Baetis Time In The Rockies

Baetis Time In The Rockies
Beautiful Brownie

The Baetis, or Blue Winged Olive (BWO) is a Mayfly commonly found hatching on most western waters both spring and fall.  On rivers that close for the winter the BWO hatch is often the anglers last chance at rising fish before the seasons end.  On the flip side, BWO's are often the first Mayfly hatch of spring which frequently helps fly fishers emerge from the depths of the past winter.

Baetis tend to be small, #16's are considered huge, and most hatches are #18's and smaller.  On a recent float down a western water I encountered a prolific Baetis hatch and caught a little video of the micro-Mayflies as they drifted down the river.  View it here:

http://vimeo.com/30580121

Baetis, like most Mayflies, swim to the surface, break free of their nymphal shell and emerge on the rivers' surface into an adult.  At this point they drift on the surface while their wings dry.  Once dry, they fly away, temporarily escaping feeding Trout.  The warmer the weather, the less time they spend on the surface and the less likely the Trout are to take advantage of the vulnerable Mayflies.  In cooler weather (especially overcast or rainy days) the tiny Mayflies spend extra time on the surface waiting for their wings to dry before they can fly away.  This causes large numbers of Mayflies to be drifting on the surface for extended periods which in turn offers Trout an all you can eat lunch.  These are the days many anglers stay home because it isn't bluebird weather.  Don't make that mistake, watch for the cloudy days, toss your Gore-Tex jacket in the gear bag and hit the water.


Fall is a great time of year, enjoy the changing leaves and Trout packing on weight to survive the winter ahead.  It won't be long before old man winter is here!



Recommended for You

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game. Fly Tying

Perdigon Nymph

Charlie Craven - January 15, 2019

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game.

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly. Fly Tying

Tying the Strong Arm Merkin

David W. Skok - July 09, 2019

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly.

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream. United States

Saving the Chattahoochee River

Ross Purnell - April 23, 2019

How an Atlanta craft brewery is helping to save Georgia's most important trout stream.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discuss the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the world. Worldwide

5 Best Trout Fishing Spots in the World

Ross Purnell, Editor

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the...

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp flies! Flies

The 15 Best Carp Flies

Jay Zimmerman - September 27, 2016

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp...

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. How-To

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel - January 22, 2018

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

See More Stories

More Learn

How to turn a strike indicator into a fly you can be proud of. Fly Tying

Chubby Chernobyl Elevated

Charlie Craven - January 07, 2020

How to turn a strike indicator into a fly you can be proud of.

A streamer that moves like a champ Fly Tying

Swim Coach Streamer

Charlie Craven - October 01, 2019

A streamer that moves like a champ

Steve is a Michael Jordan sort of fierce competitor, but at the same time he'd give you the shirt off his back. Casting

Steve Rajeff: The Gentle Giant of Fly Casting

John Field - December 06, 2019

Steve is a Michael Jordan sort of fierce competitor, but at the same time he'd give you the...

See More Learn

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.