Posts Tagged ‘baetis


Swimmer Nymphs & Pheasant Tail Backstrap

The Swimmer Nymph: The slender bodied nymph that undulates to the surface film (as opposed to crawlers, clingers, borrowers). Blue Winged Olives generally fall into this category and are often considered, over all, one of the more important mayfly species to learn about. Below, Pheasant Tail fibers are an excellent material to help represent that slender, swimming body. It was also used here for the wing case and gives that fuzzy effect. The Pheasant Tail fibers were run back over the top of the abdomen and extended into the tail. I wrapped the wire ribbing forward over the top of the pheasant tail pieces to secure them (Skip Nymph technique for back strap over abdomen). Some, in a more exacting style, would opt for fewer pheasant tail fibers, say 3, in an attempt for matching the natural image (3 tails).


BWO’s (Most Waters~Most Places) Rick Hafele, A Great Source

BWO Nymph

BWO Nymph

So what makes these small mayflies so important to the fly fisher? One reason is that they occur in nearly every type of flowing water habitat. Their worldwide distribution attests to their ability to adapt to many different conditions. They live in streams from sea level to over 10,000 feet high, from alkaline spring creeks to acidic mountain streams, and from hot desert streams to frigid arctic waters. For example, while studying a small desert stream in western Colorado I found Baetis tricaudatus to be one of the most abundant aquatic insects present. At the same time, during study in Alaska, I found Baetis bicaudatus a significant component of the invertebrate community. Water temperatures may be an important factor affecting the distribution of different species. Within the large range of habitats utilized by species of Baetis, the largest populations tend to occur where lush beds of aquatic plants grow in rich spring creeks, or in shallow, fast flowing gravelly riffles of freestone streams and rivers. And wherever Baetis species are abundant they provide a near constant and readily available food supply for many aquatic organisms, including trout.

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