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BWO


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15 replies to this topic

#1 H.Champagne

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:45 AM

i having been doing some reading about blue winged olives and have noticed some differences between sources. Some folks chuck all types of baetis into one category and say they hatch year round. Others differ between several types of blue winged olives, your classic bwo hatching early spring, mid to late fall, and randomly throughout the winter based on temp. and then say there is another type of bwo that is smaller which hatches in the summer time. then reading in hatches II i noticed that there is an endless amount of different types of blue winged olives. can anyone add some rhyme or reason to this? i never see olives in the summer. are there just tons of different olives but only a select two really matter to the angler?

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#2 utyer

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:07 AM

Yes, there are a bunch of different mayflies called Blue Wing Olives. Some patterns (just a few,) are not even trying to match any Baetis hatch. There are many different Baetis mayflies, and many of those are multi brooded. The same species will hatch more than once a year. Often the second brood will be smaller. The Baetis are among the first spring hatches, and then again will be some of the last mayflies hatching.

Since all of these different speices and broods can be matched with similar patterns, anglers refer to them as BWOs. Some are not even olive, and can easily be matched with a small gray bodied pattern like a size 22 Adams. During spring and fall, a box of olive bodied, and gray bodies imitations with dun hackles, and gray to white wings should be in your vest. Matching color and size is more important than identifying the exact species hatching.
"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#3 rockworm

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:11 AM

Almost any smallish mayfly dun with greyish wings and an olive-coloured body can be called a BWO. This includes several Baetis but also many species from other genera. IMO the name Blue-Winged Olive should be applied to the artificial fly. The insect, if identified, should be called by its species name.

#4 eastern fly

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 03:30 PM

I agree with rockworm.If we use the species name more than the "common" name it will break it down and point people in the right direction. I have found the same problem with the Blue Quill. Most of the patterns I come across aren't the Mahogany Dun.

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#5 rockworm

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:07 PM

The problem, of course, is that the fisherman rarely takes samples of the hatch and then goes to the trouble of keying the insect out to identify the species (or even genera.) All he really needs to know is its size and colouration. And most of us only approximate these! To be successful fishers we don't need to know the insects latin name. But we do need patterns that match. (A little knowledge of the bug's behavious doesn't hurt either.) Call them all BWO-like mayflies if you like, but keep notes from year to year about the timing and appearance of these important insects in your waters and you should catch more fish.

#6 H.Champagne

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 08:09 AM

thanks for the clear up. I bought hatches II and i have learned quite a bit since i started reading, though the book is rather dry. Is there anything out there that is more recent and possibly a little less indepth? any recommending reading would be appreciated.

thanks again

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#7 fishing on the fly

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:07 PM

In Northern Calif I have seen BWO in the summer after it rains..... but like the song says it never rains in Calif in the summer time... or very rarley anyway. :rolleyes:

I just dont get as specific as some of you guys. I will fish Adams anywhere fm a 10 to a 20, PMD in 16 & 14 and BWO 18 to 20 (cripples 16) and maybe some Sulphers in a 14,or a Green Drake 12,10 but that is about it. I guess my fish just aren't that picky.
Alan
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#8 Steve Kale

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:09 PM

And to make matters worse, you Americans have taken common names for specific flies and applied them to classes of flies - the most obvious error being to call all up-winged flies "mayflies"! The original Blue Winged Olive refers to a specific member of the Ephemeroptera family: Serratella ignita . Can you imagine how confusing it is for someone wanting to replicate the colours of the true BWO and buying a dubbing labelled "blue winged olive" when that colour bears no resemblance to the colouring of S. ignita.

#9 shoebop

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:06 AM

And to make matters worse, you Americans have taken common names for specific flies and applied them to classes of flies - the most obvious error being to call all up-winged flies "mayflies"! The original Blue Winged Olive refers to a specific member of the Ephemeroptera family: Serratella ignita . Can you imagine how confusing it is for someone wanting to replicate the colours of the true BWO and buying a dubbing labelled "blue winged olive" when that colour bears no resemblance to the colouring of S. ignita.


"You Americans"? Really? I hope you meant that in the kindest most affectionate way. <_<
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#10 riffleriversteelheadslayer

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

I would respond to the Americans comment but being a civilized gentleman I wouldn't dare remind such an intelectual person he is a member of an American created and owned forum about fly tying

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".--Thomas Jefferson

 

There is no such thing as a blank day for a fisherman. It will be saved for him by the white-throated weasel, who watches his fishing from a hole in the wall under which is lying a fish that refused all flies; or by the excitment of identifying insects; or by the apple-bloosom in a nearby orchard; and no one would call that day a blank on which he has seen a king-fisher." -- Arthur Ransome Rod and Line, 1929

 


 

 

 


#11 Steve Kale

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:17 PM


And to make matters worse, you Americans have taken common names for specific flies and applied them to classes of flies - the most obvious error being to call all up-winged flies "mayflies"! The original Blue Winged Olive refers to a specific member of the Ephemeroptera family: Serratella ignita . Can you imagine how confusing it is for someone wanting to replicate the colours of the true BWO and buying a dubbing labelled "blue winged olive" when that colour bears no resemblance to the colouring of S. ignita.


