I realise that the waterhen bloa is these days usually dressed with a fine mist of mole fur dubbing along the shank (not too many years ago it use to be water rat (vole) fur, but it would be a brave man who would use this and broadcast the fact!). However around these parts, strictly speaking, the pattern remains unadorned and consisting of just two materials - silk and hackle. Historically, it was always the 'light snipe' or 'snipe & yellow' which received the Ratty treatment, but the two patterns are so similar that the distinction is largely irrelevant. I'll probably do the snipe & yellow as a seperate post - in truth I do prefer it as a fishing fly because the snipe hackle is a little more robust than waterhen and has a slightly browny hue which I feel better matches the colour of my local spring olives.
Simplicity in itself, the fly is a happy example of maximum effectiveness for minimum effort. and for a lazy bugger like me, that's got to be good news!
Hook: Mustad R50 #14
Silk: Pearsalls yellow
Hackle: Moorhen marginal covert
1. The point about colour of hook wire made previously holds good here - even more so as this pattern relies on the alluring translucent olive-bronze colour of the body which almost glows through when the silk is wet (or waxed if you prefer). This just doesn't work with black wired hooks, so please, please leave the TMC 103bls alone for one minute will you?!
2. Previous comments regarding body length and hackle turns hold good.
3. The silk should be yellow and not primrose as is often incorrectly used. Pedantic I know, but hey - this is my blog and I'll be as pedantic as I bloody well like!