Tuesday, November 20, 2012


     There are at least four species of Baetis in the West that we refer to as Blue Winged Olive or BWO, all similar in appearance & habit. Adults are #14 to #22, with the majority, generally, about a #18-#20. They are easily identified by the blue-gray (blue dun) wings. Nymphs are slightly larger than adults. Both adults & nymphs vary in coloration according to stream. Nymphs are often shades of olive-brown, but in some streams, gray or brown colorations with little or no hint of olive. These mayflies are widespread & plentiful, East & West, with some version of BWO producing fishable hatches on virtually every trout stream. On my homewater in NE Washington, BWO’s emerge during the cooler months of spring & fall, notably on overcast days & often in crappy weather, usually appearing mid-day through late afternoon. In the more temperate precincts of trout country, BWO’s may be encountered throughout the winter months as well. Once, in February, I met a BWO hatch that inspired good fishing on the lower Kings River in central California.

Here’s a version that works well for me on my homewater. The Bunny BWO is meant to simulate a mature nymph at the early stage of emergence. 

Bird’s Bunny BWO Emerger

Hook: #14-#18

Thread: Camel

Tailing: Three pheasant tail fibers

Rib: Fine wire wound over the abdomen

Abdomen: Mix 1/3 dark olive, 1/3 medium brown & 1/3 blue-gray rabbit, without guard hairs

Thorax: Natural, brownish hare’s ear with guard hairs in – mix in a pinch of the abdomen dubbing, about 1/3 is okay

Wingcase: A pinch of black rabbit dubbing without guard hairs – tie in over the middle of the pinch & fold back – use a little more than you need & tweeze to size – should extend slightly over the abdomen

Hackle: Faintly speckled hen or partridge of a light ginger or tan coloration

Head: A bit of thorax dubbing in front of the hackle – & finish

Flyfish the Upper Columbia/NE Washington with Steven Bird: http://ucflyfishing.blogspot.com


  1. Not sure how I got here, but I am glad that I did. Great information, writing, and photos...feel guilty for not paying for this : )

    Also, I linked up to both of your blogs...Don't want to miss out. Hope your don't mind. -B

  2. Thanks for commenting Brendan, glad you like the content. Shameless fly porno to advertise my guide site & politics. Throw a dime in the tip jar if yer feeling guilty. Nice to know someone is reading. Stay tuned.