Friday, April 16, 2010

Blue-winged Olives Relish Lousy Weather, the Lousier the Better.

The blue-winged olive is one of the surest signs of spring I know. True, bwos, as they are sometimes called, hatch more or less throughout the season; especially in March and April and again in the fall.

The best hatches occur on cloudy days, usually from mid-day through late afternoon. The very best seem to occur just when you'd least expect them; dull, damp and dreary certainly but I've experienced some of the blue-wing fishing during the nastiest weather imaginable. Days when my fingers wouldn't work and my toes went numb, during driving snowstorms and all out downpours. Times when it was really difficult to tell a rise form from a snowflake splat and raindrops were the only things dimpling the surface.

My theory for all of this nasty weather business is the nastier, colder it gets the more time it takes for the tiny mayfly's wings to dry, the longer the bugs sit on the runway so to speak the denser the blanket becomes and the more tasty the smorgasbord looks to almost always hungry trout.

Blue-wings come in several sizes, depending on time of the year. The bug above is about a size 18 and landed on my fly pole in mid-April. Last fall on the upper Beav, Paul and I fished a hatch that was at least size 24 and may have been 26s...I tend to start losing faith once the bugs drop much below a size 20, regardless of pedigree. But Paul seems just the opposite, the smaller the bugs the more trout end up in the net. Although that could just be my imagination...OK call it envy...

Blue-winged Olive patterns are so varied and numerous I sometimes wonder what the creator sees that I don't. But one thing sure, the closer my fly is to the real deal and the more I fiddle with my leader to insure getting as close a drag-free drift as possible the better...This is one hatch where I seldom have luck pitching something really off the wall and one of the best hatches I know to reel up with the acrid taste of skunk hanging heavy in the air.

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