Flies: Tying the Biot Emerger

April 27, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

Funny how flies can help you remember specific days on the water — especially when those days turn out to be barn burners. I’ll never forget wading around half a dozen other frustrated fly fishers on Montana’s upper Missouri and landing fish after fish by carefully drifting biot emergers just beneath the film. At the time I didn’t even know what a “biot” was; I just thought it was a fancy scientific contraction of some sort. (A biot is actually a single fiber from the leading edge of a primary wing feather, usually of a turkey or goose for us tiers.) Fortunately my partner had fished the upper Missouri for three days previous and had restocked with biots and biot cripples.
Author Charlie Craven gives detailed instructions on how to tie a biot emerger on his Web site. His pictures clearly show how the biot creates a nicely spiraled rib as it is wrapped forward on the shank.