Baetis Nymph
Tied by: Bill Trublubug Southeastern PA, US
Bill Trublubug

Bill Trublubug
7 months ago

How does one mimic this Baetis Nymph on a size 18-20.

I’m posting the photo to make a point about how fancy we need to be when we imitate the minutia. Also to make another point about color. Have you had success with BWO nymphs and emergers tied in shades of olive?

I’ve tried varied imitations from complex to super simple. I’d like to hear about your experiences if you would share them. My current imitation is based on a super simple pattern called Al’s Rat. I’ve posted that fly here before. The modifications I make to that one are to add a rib of fine copper or gold and to make the thorax area a bit sleeker when I dub.

I hope you have a successful pattern for these little guys and will post it. Can’t wait to see what has worked for you.

Jon Redwine
7 months ago

Nice tie Bill - almost looks like the real thing. Hahaha! Okay just kidding. Great post, however and great information.

Bill Trublubug
7 months ago

@jredwine Thanks Jon. Took some time to tie this one. These new “invisible” hooks take some getting used to. LOL. Do you have a bwo nymph pattern you favor?

Jon Redwine
7 months ago

No, not really. You can probably tell by my flies I flash that I throw a lot of meaty streamers. However, when I do fish a BWO pattern it’s usually a pretty small PT nymph type pattern with olive scud back wrapped abdomen, wing case and dub. Usually a beadhead as well. I just prefer to weight my nymphs rather than use shot etc. My BWO’s are some of the smaller flies I tie and that’s about a #18. That’s about my limit for small size. I don’t do too well with flies much smaller than that, and an 18 is even a stretch. Lol!

Michael Mc Brien
6 months ago

I have been playing with midge vinyl rib and using a black tungsten bead tied under wing case as a thorax. Slim profile, high density. Can’t say it works any better than a PT or brassie but it is easier to Fish deeper.

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

Thanks Michael @micmac What do you like for the wing case?

Brandon Nam
6 months ago

Flyfishfood’s Aero baetis is a pretty good imitation

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

Thanks @Moloto I think this is a good simple imitation. The aero baetis has the key ingredients I think are important. A strongly segmented body and a prominent wing case on a slender tapered body. Think I’ll give these a tie. Watched video and if you tie this pattern, I’ll make a suggestion. When clipping off the excess wingcase material, don’t cut it straight across the body at a 90 degree angle as in the video. This requires subsequent trimming to shape the wing buds. Instead, fold the wing material and make your cut from the eye of the hook. Makes the two separate wing buds with a single cut.

Michael Mc Brien
6 months ago

@Bill Trublubug I like the old standard turkey with a UV coat. I've also tried thinskin but I keep going back to UV coated turkey of pheasant.

Kenan Haseta
6 months ago

Hi Bill, My nymphs imitets beatis ,weighted are imitations on bottom,that's reason why i told you to put few feathers in tail not too much.Unweighted nymph's presents nymphs in theirs finished era and when they come to surface.I'm using pheasant tail for wing case,Somethimes biots,or two biots on two sides.When i'm trying to imitates small nymphs like this beatida,in Bosnia most of them are olivive or brown olive color,sizes from 16 to 22.I'm using tourkey or goose biots for back cover and same biots for wing case.Under cover i'm using hare's,bevers,or squirl olive or brown olive dubbings.For ribbing i'm using tungsten wire 0.10 or 0.05 depend what size of nymphs i'm tying.

Michael van den Bogert
6 months ago

Hello Bill this is just the way I tie this little Baetis nymph. To ty this nymph on a size 18-20 hook I think it's necessary to choose the right hook. My type hook for this little pattern is the Kamasan B-400 size 18. First give it 5 turns lead wire 0.25 than start with the tying thread ( I used Uni 8/0 ) For tail I used 3 fibers of a venery pheasant tail. Build up the body for a nice shape. Again select 2 venery fibers for the body. Choose the fibers with enough brown and tan.Best make them wet before tying them in. I use for this operation I use the rotary function to become the best result. As wing case I used a biot. The thorax is a blend dubbing - brown and olive green. Before tying of the wing case give the dubbing a little brush. That will create the legs of this little nymph. Our friend Sally gives the wing case the right gloss and durability. Give a little cut at the underside and finished is the Baetis nymph my style.

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

@MvdB Thanks so much for the complete description of your version of a baetis nymph Michael. Thank you for taking the time to be so thorough. My understanding of the word venery is “hunting” (venerie-Middle English, Middle French, derived from Latin venor). I’ve become confused by that description of the tailing fibers. Are you using Reeves Pheasant ? The use of the description “enough brown and tan” seems to indicate the use of Ringneck Pheasant fibers rather than Reeves. In any case, my baetis don’t show discernible variegation in their tails, just a golden brown hue. I can clearly understand the use of a barred feather for the body as my nymphs are strongly segmented and your suggestion about wetting the fibers prior to winding the abdomen is an excellent one. A biot wing case is a good imitation and is quick and easy. I sometimes eliminate the wing case for speed’s sake, but adding one has, at times, been an important refinement when the fish are ultra picky. One final comment/question on your hook choice. Since you believe that the hook style is important to the finished fly, I have to ask about your choice. I’m not using Kamasan hooks but I see that the TMC 100 is comparable. Both the K-400 and TMC 100 are listed as light wire hooks. Do you use the lighter wire hooks to get a thinner taper for the abdomen? Do you flatten the wire to give a broader (more realistic) profile. It is my believe that distinct segmentation and a narrowly tapered abdomen are very important features of these imitations. Again, thanks so much for indulging my curiosity. I very much enjoy discussions of this technical nature and appreciate any thoughts you might want to share. It almost seems superfluous to ask so many questions when I’ve caught many trout on small PT nymphs that are simply generic to the baetis. You are very kind to indulge my never ending curiosity.

Michael van den Bogert
6 months ago

Yes indeed Bill you are right with the name 'venery' = venery reeve tail feathers. Your question about the color brown and tan is the color of some fibers from the reeve feather tails. Some are more grey-brown and for this nymph not usable. The advantage, for me, is they give good segmentation for the body and even some slight gills are visible. Therefor also the choice for them as tail. Match the hatch, match the fly. The wing case can be a biot or fibers and even medaillon sheeting ( Shane Stalcup style ) The hook choice was about the length of the shank. But with the 4 or 5 turns of lead wire it will be no problem. The shape of this nymph is very important so don't exaggerate with building up the body. It's a tapered body so don't flatten the wire is my suggestion. Maybe I was too fast with writing my description but that features me :-( My question for you is: you wrote ' eliminate the wing case for speed's sake ' and this confuses me. Why would you do that Bill? Curiosity and fly fishing going hand in hand.

Bill Trublubug
6 months ago

@MvdB Eliminating the wing case for speed Hi Michael, when I tie just for myself I take all the time I need to try to make these little imitations look like the naturals. I know from experience that certain refinements often can make a difference when fishing heavily pressured waters, especially “fly fishing only streams”. I also know that a well proportioned size 18 PT nymph works great to imitate the baetis in most instances so I don’t go the extra mile all the time. I tie a lot and give most away. If I’ve been asked for a pattern that can be used successfully through out the season, I often suggest baetis nymphs since they are multi-brood insects and are in the water in various sizes through out the year. On a second note, you make the same point I did regarding the taper of the fly, it needs to be thin not bulky. The proportion (I prefer the word silhouette) is very often the difference between success and failure for baetis nymphs. Because of that belief, when I weight my imitations I use a few wraps of wire just at the thorax area and the “flattening” I spoke of is on the horizontal axis. This gives me a base to build on and keeps the entire fly on the “thin side”. My most frequented waters have a rough, rocky substrate that “eats” flys. For this reason I use a minimum number of wraps and a smaller diameter wire.

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Uploaded 7 months ago
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