tying spiders, flymphs & nymphs

Created with GIMPone for the waves

The Bibio, from what I understand, was first tied around the late 50’s/early 60’s as a beetle imitation by Major Charles Roberts of Mayo, Ireland.  Originally intended as a sea trout fly, it is an interesting pattern in that it can be used for salmon, sea trout, rainbow and brown trout. A palmered wet fly with all round appeal. There are a number of variations of the Bibio such as hopper, muddler, sedge hog, half hog and snatcher tyings in addition to the palmered version here. The centre of the fly too can be tied with orange or red dubbing and I have seen it tied with green dubbing too. I think the original may have been tied with orange dubbing, but I could be wrong there! I prefer a claret centre for my Bibio.

The Bibio palmered wet fly can be fished in a number of ways but it is probably best known being fished ‘on the hang’ at the end of the retrieve during Loch Style fishing from a boat (it can also be done from the bank too). This involves lifting the rod and making the Bibio ‘dance’ in the surface film and this stage of the retrieve is often considered the most important part of the retrieve when fishing Loch Style. I had some success last week on a trip to my club’s water with the Bibio fishing from the bank. It was an overcast, rainy and very blustery day with a nice wave on the water: perfect for fishing the Bibio palmered wet fly. I fished it just below the surface in the dropper position of a two fly cast, teaming it with a weighted soft hackle wet fly (below, dressing in next post) on the point position.

Red Rib Spider

Just letting the wind push the flies around combined with a very slow retrieve making the Bibio create a slight wake, was the successful method on this windy, unsettled grey day.

The Bibio can be tied in the usual sizes and the dubbed body should be 1/3 black, 1/3 orange, red, green or claret and then 1/3 black. I find using a round silver wire rib works better with the palmered cockerel hackle, oval wire has a tendency to trap more of the fibres I find. You can use a hen hackle for the palmered body hackle if you want more movement in your Bibio. Rather than use a stiff cockerel hackle or a very soft hen hackle I opted for something in between by using a soft cockerel hackle. The relative bushiness of the fly is whatever works for you on the water you fish, but for creating a surface wake in a wind, then perhaps a bushier Bibio is better than a sparser dressed fly and a bit of fly floatant will help to keep the Bibio on, in or just under the surface too.


Bibio – Body: 1/3 black SLF, 1/3 claret SLF, 1/3 black SLF Rib: round silver wire Hackle: black hen

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2 thoughts on “Bibio

  1. Love the Bibio, one of the better all year round bushy wets I find, it will take a Rainbow or two in winter. One I have had a fair bit success on wild lochs that I feel is kind of related (the way he ties it) is the Heather Fly Snatcher- look it up on Davie McPhails YouTube channel. I had a lot of success with it on Islay this time last year and will have a few (along with the Bibio) in my box for heading north later this month. Tight lines.


    1. Thank you for your feedback. That is a wonderful looking fly and I have always liked snatcher patterns, although for some reason (I don’t know why) I rarely seem to fish them these days. Should probably rectify that! A cracking fly tied by a fantastic fly tier. I have always admired how Davie seems to effortlessly put his patterns together with real skill. May just go and tie one or two of those Heather Fly Snatcher patterns and give them a go next time I’m out!

      Liked by 1 person

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