Fly Fishers' Republic

Waterhen Bloa

March 23, 2010

by Raif Killips

Waterhen Bloa



The Waterhen Bloa is associated with the ‘North Country’ school. This spider pattern is fished successfully during hatches of olives, like Baetis rhodani, which some texts claim it’s meant to represent. Brown trout and grayling are its typical target species.

How to fish:

Traditionally fished ‘upstream and across’ like the other spider patterns, or on the swing, and dead drift. The fly can be fished on its own or as part of a team.


The body is best touch dubbed if you're aiming for the modern style. The hackle should be tied using a similar technique to that used for the Partridge and Orange.


The Waterhen Bloa is one of many patterns associated with the North Country school, described in the work of T.E. Pritt, North Country Flies 1886, but first mentioned in John Swarbrick's list dated 1807.


Swarbrick's original had a silk body with no dubbing. Pritt added water-rat to the body. Illutstrated in this article, a thin veil of dubbing is the current vogue for tying the body.