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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Ventral view of a Hydropsyche (Hydropsychidae) (Spotted Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
With a bit of help from the microscope, this specimen keys clearly and unsurprisingly to Hydropsyche.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Report at a Glance

General RegionMissouri Ozarks
Specific LocationUpper Current River
Dates Fished11/24
Time of Day12-5(sundown)
Fish CaughtBrowns and rainbows
Conditions & HatchesAir temp-31-38
Rain, freezing rain, and sleet
hatches-great Blue-winged Olive hatch-a few midges and caddis as well, but the fish were definitely keying in on the Baetis
Water temp-48-50

Details and Discussion

Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Nov 26, 2010November 26th, 2010, 3:25 am EST
I fished a stretch of the upper Current the day before Thanksgiving. It was a classic nasty, late fall/early winter day, with precipitation coming down alternately as rain, sleet, and freezing rain. It was terrible weather to be sure, but it is also the kind of conditions the Blue-Winged Olives love.

I got to the river at noon. The very upper reaches of this river are crowded, even on nasty days like this. So I selected an access that is further downstream from where most fish, but still plenty far upstream to be good trout water.

From the moment I got to the river, the bugs were on the water and the trout were rising. I tied on a #20 Blue-Winged Olive dry, and picked out a fish that was rising steadily against a bluff bank across the river. I caught the fish on the second or third cast. It was a regulation 11" brown trout. Nothing special, but still a nice fish on a small dry fly. Frankly I have plenty of trouble fishing any dry fly #20 or smaller, so I'm happy with any fish I catch on such a fly.

I got into something of a zone pretty quickly, and the day ended up being one of the best I've ever had on a stream. Trout rose steadily for several hours, and I managed to catch plenty of them. It was wet, nasty, and cold, and I was chilled to the bone. Still, this is exactly what I was hoping would happen. I have been searching Missouri's trout streams all fall for a good Olive hatch, and have only been rewarded with a few sparse hatches. The weather has just been to sunny and warm, and the water too low. But this was the day that would make up for all of that.

Finally, at about 4:30, the hatch had pretty much petered out. I tried with a nymph, and then a big streamer, but it was over. Just like that, the best day of my 2010 season had come and passed.

By the way, the rain/sleet that I fished in turned to snow yesterday (Thanksgiving), and we got a pretty good dusting of the stuff. The temperature is well below freezing now. Fall is past and winter is here, but at least I got in one good day. Now it's time to get serious about tying the midges up for winter fishing.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Nov 26, 2010November 26th, 2010, 9:36 am EST
Good for you. That's the kind of day we all hope for. Glad you hit it good. I only hit the hatch one time this year so far.
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Nov 26, 2010November 26th, 2010, 11:19 am EST
Yeah, it was definitely a good day.

I'm headed back tommorrow, but it's supposed to be bright and sunny-probably won't hit it again with those conditions, but you never know.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 27, 2010November 27th, 2010, 7:43 am EST
Way to go MT. Glad you hit it. Sure keeps us coming back ..."remember that time..."
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on Nov 27, 2010November 27th, 2010, 5:49 pm EST
That a boy nicely done and always good to hear about!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.

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