small notch out of the top of the hackle. This will allow the wing to sit flat.

Tie in z-lon and clip tag off so that the total length of the wing equals the length of the hook shank. Tie CDC flat on top of the z-lon. Clip tag ends off. Wrap head with ostrich and whip finish.

Tying the Green Bottle......

Hook: Kamasan B401 size 12

Thread: 6/0 Black

Body: Green Flash-a-bou

Hackle: Black, palmer wrapped

Wing: Dun CDC over Dun Z-lon

Head: Peacock Herl

The green bottle is pretty much the same. Just use green tinsel for the body and peacock herl for the head. If you don't have green flash-a-bou , try getting a mixed pack of flash-a- bou or a mix pack of refrax. The tiny metallic strands in either of these work fine as will other stuff like Fire Fly and Angel Hair. You can color antron or z-lon yarn and use this for the body also......

The green bottle could also be fished for some caddis dries too.


Email: Mike@eflytyer.com

For more Info Contact:

Mike Hogue / Badger Creek Fly Tying / 622 West Dryden Road, Freeville, NY 13068

Phone: 607-347-4946