Fly Tying 1 min read

[Video] How to Tie a Baetis Spinner

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

April 9, 2010

Ahhhh, we have finally reached the crescendo of the mayfly life cycle, and now it is time for the moment we have all been waiting for – the spinner fall. In tonight’s Friday Night Fly Tying Video Curtis Fry takes us through how to tie his Fripple – a Baetis spinner.

Dance of the Mayfly

You know the ol’ saying, “You want to play, you got to pay”. Well nothing is truer than the last dance with a mayfly. When it is all said and done the spent adult mayfly falls to the water surface, wings flat out on the water, exhausted, and helpless. When this happens, trout can get lazy and selective, preferring to hang in eddies sipping tasty Baetis spinner morsels as they collect.

Should you be so luck to catch this holy event, it’s best to have some Blue Winged Olive spinner patterns on hand. There are many patterns out there that will do. I chose tonights video because Curtis was kind enough to share a few handy tips on how-to-tie in a biot, and how to give the wings of our hero Baetis that beat-up, crippled look they so often have.

Easy Biots

When tying in a biot, the first thing Curtis notes is to tear the biot from the stem rather than cut it. Doing so preserves the little notch at the base of the feather. The notch is key. If you want a ribbed effect on your fly, say to imitate the segmented body of a mayfly, then the notch goes up. If you want a smoother body, the notch goes down. Try it both ways and you’ll see the difference.

Crispy Wings

What do you get when you heat Medallion Sheeting? Crumpled wings of spent spinner. But how do you do this without completely melting them? Curtis shows us how to slightly singe the wings with a heated bodkin needle. This also has the added benefit of keeping the wings from fraying. Very nice!


p.s. This video is one in a series on Baetis fly patterns including deep nymphs, floating nymphs, emergers, cripples, duns, wet flies and spinners.