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BWO, PMD & Adams whats the difference?

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So, they are all mayflies. I recently acquired a hatch chart for my local river and they had listed differently tying patters for the BWO, and also suggested the Adams.

 

My understanding is that they are all mayflies, however the color for the BWO matches better the spring time colors. And this is how the catch starts. Eventually they change colors to PMD.

 

This seems to be the other way around for me though. Should the BWO make an appearance during summer (Greener- olive)? and PMD on spring and fall?

 

Is the Adams a mix of both?

 

Please help clarify!

 

Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

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BWO- Blue winged olive mayfly, very small, this describes most mayflies in Baetidae and Ephemerilla. They are typically very small and have an olive tint to them

 

PMD- Pale morning dun- another group of mayflies which are a bit larger and as stated in the name, a pale colored organism.

 

Adams- A very popular dry fly that can be used to "mimic" multiple hatches effectively, it is not a type of mayfly.

 

Hope this helps!

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There was a really good thread a while back about Adams and his fly... included a good video. Suggest you search back for it.

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Parabrookie covered it concisely. BWO (Blue winged olive) and PMD (Pale morning dun) are the common names for certain species of Mayfly. There are many others of interest to flyfishers such as March Brown, Green Drake..., each with their own habits and emergence times. To make things more confusing, depending on where you are located, the common names may refer to different species. For example an Eastern Green Drake and a Western Green Drake are different, and "Western Green Drake" may refer to several species. Some Brit is sure to chime in and say that they are not all Mayflies. In North America we call all members of the order Ephemeroptera, Mayflies.

 

The Adams is a generic pattern that, in appropriate sizes, is close enough to imitate many different Mayflies.

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Color and size are the problem here.

 

BWO's are 18's, 20's, 22's. Fairly small. The wings always have a blue-grey tint, and the body can be anything from dark green to pale yellow green, with spinners sometimes taking on a rusty orange coloration.

 

PMD is larger, say 14 or 16, has a distinctly pale yellow or pale orange colored body. Generally, tiers go with Mallard breast wings, and dun tail and hackle. A useful variation, though is lemon wood duck wings with ginger tail and hackle. Hendricksons or light Cahills can sometimes be substituted successfully.

 

Adams are usually tied a bit larger, but 12 down to 18 is not uncommon. The body is a medium grey, with grizzly hackle tip wings and mixed brown and grizzly tail and hackle. This represents mayflies with a grey-ish coloration.

 

In my opinion, while a highly regarded general purpose pattern, it would be rare that an Adams could be substituted during a BWO or PMD hatch.

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I take my Adam's down to size 20, but have to agree with PHG that if you can match size and color on your specific river you're ahead of the game. I've had better luck with the Adams over some BWO activity, if the hatch is light and the fish aren't too picky. Think it would be tougher with the PMD as the colors are further apart. You pretty much have all the info you need to get on the water. I wouldn't tie a boat load of anything until you've seen what your local bugs look like.

 

I'll throw this out last (and again), pay more attention to what you are seeing on your water than fly names. Many fly names are classic and the patterns and names evolved long ago, crossed the Atlantic, and ended up catching fish here over a hatch they never knew. I think March Brown is one example. Also, from region to region mayflies also aren't the same; Eastern Green Drakes and Western.

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Color and size are the problem here.

 

BWO's are 18's, 20's, 22's. Fairly small. The wings always have a blue-grey tint, and the body can be anything from dark green to pale yellow green, with spinners sometimes taking on a rusty orange coloration.

 

PMD is larger, say 14 or 16, has a distinctly pale yellow or pale orange colored body. Generally, tiers go with Mallard breast wings, and dun tail and hackle. A useful variation, though is lemon wood duck wings with ginger tail and hackle. Hendricksons or light Cahills can sometimes be substituted successfully.

 

Adams are usually tied a bit larger, but 12 down to 18 is not uncommon. The body is a medium grey, with grizzly hackle tip wings and mixed brown and grizzly tail and hackle. This represents mayflies with a grey-ish coloration.

 

In my opinion, while a highly regarded general purpose pattern, it would be rare that an Adams could be substituted during a BWO or PMD hatch.

 

Not to start an argument, I agree about the substition comment, but .....

 

Interesting observation, during the Green Drake/PMD hatch on the Frying Pan there are times when a larger Adams is the killer bug that they are keyed in on, maybe a stage of the Green Drake emergence I'm not sure. Also I've fished other waters were a "gray" Adams pattern is what they want more than anything during a BWO hatch.

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Just to add a little more complication, there are a two different broods of BWO flies in a lot of eastern streams, a larger spring version around size 16 and the late summer-fall version that starts around size 20 and runs to smaller than you want to tie or fish.

 

Steve

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So, they are all mayflies. I recently acquired a hatch chart for my local river and they had listed differently tying patters for the BWO, and also suggested the Adams.

 

My understanding is that they are all mayflies, however the color for the BWO matches better the spring time colors. And this is how the catch starts. Eventually they change colors to PMD.

 

This seems to be the other way around for me though. Should the BWO make an appearance during summer (Greener- olive)? and PMD on spring and fall?

 

Is the Adams a mix of both?

 

Please help clarify!

 

Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

You forgot the Sulphur vs the PMD

 

http://www.mayfly.com/articles/Sulphur.html

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And this is how the catch starts. Eventually they change colors to PMD.

 

This seems to be the other way around for me though. Should the BWO make an appearance during summer (Greener- olive)? and PMD on spring and fall?

 

The chart is correct. BWO's are olive and hatch in spring and fall. PMD's have pale yellow belly, run bit bigger and hatch during the summer. Colors can vary quite a bit though.

 

BWO's don't change colors to PMD's over a season. They are two different types of mayflies that hatch in different seasons.

 

Blue Wing Olive (troutnut.com)

picture_2235_small.jpg

 

Pale Morning Dun (troutnut.com)

picture_4375_small.jpg

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