Wow is all I can say about this Baetis emerger pattern by Rich Strolis of Catching-Shadows Guide Service. Rich has been on fire lately cranking out one beautiful fly pattern after another and this mayfly emerger pattern is no exception. I will definitely be tying a few of these up this weekend getting ready for one of my favorite hatches of the year, the Blue-Winged Olives.
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Hook: TMC 108SP-BL
Thread: UTC 70
Shuck: Orangutan Ice Fur
Wing: Snowshoe Rabbit
Body/Head: Superfine dubbing
In case you missed it, we have been reviewing the mayfly life cycle and fly patterns that imitate the various stages of mayfly development in our Friday Night Fly Tying Video Series and Baetis emergers are on cue.
Once ready to emerge from the nymphal shuck, Baetis nymphs float to the water surface where they hang in the surface film before emerging as a dun and ready to take flight. Most Blue-Winged Olives are small, size 16 to 18, and being small often struggle to break through the water surface. During this period they are prime time trout food.
As Rich points out, a few key features of Blue Wing Olive emerger fly patterns include:
The latter attribute Rich really nails using the rather unique TMC 108 spbl dolphin shaped emerger hook. Check out how perfectly the Shucked Up Emerger floats half submerged (shown at the end of the video). If I were a trout I’d be fooled!
BWO emergers can basically be fished like a dry fly on a drag free drift. In winter, the soft water below a riffle is a great place to fish when trout are a little more sluggish from the cold temperature.
Trout will also tend to stack up feeding in slow water along the edges of faster currents. Let’s also not forget about eddies, where big trout will hang out along the foam line sipping emergers until they are stuffed. All hale the foam!
As the hatch progresses and duns start to appear on the water, trout will often continue to key in on the emergers because they are easy pray, so don’t be in a hurry to switch flies if you are catching fish.
Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and is on a quest to map the best places for fly fishing in America. He created the DIY Fly Fishing App to share this information and help you find new places to fish.
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