Baetis Mayfly

 Baetis Mayfly hatch matching patterns.

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. * Search Catalog Trips & Schools Bargains
Our Waters Order Info Newsletter Events
Baetis Winter Emerger  Baetis Twilight Parachute Quigley's Hackle Stacker
Baetis Sparkle Dun Poly Wing Spinner  
Compiled by: Mark Bachmann
Baetis mayflies are an extremely widespread genus. Several species are multi-brooded and may have two or more generations per season. The west's great fly fishing entomologist Rick Hafele, tells us that there are at least five sub-species of baetis that hatch from Oregon's streams and lakes. Hatches can occur nearly any time of year. This makes them common trout food and therefore very important to fly anglers. all of the streams in the Deschutes Basin have strong reoccurring Baetis hatches. Baetis are found in both the western and eastern United States. The Latin name is the popular name used by the angling public. They are also commonly called blue-winged olives. However Baetis can also have tan or gray bellies as well. Trout can be very selective and prefer one shade over another. Most Baetis look gray on the water and can be quite deceptive. It pays to catch a hatched insect and examine it closely under magnification. Baetis are small, #16–20, but they hatch in big numbers. The best hatches occur heaviest on over-cast, rainy days. This makes them significant early season and late season hatches. Baetis hatches go on all winter. Hatches can start in late morning and extend into early after noon.
Baetis nymphs are swimmers. They inhabit many water types in streams, but prefer weedy riffles and runs. Use a "kick screen" in the morning. If you find Baetis nymphs with wing pads that are very dark, chances are there will be a hatch during that day. Nymphs will start getting restless in the morning. This is a good time to pound the bottom with Baetis Nymph patterns. Nymphs start drifting down the river and swimming to the surface in the late morning. Some nymphs might make several attempts to reach the surface before they actually make it. These insects are very small and don't provide much food value unless they can be taken easily in a large quantity. The best places to fish are where riffles with small graveled weedy runs enter slow pools or slow back-eddies. The nymphs leave the bottom of the riffle and drive along the bottom for a distance. Then they attempt to swim to the surface were the water velocity slows down. When the nymphs reach the surface of the water, their wing pads break through the meniscus. They can hang there for several minutes as floating nymphs. As the skin splits down the back of the head and between the wing pads the dun starts to emerge through this tear. At this point the insect can neither swim nor fly. It is completely helpless and a perfect target for trout. The hatching duns can collect in quieter flows in very large numbers. The trout know where these conditions regularly occur and also collect in large numbers. Feeding is usually slow and quiet. Look for snouts and fin tips. Some Baetis hatch before reaching the surface of the water. Watch for bulging trout that don't quite reach the surface. If you observe such activity and your dry fly or emerger isn't working, try trimming down a dry fly to fish it wet. Target individual fish with pin-point casting.
The following was copied from:
Stable Isotopes Resolve the Drift Paradox for Baetis Mayflies in an Arctic River
By: Anne E. Hershey, ­John Pastor, ­Bruce J. Peterson, and ­George W. Kling­

The colonization cycle hypothesis states that stream ecosystems would become depleted of insects if flying adults did not compensate for drifting immatures. Using long—term drift and benthic abundance data, we show that a Baetis mayfly nymph population moves downstream during development in the Kuparuk River in arctic Alaska. Baetis relative benthic abundance decreased from early to late season in an upstream unfertilized river section, while simultaneously increasing in the downstream fertilized section. Baetis nymphs drifted significantly more in the upstream unfertilized section, compared to the downstream fertilized section where food was more abundant. Approximately one—third to one—half of the nymph population drifted at least 2.1 km downstream during the arctic summer. A stable isotope tracer experiment and mathematical models show that about one—third to one—half of the adult Baetis population flew 1.6—1.9 km upstream from where they emerged. These results provide a quantitative test of the colonization cycle for the dominant grazer/collector in the Kuparuk River. Quantifying the colonization cycle is essential to understanding stream ecosystem function because offspring of downstream insects are needed for nutrient cycling and carbon processing upstream. Since downstream drift and upstream flight are important components in recovery of streams from disturbances, our results provide a quantitative method for predicting re-colonization rates from downstream, essential to estimating recovery.
Want to know more about Baetis Mayflies? Check out the following:
WESTERN MAYFLY HATCHES By: Dave Hughes and Rick Hafele

Baetis Winter Emerger
Winter Baetis Mayflies can be very dark colored.  Many are jet black.  As the nymph swims to the surface The adult insect is already separating itself from the nypmphal shuck.  Bright green bands form at each abdominal segment.  As the skin splits down the back of the head and between the wing pads of the nymph, the dun starts to emerge through this tear.  At this point the insect can neither swim nor fly. It is completely helpless and a perfect target. Mark Bachmann pattern.
Item Description Size Price To Top
20017 Baetis Winter Emerger 18 3 for $5.85

Baetis Sparkle Dun
Baetis duns slide from the inside of the nymphal skin out onto the surface of the water.  Their wings assume an upright position while the shuck still hangs from the rear of the abdomen.  Some are exhausted and are trapped with this shuck attached.  They become easy prey for trout.  This is a proven fly for Baetis hatches, winter and summer.
Item Description Size Price To Top
15818 Baetis Sparkle Dun 18 3 for $5.85

Quigley's Hackle Stacker
This dainty pattern was designed by bob Quigley and is especially useful on spring creeks where trout are particularly selective.
Item Description Size Price To Top
20044 Quigley's Hackle Stacker 18 3 for $5.85
20045 Quigley's Hackle Stacker 20 3 for $5.85

Baetis Twilight Parachute
This is another hi-vis dry fly. Remember that Baetis like to hatch on dark overcast days.  These are conditions which make it tough for the angler to distinguish his fly from the real ones.  Being able to see your fly can be a critical factor for success.
Item Description Size Price To Top
14-0020-16 Baetis Twilight Parachute 16 3 for $5.85
14-0020-18 Baetis Twilight Parachute 18 3 for $5.85

Baetis Poly Wing Spinner
Some Baetis spinners, especially the ones that hatch during the late fall and winter, are gray toned.  This fly can be fished dry or wet and can extend your productive fishing time.
Item Description Size Price To Top
12-0160-16B Baetis Poly Wing Spinner 16 3 for $5.85
12-0160-18B Baetis Poly Wing Spinner 18 3 for $5.85

The key to success is "understanding".  You can never know enough.
Understanding the organisms that trout feed on is one of the keys to catching trout.
The Hatch Guide For Western Streams by Jim Schollmeyer 
is great reference material for the trout fisher.
Check out our special deal.

No one beats our quality at any price!

HOME.  The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1 (800) 266-3971

Back to Mayfly dries and Emergers

To Top