One of the year’s best hatches is right around the corner in the form of millions of tiny Baetis mayflies, better known as Blue Winged Olives (BWO). If you’re not familiar with this hatch, it occurs around the change of season each spring and fall. In the spring it is very obvious that trout have been waiting for the massive amount of food that accompanies the first heavy mayfly hatch of each year. Right now, the first day of March, is the perfect time to look at some pre-hatch options to fish while waiting for this hatch to occur. This past year I was introduced to my newest go-to BWO nymph- Camden’s Baetis.
Camden’s Baetis was designed by a fellow Provo River Guide by the name of Ryan Newman. The Lower Provo is a great fishery that sees a lot of angling pressure. His successful attempt at fooling these fish resulted in this great innovative fly pattern. This nymph has been an instant success on all rivers I fish where small mayfly nymphs occur. For example, tailwaters not only have great BWO hatches in the spring and fall, but these tiny mayflies abound in the nymphal stage year round. They live as subsurface nymphs, swimming around the stream bottom, and trout gobble them up most of the year. For this reason, on almost any given day while fishing tailwaters, one can tie on Camden’s Baetis and expect to get some attention from the trout.
How to Fish Camden’s Baetis- Much like a zebra midge, Camden’s Baetis catches fish even in the dead of summer. Suspended under an indicator with splitshot to get it to the stream bottom has produced the best results for me. It has the perfect mayfly profile, and can be bought through Orvis, or tied in black, brown, or olive. Small sizes (18-20) have yielded great success. Another great way to fish this pattern is as a dropper behind a BWO dry fly. This nymph is tied with a glass bead and doesn’t have much weight to it. It will ride just below the surface film, not dragging your dry fly under, and trout are usually more prone to taking a subsurface offering (emergers and nymphs) even when great hatches occur.
How to Tie Camden’s Baetis- Ryan has put together a great instructional video on tying Camden’s Baetis. It is a simple pattern, like most you will find n our site, and it catches fish like crazy. Beginners and experts alike can tie up a dozen in no time. Just remember, with BWO nymphs, often times the smaller the better. Remember, as stated above, if you don’t tie Camden’s Baetis is also available to buy through Orvis here CAMDEN’S BAETIS.
Today we had the opportunity to do a fly tying demo at Roundrocks Fly Shop here in Logan, Utah. We had a decent turn out for how bad the weather ended up being. There were a lot of good questions and interest as we presented our two bits on french nymphing and a few of the most effective nymph patterns for this particular method.
A few of the patterns we demonstrated include: Czech Nymph, Polish Woven Nymph, Kohler’s Peeking Caddis (see photos below), and my latest steelhead killer- Tungsten Embryo. There will be videos coming on all of the following patterns. Those who were at the shop today got a quick preview of what’s to come.
The First fly I ever tied was a black Wooly Bugger. Is there a better fly out there to demonstrate the basics of fly tying? Its large size facilitates tying, it follows the basic steps used in most of todays flies, and lets be honest it catches fish like crazy. It is for these reasons that I choose to start my new friends, the riverside scouts, off tying with the Wooly Bugger. I have to be honest, they did a great job and I’m sure their creations will one day catch fish if they venture out to try. For tying instructions click Wooly Bugger Tutorial