Crystal (olive) Willy


Active Member
It seems to work best for me on days when there's quite a bit of a wind chop on the lake's surface, thin clouds above. I think, being a relatively big dark fly, it stands out well in contrast (and, of course, the pheasant moves well with slow jerky retrieves).


Indi "Ira" Jones
Beat you to it Ira!

I've fished it (minus the red glass bead) as a jig with sporadic success. Same experience as the original . . .some days it's hot, other days completely ignored.
Ahh, you need the red bead. I know with the jig hooks that is difficult to do but I'm thinking about using the jig hook with a straight pin and weight at the front vs a tungsten bead. Hmmmm. Ok I'll give it a try this weekend.
View attachment 23312 There was two versions of the olive willy, one with a bead and one with a tuft of rabbit fur. One was for sunny days and the other for overcast and I don't remember which was which. You might try the tuft of rabbit fur and have two different troutpocket balanced flies.
The first olive willys I ever bought and fished were tied with the red fur tuft. I got them at the Avid Angler before they moved to Lake Forest Park when they were located off 15th Ave NE in north Seattle (circa 1997).
Those flies from avid were probably tied William. He told me the originals he tied had a tuft of dyed red pheasant. Later ties had the rabbit, then came the bead. If I remember correctly ones tied with beads he tied a size smaller( probably 10 or long shank 12).William told me the secret to the pattern was to pick a feather that looked like it was camo for the hackle. I remember him fishing at lone lake using a clear intermediate line and an 18 ft. leader. He probably used other techniques as well, but he was catching fish on every cast that day.


Active Member
Those things look deadly! I agree with B-D (also an awesome smiley), I used to powder coat steelhead and salmon jigs to get the look I wanted.