Monday, 2 May 2011

Bullet-head Emergers

The depressing low water level on the rivers has kept me at the fly tying bench on bank holiday Monday.  I decided to tie several emergers for the lake box - picked up Schollmeyer and Lesson's excellent book, 'Tying Emergers'. What compelled me into action was a last section of the book which detailed a style of emergers -'bullet-head emergers'. Quoting from their book, "these are emergers that are characterised by a material mounted at the hook eye that is drawn rearward and secured at front of the abdomen to make a large almost bubble-like head and thorax" (Schollmeyer and Lesson, 2004: p.326). The authors explain that the bullet-like head gives density and bulk to the front of the fly which reproduces the visual impression of the hatching natural. As deer-hair and foam materials are the typical material for the 'bullet head' this provides the buoyancy required. You can, however, add multiple wings such as CDC or krstalflash with the deerhair.  I have seen bullet-head style dry caddis and stonefly patterns - mostly orginating from the US although they appear to be less employed for emerger patterns.These are very quick to tie emergers and may make a nice change to your usual patterns. A step-to-step guide to tie the pattern - from the book:

Here are a few examples below of today's tying session.

Black Buzzer Emerger 1 BH
Hook: Kamason B100
Body: Black seals fur
Rib: Grey flexi-floss
Cheeks: Orange goose boits
Wing/head: black deer hair
Thorax: Black seals fur

Black Buzzer Emerger 2 BH
Shuck: Pearl krsytalflash
Body: black seals fur
Rib: one stramd of pearl kyrstal flash
Wing/head: black deer hair
Thorax: Black seals fur (well teased out)

Shipmans Buzzer BH
Shuck: white antron or floss
Body: Brown seals fur
Rib: pearl
Wing/head: Deer hair
Thorax: brown seals fur

Hatching Olive Midge BH
Hook: Kamason B100
Shuck: pearl krystalflash
Body: olive nymph skin
Wing/head: Dun deer hair
Thorax: fine olive fur
Hackle: Grizzle cock dyed olive

General olive nymph (BH)
Tail: A few fibres of coq d'lon
Body: olive turkey boit
Wing/head: deer hair
Thorax: olive possum fur or any fine olive dubbing 


  1. Really some fine looking patterns! Hope you don't mind, but I've added you to my suggested reading list.

  2. Thanks a lot, Midge Man. Not at all. I will add you to my blog page if you don't mine. Martin

  3. Wow! I really like the Black Buzzer...looks like an attention getter! Brilliant. I'll have to give it a go. Glad I found your blog...Cheers!

  4. Thank you e.m.b. Yes, it does look a bit of a mouthful. We like our stillwater emergers over here 'rough and ready' - with loads of seals fur. Hope you get a fish or two on it. All the best, Martin