Fly Tying 1 min read

[Video] Shucked Up Baetis Emerger Fly Pattern

Ken Sperry

Posted by Ken Sperry

March 12, 2010

baetis emerger

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.

Baetis Emerger Material List

Hook: TMC 108SP-BL
Thread: UTC 70
Shuck: Orangutan Ice Fur
Collar: Ostrich
Legs: Partridge
Wing: Snowshoe Rabbit
Body/Head: Superfine dubbing

Baetis Emerger Behavior

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.

Keys to Effective Baetis Emerger Fly Patterns

As Rich points out, a few key features of Blue Wing Olive emerger fly patterns include:

  • Body color resembles that of the adult
  • Trailing shuck
  • Emergent wings, not fully developed
  • Low profile/partially submerged in the water

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!

How To Fish Blue Wing Olive Emergers

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.


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.