The last few weeks I have been fishing the Missouri River and conditions have been perfect for BWOs. Water temps have been above 42 degrees for a few weeks, the sun has been out and the BWOs have been on the water. Blue Winged Olives are a member of the Baetidae family,over 60 species in the West. What does that mean to you? A BWO is the same thing as a Baetis. There are a few more names floating around, little olives and little blue duns. Dont drive your self crazy just learn to recognize a BWO when it is on the water.
BWO’s are one of the first and last meals of the year. On the Missouri you should start looking for them when water temps hit 42-43 degrees, they like overcast days and usually come out when the weather is shitty. With that said they can show up on perfect sunny days. The adult has two tails, small and narrow hind wings, sizes run from 20 to a large dun at 14. Body colors can vary from light to dark olive to gray/olive. Wings are typically light gray to dark slate gray. The nymphs can have two or three tails, two antennae on the head and small gills on the abdomen. Colors range from olive to olive brown to brown. Why purple you ask? It works!
I have been fishing this fly for the last two weeks and it has found a place in my fly box. It is a pretty easy tie but has a few things you should keep in mind. The eye if the hook can get crowded easily. There is a lot going on in this area, so think minimal thread wraps. When you tie in your wing case and bring it forward make sure that you use minimal wraps to secure it at the eye of the hook. I like two wraps, then pull the krystal flash back behind the fly. Give it a good pull. This will pull everything away from the hook eye and give you a good point to secure a few wraps for the legs. Secure the legs with as few wraps as possible. Now use a three turn whip finish, one wrap right on top of the other. This keeps the head of your fly nice and small. You dont want to loose the head of your fly in your tie off point.