Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Light Snipe and Yellow

This variant uses embroidery thread in place of buttonhole twist.



Extra small gold wire

Embroidery thread - DMC 726 light topaz or, better still, silk buttonhole twist – Coats and Clark’s 72-A baby yellow, size D

Snipe from the undercovert feathers or lesser covert feathers

James Leisenring included the light snipe and yellow in the book jointly published with Vernon Hidy, The Art of Tying the Wet Fly and Fishing the Flymph (1941)

Or, better still:
This light snipe and yellow is dressed with silk buttonhole twist.

Sylvester Nemes reprints the patterns that T. E. Pritt lists in his North Country Flies (1886). No. 29, the Snipe Bloa, is an almost exact recipe for Leisenring’s Light Snipe and Yellow, except for Leiserning’s addition of a wire rib.
“Wings.—Hackled with a feather from the inside of a Jack Snipe’s wing.
Body: Straw-coloured silk.”

Pritt notes that no. 30, the Snipe Bloa is a good an almost identical dressing: "It is a splendid killer, and many anglers fish if more or less year round. It is Theakston's Bloa brown and is probably to be identified with the Light bloa of Jackson."

In his List of Natural Flies (1853), Michael Theakston describes this imitation of the 32nd fly he lists, the Blo Brown: “Snipe blo feather from under the wing; yellow or orange silk, with a few fibers of ambry-brown mohair at the breast.” In his posthumous work, The Practical Fly-Fisher (1854), John Jackson described tying his Light Bloa (No. 49) with

“Wings.—Inside of Snipe’s wing feather.
Body.—Light drab silk
Legs and Tail.—Grizzled Hackle.”

The silk buttonhole twist on this soft hackle comes from The FiniRibbon, an online shop at Etsy. 


  1. This fly works well as a sulphur pattern, especially in small sizes....your pattern looks great.

    1. Thanks much! I was using a size 14 a couple of weeks ago as a yellow stonefly to get the attention of some trout in the Smokies. The sparse hatch was larger and darker than the Yellow Sally, and with a distinctly smokier, dun-colored wing. The fly was a nice match. I look forward to casting it with the Sulphurs.