Here is the fly pattern sheet for the Improved Sparkle Dun BWO.

Improved Sparkle Dun BWO |



TMC 206 BL or Daiichi 1310, #16 – 20


8/0 Olive dun


Zelon – gray or mayfly brown


Working thread


Superfine blue wing olive or gray olive dubbing


Sparkle dun or comparadun deer hair, natural or dun and butt ends of Zelon


  1. Start thread behind eye of hook and wind halfway down hook shank, then halfway back towards eye. This is the proper tie-in point for deer hair. Placing thread on the hook in this manner prevents deer hair from spinning.
  2. Clean and stack a bundle of deer hair. (check Sparkle Dun fly pattern for deer hair comments – using wrong deer hair won’t allow hair to flair, the major reason tyers have problems with this fly).
  3. Proper wing proportions should be length of hook.
  4. Extend tips past hook eye and tie in with two loose thread wraps. Pull straight down so deer hair flares. Do not let go of butt ends and wrap 8 – 10 times evenly toward tail to firmly secure hair. Trim or tear butt ends. (If hair rotates around hook shank, use fewer fibers. Very important to wrap on thread base.)
  5. Tie in hank of Zelon for tail, making sure to extend up the back of deer hair. The Zelon length should be the tail up through and backing the deer hair wing. I use 1/3 of hank for size 16 to 20.
  6. Secure Zelon with thread wraps back to hook barb and return thread to deer hair.
  7. Sweep deer hair backwards to allow hair to stand straight up. Thread should be immediately behind deer hair. Sweep 1/3 of hair back and place 1 thread wrap securely in place by pulling straight down. (you’ll see hair stand up). Sweep next 1/3 back and place 1 thread wrap securely in place and pull straight down. Sweep last 1/3 back and place 2 – 3 wraps at base of deer hair. This technique allows minimal thread wraps to stand deer hair up without thread dam.
  8. Apply dubbing to thread and begin wrapping thorax, leaving one thread wrap behind deer hair (if you don’t, it will force hair forward). Bring dubbing directly in front of deer hair and begin figure eight wraps around hair. The first wrap behind hair, you’ll feel it snug tightly and force hair straight up. Remember, THIN dubbing will work better to create tapered body.
  9. Whip finish behind hook eye.

The Sparkle Dun Mayfly is a style of fly that can be used for any mayfly. Coordinate the thread and body color.



Shuck Color

Body Color


#16 – 22




#14 – 18



I like the Improved Sparkle Dun for SMALL mayflies because I can create a very thin body using thread. The TMC 206BL has a wider gape and is a great hook for this fly. But I’ve started using the Daiichi 1310 hook as well. Check out the other Sparkle Duns too.

The original Improved Sparkle Dun from Fly Patterns of Yellowstone, Volume 2 by Craig Mathews and John Juracek used a quail feather over the Zelon tail. It appears current flies eliminate this step. I’ve never used quail in the tail and find the fly very effective without it.

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