How To Tie The Olive Jig 

The olive jig is one of my favourite nymph patterns. I’ve found it effective on my local river in the early stages of the trout season and it is responsible for my personal best wild river brownie. 

When I first started fly tying only about 3 years ago,  I use to spend my evenings searching the internet in search of patterns I could attempt. Whilst watching YouTube videos I stumbled across well known angler and brilliant fly tyer Steffan Jones, and his Olive Jig Nymph after seing his creation i wanted to attempt the pattern. 

I took to my vice and set about to tie the nymph, The first few weren’t brilliant but  put them in my box and took them to try on the river. As all fly tyers know, the joy of catching a fish on a fly you’ve tied never gets old. 

It wasn’t until I was tying at my first fly tying event at Fly Only in Huddersfield where i was talking to highly experienced angler and fly tyer Alex Jardine. He suggested to add an orange tag to the fly which made it look even more appealing ( if your a trout!) 

So here’s a step by step on how I tie my version of the Olive Jig. 

Materials used;

Hook – Partridge of Redditch jig hook #18 

Thread – UNI -thread 8/0 camel (or brown) 

Bead – slotted tungsten 3.0

Tail 1 – glo Brite – orange

Tail 2 – Coq De Leon fibres 

Body – trans brite (olive) 

Thorax – hares ear (the really spikey bits!!) 
Step 1 – 

Pop the bead onto the hook and secure it in your vice. 

Step 2 – 

Set your thread off and secure the bead in place so it doesn’t move about. 


Step 3 – 

Run the thread down the hook, stopping just befor the bend. At this point catch in the glo brite. 


Step 4 – 

I like to cut off the glo brite at this point leaving a tag end, not too big though! 

Step 5 – 

Step 5 is adding tail 2, the Coq De Leon fibres, I like to use 5/6 of them, you don’t need too many as Coq De Leon is lovely and robust! 

Step 6 – 

Take your tying thread back up towards the bead of the eye where you can catch in the trans brite. 

Step 7 – 

At this point I take the 1 strand of trans brite and wind it down with touching turns until I reach the bottom, where I work my way back up creating a nice tapered body to the fly. As Steffan notes in his video,  the more times you go over with trans brite the darker it gets as it’s a transparent material so you can taper the fly to get darker as your working your way back towards the bead. 

Step 8 – 

The fly is almost done. All that is left to do is add the thorax, for this I use the spikiest hears ear dubbing I can find, gathering some (not too much) and dubbing it onto the tying thread. Then winding it around to create a spiky thorax. 


Step 9 – whip finish and add a dab of varnish to secure the thread. At this point you could tease out some of the dubbing. And it’s done! Ready to fish! 

Thanks to Steffan Jones and Alex Jardine with your helpful advice on this patten that is a proven fish catcher! 
Tight lines. I’m 

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Back With A Bang!

It’s been some time since I’m my last post, too long infact! I haven’t been able to do as much river fishing as I would of liked too due to work/weather and what not. I had a day at Raygill with my dad not so long ago but failed to to catch anything on a tough day. 

Today marked my come back on my local river, since I’d said I would be fishing today I’ve been praying to the fishing gods to keep the weather at bay so I could get out and wet a line. 

I woke up and immediately jumped up out of bed, gathered my fishing gear and jumped in my car to the river! That’s right, my car! Now I can drive I have a new lease of life which allows me to travel about at my own will, maybe to a river near you?!

Upon my arrival, there was definitely a spring feeling in the air, rather than the chilly wind we have been getting of recent weeks. Not being too foolish I still layerd up, it’s a good job I did as that water was freezing!! 


I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I stood in the chilly water, a gentlemen from the local club had said it was carrying colour the day before and he and his friend had blanked, however when I was wading my way up through a pool i didn’t think it was anymore coloured than it usually is. I find that the Calder always has a tint of a copper colour running through it at the best of times. 

Anyway, onto the fishing! Today’s set up was my 10ft 4wt greys streamflex companied with a French leader fished with two of my favourite nymphs, two jigs, on the point a silver hares ear and on the dropper an olive jig with a copper bead and orange tag. 

It took me a couple of casts to get back into the swing of things, as I was wading up the pool I was fishing, my line tightened and I was into a good fish. At first I wasn’t even sure It was a fish as there wasn’t much of a fight, until it woke up! It wasn’t one for showing it’s face and was sticking hard on the bottom of the river. At this point, having not caught a fish since September, I should imagine I had a massive grin on my face, I soon had it in my net admiring the beautiful colours you get on these stunning fish.

One more fish followed from the same pool, another beautifully marked grayling. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of catching these fish. 

One of the many joys I get out of fishing is that even if I only get an hours fishing in, I’m happy. Today was one of them days as I couldn’t feel my toes and had a dog to tend too at home and other jobs to do…  like cleaning my car.. I had to step out of the river. I left happy and content and that’s all that matters! 

Next week I’ll be at the British Fly Fair International. Held at Staffordshire county show ground, I’ll be there on the Sunday tying my river flies on the Deer Creek stand. I hope to see lots of you there to catch up and share fishing stories.  
Tight lines!