One of the earliest and most important mayflies for the trout fishermen Blue wing olive fly. This easy tie gives a great foot print and is the perfect pattern for calmer flowing stretches of water.
As avid anglers, we know the importance of understanding the habits and life cycle of the insects that our prey fish feed on. One such insect that has caught our attention is the Blue Winged Olive (BWO).
In this article, I delve into the fascinating world of the Blue Winged Olive, exploring its physical characteristics, habitat, behavior, and life cycle. I also share some tips on how to use this knowledge to your advantage on your next fishing trip.
Table of Contents
Blue winged olive fly pattern recipe
- Hook: Mustad R30 # 12
- Tying thread: Sheer 14/0 Olive
- Tail: Coq de Leon Indio
- Abdomen: Turkey Biot olive
- Wing/post: 3 natural CDC hackles
- Hackle: Silver badger hackle
- Thorax: Olive squirrel dubbing
How to tie Blue winged olive fly – video
Physical Characteristics of the Blue Winged Olive
The Blue Winged Olive is a small insect that belongs to the family of Baetidae. It measures around 5-9 mm in length, with a wingspan of approximately 10-14 mm. The color of its body is usually olive-green, while its wings are transparent with a blue tint on the leading edge.
Habitat and Behavior of the Blue Winged Olive
The Blue Winged Olive is commonly found in freshwater streams and rivers across North America, Europe, and Asia. It prefers slow-moving water with a rocky bottom, but can also be found in faster-moving currents.
BWOs are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, making them an ideal target for fly fishing enthusiasts. They are also known for their erratic flight pattern, which can make them difficult to imitate with a fly.
Life Cycle of the Blue Winged Olive
The Blue Winged Olive has a unique life cycle, which starts as an egg laid in the water. The egg hatches into a nymph, which lives in the water for up to two years, feeding on algae and other aquatic plants.
As the nymph grows, it sheds its skin several times before emerging from the water as a subimago, which resembles an adult but with undeveloped wings. The subimago flies to nearby vegetation, where it molts for the final time, becoming a fully developed adult.
Fishing with Blue Winged Olives
Knowing the physical characteristics, habitat, behavior, and life cycle of the Blue Winged Olive can greatly improve your chances of catching fish on your next trip. Here are some tips on how to use this knowledge to your advantage:
- Look for slow-moving water with a rocky bottom, as this is the preferred habitat of the Blue Winged Olive.
- Fish during the early morning or late afternoon when the BWO is most active.
- Use a fly that imitates the erratic flight pattern of the BWO, such as a Parachute Adams or a Blue Winged Olive dry fly.
- If you’re fishing with nymphs, use a pattern that imitates the Blue Winged Olive nymph, such as a Pheasant Tail or a Hare’s Ear.
The Blue Winged Olive is a fascinating insect that has captivated the attention of anglers around the world. By understanding its physical characteristics, habitat, behavior, and life cycle, you can greatly improve your chances of catching fish on your next trip.
I hope this article has provided you with some valuable insights into the world of the Blue Winged Olive. Tight lines!
What does a blue winged olive imitate?
The BWO is a small Baetis Genus mayfly that has grey wings (with a bluish tint) and an olive/brown body. But the name can be a little confusing as many mayflies of this Genus are similar. They can hatch up to three times per year, often in very large numbers, making them an important trout food on many streams and rivers.
How do you fish blue winged olives?
BWO can be fished in all three stages, BWO nymph, emerger and dry fly. Although dry fly is probably the most popular as the BWO duns (adults) often sail on the surface for a good amount of time, making them easy pickings for a hungry trout.
When to fish blue winged olive?
The best time to fish BWO is during a hatch.
When do blue winged olive hatch?
They can be some of the first mayflies to hatch in the spring and the last in the autumn/winter.