Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Wanted: A Blue Winged Olive Hatch

A wild brown that took a BWO imitation.

It's that time of year when the Blue Winged Olive hatch should be on.  I spent Sunday seeking the hatch but did not find it.  I drove around to Six Mile Gap on the Upper North Platte and discovered it was too muddy to fish.  Maybe not too muddy, but muddier that I wanted to deal with.  Lesson learned: check the N. Platte at the State Line Ranch bridge before driving another 12 miles north to six mile gap.  The  muddy run off was from a snow storm that had hit the N. Platte River Valley but did not leave us a drop of snow on the other side of the Snowy Range.  I drove back to fish the Laramie River not far from my home.  The ice is off but the water is clear and low. These are not the easiest conditions for fishing there.  The Laramie is a wild brown trout fishery and can offer fantastic fishing - but just as often, for me anyway, it can be a bust.  In fact, I can not think of another river that has fished as inconsistently for me as the Laramie.

The day was cool and intermittently overcast with fast scudding clouds which occasionally dropped a mixture of rain and sleet and sometimes a rush of snow which was gone in another minute. Textbook conditions for a Spring Baetis hatch.  The Blue Winged Olives are the first mayflies to hatch in the season.  They are magnificent little mayflies with bluish gray wings and olive/brown bodies.  Unfortunately, the hatch was not to be.

I did have a good afternoon.  I caught six (or seven?) beautiful wild brown trout in a bit more than three hours. The largest (shown above) was just under 18" but the fish were more commonly around 14".  All but two of the fish took a WD40 tied on a size 18 DaiRiki #135 hook.  I've been tying the WD40 with a wood duck tail and a body of 70 denier olive/brown UTC thread. Compared to the old standard Uni-thread the UTC thread colors are both nuanced and rich. The thorax is dubbed with SLF Spikey Dubbing in the Natural Fox color.  The wing case is black Holo Tinsel.  The distinctive thing about the WD40 is the oversize "globular" thorax.   Of the two fish that did not take the WD40, one fancied a skinny orange rock worm and another took a gold bead caddis.  I have to say that every time I brought one in on the WD40 I was surprised to see the fish had not taken the more colorful fly of the pair.  The BWO's may not have been hatching but the fish seem keyed into a good imitation of the BWO nymph/emerger.  That has me thinking the hatch is on, I just missed it.

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