"You Americans"? Really? I hope you meant that in the kindest most affectionate way. <_<



But of course! My wife is American and I travel over there a good number of times a year. In fact, on Friday I was fishing the Gunpowder in Maryland. But you do have to admit that this thread is rather ironic considering the starting point of dumping all up winged flies into the label "mayflies". No wonder it gets confusing...

#12 utyer

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:29 PM

The insect order Ephemeroptera are all called mayflies (at least on this side of the pond.) The quote below may help clear up the confusion.

The mayfly has a rather misleading name and many people think because of its name that the mayfly is a fly that only appears in May. Well, this is a myth, but not many know about it. The name of the mayfly has not really much to do with the actual month of the year. The name of the mayfly is inspired only by a certain species of mayfly that appeared in the same time when a flower named Mayflower or Hawthorn is in bloom. So, “Ephemera danica” inspired the generic name of the mayfly, but without anything of the characteristics it has to tie her to the month of May. Even if the name is misleading, an important information related to this bug is that many species only live for a day. It may come as a surprise, but mostly mayflies do not have enough time to live for a whole month of May.

We have a very great tendency to lump the common names of many different genera and species into large not specific groups. Looking up Bluewinged Olives, this common name refers to about 59 different specific insects. There are 9 different genera and dozens of species covered, as well as a few caddis flies. These BWOs range in size from a size 10 all the way to a size 28. These different insects hatch at various times all through the spring, summer, and fall both east and west. Using this common name really makes it hard to really narrow down just which of 5 dozen different mayflies we might be talking about.

Another often used common name is the PMD or Pale Morning Dun. This is used for about 64 different insects (mostly mayflies, but there are some caddis in this list too.) Again hatch dates and sizes vary widely within this group.

Sulphurs also refer to at least 25 different specific insects. Call something a Cahill, and you have narrowed it down to about 30 different mayflies (including the Maccaffertium vicarium also known as the March Brown.) This is NOT the same insect commonly referred to as a March Brown in the UK. We use "Drake" to refer to 70 different insects.

Sometimes different generic common names are often used to refer to the same insect. If I say the BWOs or PMDs are hatching, in New York, or Idaho, I am not talking about the same insect. It may or may not be the same size, or color, or even the same time of year.

Common Names are very imprecise, and can easily lead to a lot of confusion. If you want to look up some of these references, you can at this link on the Flyfishing Entomology pages.
"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#13 Steve Kale

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:48 AM

I just couldn't help remarking on the irony of a thread calling for more specificity when the starting point is a broad dumping of all Ephemeroptera into the common name "mayfly", a term originally used to describe a very specific insect (or perhaps 3, 2 much less common than the other - see below). That's not to say that the UK doesn't group certain Ephemeroptera into a single common name. For example, 3 Baetis are commonly called "medium olives". Perhaps the path to greater specificity should start with the use of the term "mayfly". LOL. You guys are extremely lucky to be blessed with so many more species than "us" (I'm first and foremost a NZer.) There are only about 51 species in the UK and some of these are very rare/localised. When I was fishing the Gunpowder in MD, "sulphurs" (sorry I can't be more specific as no one in our party could be) I was amazed at how "stocky" these were: solid, bulky bodies and hefty, strong legs. Quite unlike what we have here in the UK. I'm keen to learn a lot more about them.

BTW "Mayfly" does have its origination tied with the month of May. The hatch typically appears heaviest in May (you should see what happens to the cost of getting on a beat on the southern chalk streams at this time), and with changes in climate and shifts in calendar this now typically extends into early June. Of course, things vary year by year with the climate and also vary by local conditions. The less common of the 3 Mayfly have slightly different hatches. The Hawthorn flower has more bearing on the Diptera, Bibio marci, commonly called the "Hawthorn Fly".

There are 3 "Mayfly" in the UK:

1. "Green Drake Mayfly" - Ephemera danica
2. "Striped Mayfly" - E. lineata (very rare)
3. "Drake Mackerel Mayfly" - E. vulgata (much more localised)

Here's a photo I took of famous E. danica

Posted Image

#14 riffleriversteelheadslayer

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 12:15 PM

hey Steve come to Michigan when we start having or hex hatch you want to see some bulky mayflies. :lol: Have you ever fished a size 6 mayfly pattern in the UK? :huh:

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".--Thomas Jefferson

 

There is no such thing as a blank day for a fisherman. It will be saved for him by the white-throated weasel, who watches his fishing from a hole in the wall under which is lying a fish that refused all flies; or by the excitment of identifying insects; or by the apple-bloosom in a nearby orchard; and no one would call that day a blank on which he has seen a king-fisher." -- Arthur Ransome Rod and Line, 1929

 


 

 

 


#15 Steve Kale

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:10 AM

hey Steve come to Michigan when we start having or hex hatch you want to see some bulky mayflies. :lol: Have you ever fished a size 6 mayfly pattern in the UK? :huh:



That's sounds like it would be pretty cool! Roughly what time of year? The UK's Mayfly (the largest) has a body about an inch long (only). Otherwise we are mostly fishing #12-#18 (with the larger size in that range being associated much more with "traditional" wet fly patterns for loch/reservoir fishing).

Our Blue Winged Olive, Serratella ignita, is best represented on a #14 or, better, #16.