Blue Wing Olives on the South Platte

Posted: March 27, 2009 by bluequillangler in Fishing Colorado

It is Baetis time. We are beginning to see a few Blue Qing Olives emerging around Deckers on the South Platte, on the Arkansas, Roaring Fork, and Colorado River. This is always an exciting time of the year because these mayflies are the first in the spring to come out and the last to be seen in the fall.  The Blue Quill Angler fly shop is named after these tiney Baetis mayflies, commonly called Blue Duns, Blue Quills, and Blue Wing Olives. They range in size from 18 to 22 and the much smaller pseudos come out in the fall. The BWO hatch will grow steadily as we go into spring. These little mayflies really like to emerge in overcast, nasty days and often in the afternoon. Fish often move up into the riffles once the nymphs begin to drift and the fish may be spotted  in shallow water where they can be quite easy to catch with the right fly. For nymphs we often fish Pheasant Tails, grey and olive RS-2. Mercury Baetis, and Stalcup’s Baetis nymphs. For dries we fish BWO comparaduns, Parachute Adams, standard BWO patterns with a hen wing such as A.K. Best’s Olive Dun Quill. My Bunny dun with a grey snowshoe rabbit wing and a dark olive body is my favorite pattern for dries. Fishing this hatch in April is one of my favorite times to be on the water. Jim Cannon


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