Solving a beatis hatch: any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by dbk, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    For flies below a size 20, I would probably not use a biot; as you indicate, it would be too fat. I would probably use a thread abdomen.

    At places like the Rock Garden on the Yakima, you can watch bows actively sipping Baetis nymphs/emergers from just below the surface. In those cases, I have attached a realistic baetic nymph as a dropper off a size 16 CDC emerger. The emerger acts as a strike indicator. The nymph should drift just below the surface film and therefore should not incur any drag that a fish might notice. It is not perfect as setting the hook on the delicate takes and small flies are always a challenge. Still, in tough conditions as you described (trying to throw a pair of flies tight to the bank is a recipe for either being too short with both or having one wrapped around a branch), there just are no easy solutions. Clearly, the satisfaction will come from quality of the fishing, not the quantity.

    I experienced the same pool to pool pickiness that Smalma described when fishing the Crowsnest this summer: BWO's in one pool, PMDs in another, and a mahogony mayflies in a third.

    Steve
     
  2. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Good discussion and input. I just returned from an outstanding fishing trip and fished a number of good baetis hatches. I agree with the "split tail" microfibits as an important detail in your fly. I always tie them this way without fail. I think it can make a difference. I use tying thread for the body and Hareline Parapost for a wing. I am careful with the quantity of the Parapost and also make sure the wing is not tilting forward in a wulff style, but set back or tilted slightly back from the vertical. I used mostly size 18's, maybe a couple of 20's. My friends that fish the river regularly say as the fall progresses they drop down to 24's. Do these details matter? Don't know, but you know how picky those trout can get. I landed 20 fish between 18 and 22 inches and I felt like I was doing something right. Sometimes you have to observe extremely carefully to really determine if you truely are having a "drag free" float of your fly. A lot of times you may not notice.
     
  3. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

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    Don't have much to add, but have to say this is one of the most interesting threads we've had in a while. Very informative and the type of info I need to try to progress to the next level.

    Some of the pickiest fish I've dealt with myself is on the Missouri where they're just hammered throughout the year. They seem to key into specific patterns and you have to use just the right size! I fished with a guide years ago in the middle of August and hit an amazing trico hatch. I've also fished with some knowledgable locals and found the compadun to be a great pattern over there.

    Anyway, sweet thread! Keep the info flowing! I wouldn't have thought of having a pattern or fishing a pattern to present the side or flipped over view of what you're fishing. Good stuff! :thumb:
     
  4. Troutnut

    Troutnut New Member

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    I would echo Taxon's first post -- maybe a more realistic dun imitation would do the trick. Baetidae mayfly family comes in a variety of shades of brown, gray, and olive, and the typical commercial BWO pattern only comes in olive and without much attention to detail. If you can't tie your own flies on your trip, try to carry some shades of brown and gray with you, or buy some tiny parachute adams and similar patterns.

    Knockdowns/cripples are also a good idea. Another small possibility is that the fish were taking spent male spinners, though that's kind of unlikely.

    Often refusals are due to poor presentation or the wrong stage of imitation, rather than a lack of realism in the fly, but it sounds like you tried almost everthing else. So I would guess a more realistic fly would have helped.
     
  5. dbk

    dbk Active Member

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    Thanks Taxon. I agree with your suggestion that a more realistic fly would have helped, which is not something I usually encounter seeing that (as you stated) presentation problems or imitating the wrong state is more commonly the primary issue. I do tie my own flies, and for this trip I had flies tied in olive and grey shades, but did not tie any brown colored patterns. On the river that day, all three species of baetis I captured were olive or olive-grey (the smallest of the species was the most grey in color while the largest was a solid olive color). I had flies tied to match the color and size of all the naturals, and were tied with the split tail configuration. The only thing differently I thought I could have done was tie flies with a more realistic wing profile that matched the naturals upright or "sailboat" type appearance. With that, I did not tie any knocked down duns or cripples, so I will bring some of those with me when I fish it again in a few weeks. Fish were noticeably taking duns with upright wings, but the pattern styles I fished (cdc, compardun, parachute, etc.) did not utilize that type of wing configuration so I tied some patterns with a more realistic wing profile. Any patterns suggestions you may have would be appreciated. I am going back to the same river in two weeks and will by tying some new flies in the hopes of expanding my "aresenal".
     
  6. dbk

    dbk Active Member

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    Thanks Taxon. I agree with your suggestion that a more realistic fly would have helped, which is not something I usually encounter seeing that (as you stated) presentation problems or imitating the wrong state is more commonly the primary issue. I do tie my own flies, and for this trip I had flies tied in olive and grey shades, but did not tie any brown colored patterns. On the river that day, all three species of baetis I captured were olive or olive-grey (the smallest of the species was the most grey in color while the largest was a solid olive color). I had flies tied to match the color and size of all the naturals, and were tied with the split tail configuration. The only thing differently I thought I could have done was tie flies with a more realistic wing profile that matched the naturals upright or "sailboat" type appearance. With that, I did not tie any knocked down duns or cripples, so I will bring some of those with me when I fish it again in a few weeks. Fish were noticeably taking duns with upright wings, but the pattern styles I fished (cdc, compardun, parachute, etc.) did not utilize that type of wing configuration so I tied some patterns with a more realistic wing profile. Any patterns suggestions you may have would be appreciated. I am going back to the same river in two weeks and will by tying some new flies in the hopes of expanding my "arsenal".