Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blue Wing Olives

As I mentioned in a previous post, New Jersey has been experiencing a very mild winter.  Normally by this time of year we are in full winter fishing mode.  Days on the water are limited to the few days when the daytime temps creep above freezing and the river is free of ice.  This year we are still seeing water temperatures in the mid to high forties even hitting fifty degrees on some days.  Over the Christmas season we regularly saw daytime temperatures near seventy degrees!  In a nutshell, what this means is the fishing has been better than normal.  Higher water temps mean more active, feeding fish.

This fall and continuing into early winter, one of my go to patterns have been Beatis imitations commonly known as Blue Wing Olives.  These patterns have been producing far longer into the year than normal.  Typically this time of year the only insects we are likely to see are midges.  With all this mild weather I am continuing to see regular Baetis activity, particulary on overcast days.
Although there has been some surface activity, most of my fish have been coming below the film fishing nymph and emerger patterns.  I'm sure all this will finally come to an end with the cooler temperatures in the forecast, but it was good while it lasted.

 I'll leave you with an example of one of the Beatis nymph patterns that produced very well in recent weeks.  I discovered the pattern years ago while fishing the San Juan River in New Mexico.  I liberated it from the jaw of a large rainbow trout, took it home, duplicated it on my vise and have been using it ever since.

Baetis/Blue Winged Olive Nymph

Pattern Recipe: 

Hook:  TMC300R  size 18-24

Tail: 3 Pheasant tail fibers tied short (hook gap in length.

Body: 16/0 Olive Thread

Shellback:  Pheasant tail fibers from tail

Rib:  Olive thread

Thorax:  Black antron fibers

Legs:  Fibers from thorax spit and tied to the sides

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