Olive Willie?


Active Member
After reading Old Man Jim's post about his obliterating his skunk with an Olive Willie, I got to poking around to find something on the pattern. No go, people: Google couldn't turn up anything to work with. Can anyone help me out with a recipe and/or a picture? :confused:
I think Backyard posted something about that pattern earlier this spring. I believe it has a red bead, olive marabou, and I don't remember the rest. You might ask him.


New Member
The Olive Willy is the invention of William Servey, a very colorful stillwater angler and a (at one time) part-time fixture at Swede's Fly Shop in Woodinville, WA. Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Serveys pattern is not the creation of the proprietor of Swede's.

The Olive Willy is an easy-to-tie pattern generally dressed two ways.

TAIL - A small tuft of Olive Marabou
BODY - Dark Olive or Peacock Green Chenille
COLLAR - a long'ish (sparse) collar of Olive or Olive/Yellow Ringneck Peasant
'HEAD' - a small (bright) Red Glass bead

A 'variant' of the above pattern is tied with a small 'beard' (or throat) of bright Red Rabbit fur in lieu of the bead.

I hope this helps.

Hey~ William will be at AATF on Saturday June 11. He's going to be there for a tying demo of both the Olive Willy and another sweet lake pattern, the Drunk Dragon. The demo is free and should start around 11.


New Member
As William (to the best of my knowledge) doesn't recieve any royalties for his Olive Willy being tied off-shore - he may gladly accept donations of 'Bud Lite' at his demo. *g*

Kidding aside, William's patterns are very effective and he's a marvelous tying instructor, too.

As William (to the best of my knowledge) doesn't recieve any royalties for his Olive Willy being tied off-shore - he may gladly accept donations of 'Bud Lite' at his demo. *g*
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Hywel, you're cracking me up!

You're right, William's a great guy, an entertaining instructor ;) , and these patterns are killer on the local lakes. Its a treat to have him show off his patterns in person.


Active Member
William is a friend of mine and the light olive coloration of the ring neck pheasant rump hackle he uses on the Olive Willy is gotten by his dying natural ring neck rump patches or skins yellow. The yellow dye makes for the light olive color because of the basic grey feather base of the natural feathers. William does not use the olive dyed pheasant rump available commercially. And more often than not, he uses the dyed yellow aftershaft feathers (found at the base of each rump feather) for the short tail on the fly. And yes, dyed light olive marabou works just as well as the dyed aftershaft feather.

He also has a variant of the Olive Willy he calls the Drunk Dragon.

tail: dyed yellow ring neck aftershaft feathers
body: olive chenile
hackle: dyed yellow ring neck rump
eyes: red, silver-lined beads mounted on yellow RIO Slickshooter running line
head: short, olive chenile wrapped around the eyes.

He calls it the Drunk Dragon because of the red eyes, since when one spends too much time drinking alcoholic beverages, your eyes have a reddish tinge to them the next morning. It is a very effective dragon fly nymph imitation, as is the Olive Willy.
Thanks everyone for coming out to the shop for Williams demo. He's definitely a character in Washington's fly fishing history, that everyone should have the pleasure to meet.


Piscatorial predilection
I stopped in after fishing the Sky in the AM. Got there about 12:30 or so, still in my waders too, very authentic I thought, LOL!

Enjoyed the demonstration, I only saw the Drunk Dragon being tied. I did not know there were bugs that big in any of our lakes :eek:

You can tell a pro tier when you see one, and William made it look easy of-course.

And while I'm at it, the flys on sale in, All About The Fly, are some of the best I've seen. When I buy any from now on that's where I'll get 'em. :thumb: