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This topic is about the Mayfly Family Baetidae

"These little critters supplant the importance of many other well-known mayfly hatches."

-Fred Arbona in Mayflies, the Angler, and the Trout


Arbona did not overestimate these critters. Their great numbers and multiple broods each season make up for their size, which is rarely larger than size 16 and often smaller than size 20.

Hardly mentioned in angling literature prior to the middle of the last century, baetids have become increasingly important to anglers, rivaling any other family of mayflies in this regard. This is largely due to the extension of fishing seasons that now include the early and late periods when this familyís species usually dominate hatching activity. Another important reason is the tremendous improvement in tackle allowing more practical imitation of these little mayflies. The dramatic ecological changes in many of our watersheds and the subsequent impact this has had on the makeup of taxa populations is also a factor.

Taxonomically speaking, this is a most unruly family. The entomological community seems to be perpetually reclassifying its genera and species to the chagrin of many anglers. These changes are not capricious. The reason is older nomenclatures haven't provided the taxonomic flexibility required as more becomes known about the complexities of baetid relationships. Classification of this familyís genera and species is very much a work in progress. The changes have been so extensive that it is beyond the scope of this hatch page to track the taxonomic history effectively without interjecting even more confusion. If you are frustrated by the inability to find some of the old familiar names, you're not alone. Rest assured these popular hatches are listed here, just under the latest classifications. The old famous names are referenced in their hatch pages.

Common baetid hatches with a national distribution are the species Acentrella turbida, Baetis brunneicolor, and Baetis tricaudatus. In the West, Baetis bicaudatus, Diphetor hageni and Plauditus punctiventris can also be common. In the East and the Midwest, look for Baetis intercalaris and Plauditus dubius. The species Iswaeon anoka is important in both the West and Midwest. Some of the Procloeon and Anafroptilum (prev. Centroptilum) species are coming to the increasing notice of anglers across the country.

Stillwater anglers are likely to run across Callibaetis ferrugineus ferrugineus in the East and Midwest. Western anglers will find Callibaetis californicus and Callibaetis ferrugineus hageni to be very important.

Streamside identification of these mayflies to specific and often even generic level has always been difficult. This is now even more so as new taxonomic evidence has shown hind wing conformation (or lack of hind wings) and other features are less dependable as ways to tell the genera apart. Many of the lesser-known species probably produce excellent local hatches but have not caught enough attention to be properly recognized by anglers. The lesson is that we should not assume anything about the identity of many Baetidae hatches we come across; they may not even be in the Baetis genus, let alone familiar species. Read more...

There are 80 more specimens...

The Discussion

MartinlfNovember 4th, 2010, 9:52 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2902
Bruce, see Lloyd's comment above. Also, I'll ask this question again and hope you or Tony see it this time. When was the last Trico date? I just know you guys fished them again after our little outing. Tight lines, Louis
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3November 5th, 2010, 3:53 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Doh. If others had not responded, I was going to report that there were no BWOs to be found in Central PA anymore, and that the water in our streams has turned to fracking fluid, leaving little reason for anyone to come all this way to fish.

I don't fish as much as many of you do, but I have rarely found a time when a BWO nymph or emerger won't produce on area streams. I have had great success on them even when nothing (or something entirely different) appears to be hatching. I think I have found them hatching in every month of the year, but I don't keep detailed logs, so I can't be sure. All I know is that I would never go fishing without a healthy supply of several imitations in my vest, and I rarely fish a day without at some point tying one on.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
GutcutterNovember 5th, 2010, 5:31 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
louis
i had fishable tricos until september 25th. bruce fished them another week (maybe 2). i'm sure he will respond.
as the trico season progressed, the baetis hatch became stronger as well. in august, the baetis spinners were falling in the dark, before the female tricos hatched. i found this out while casting to rising fish during the trico emergence and getting nothing. dumbfounded, i changed to a female trico spinner in frustration (light olive abdomen)and surprisingly had consistent rises to my fly and caught some but missed more onacounta the dificulty detecting a rise to a #24 spinner in the dark. i figured this out (that they were baetis) when the trico spinnerfall happened hours later. so the fish seemed to be keying in on the easy target (baetis spinner) instead of the moving target(trico emerger) my theory made sense (to me at least) as the trico spinnerfall happened a few hours after sunrise (around 730am).
then, while fishing after the tricos were over, i saw baetis in good numbers with few rising fish to them. as the summer turned to fall, the baetis seemed to show up closer and closer to the trico spinners until during one outing they were emerging in the midst of the trico spinnerfall. each individual fish seemed to be rising to one or the other, but not both. again frustrated (too much knot tying and tippett legenthening)i rigged 2 rods, one with a trico spinner and the other with a bwo emerger. when i got ignored on 3 good drifts to an individual fish, i switched rods and hooked up almost immediately.
on our last trip, bruce fished from upstream and i fished from below to the same rising fish - him with a bwo and me with a trico and we seemed to pick-off almost every riser with one fly or the other. talk about fun! especially when a picky wild brown hit my fly after he was refused 3 times and then i missed the fish! we harassed the fish (and each other) that day for sure!
going back to the evolutionary part of this topic - could this multiple emergence benefit the mayfly? i think absolutely. could it benefit the predator? absolutely. does it benefit the angler? hell no - but it sure was fun working it out this season!!
sorry for the ramble spence - that is usually your job
tony
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
PaulRobertsNovember 5th, 2010, 9:45 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I have rarely found a time when a BWO nymph or emerger won't produce on area streams.
Same here. A #16 or #18 LOJ (Little Olive Job -or gray)is a GoTo.

Great discussion. Thanks all for the insight. Tony, thanks for those details. That kind of observation and thinking is what makes fishing so fascinating. Nothing beats being there, but it sure is great when others take the time to share their experiences and thoughts. Much appreciated here.

OldredbarnNovember 5th, 2010, 11:28 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Tony,

Nice ramble! I am creating, in my mind, an image of you down in the basement this winter with some PVC trying to attach it somehow to the back of your vest...This is so you can carry multiple strung rods at once as you trod down the river. And you guys teased me for over stuffing my vest with fly boxes!

What a picture! All those rod tips waving in the breeze, bending up against the overhanging tree limbs...You will look like one of those old WWII radiomen with antenna all over the place..."Let's see...He refused the Trico spinner on 7X. Do I use the 8X version or swith to the 6X Baetis emerger...Hmmm!" You will need a caddy! Instead of a nine-iron you can turn to him and say, "9x on the 3wt with the size 30 something-or-other, please! No! No! No! Give me the cane one I'm going to use one of the woods on this hole!" :)

Spence

I have noticed that our beloved "Bugs Boys" seem fairly silent here on this post...Tony we are going to have to get you to put the rods down for a brief moment and capture a few of these critters so we can get to the bottom of this...What are the size differences between these bugs for instance?

I'm thinking, yes to the multi-brood deal, but could it be more than our Baetid Buddies giving you hell in the dark? If we start with the first appearence in the season of the Tricos (late June/early July) and have Gonzo/Taxon/Konchu list the possibilities from this time to the end of the Tricos...Just in the size range say from 18-24 for example and not just the one's we expect to see on the simplified hatch charts...I'll bet it's quite a long list...I know it really doesn't matter as long as you are catching fish, no matter how many rods your are armed with, but inquiring minds want to know...

I know that Mr. McCafferty over at Purdue changed it's name, but for a good part of the season I'd bet, you may be seeing my old nemesis Pseudocleon anoka or some of his other near relatives.

I will never get over, since you mentioned the evolutionary thing, just how much bio mass a healthy stream can produce in a season...It's remarkable! I have seen some hatches/spinner falls that were so large, if I hadn't been there myself to see them I wouldn't of believed it possible...And these were before I made it back to the truck and the cold Molson's or other medicinals :)!

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsNovember 5th, 2010, 11:48 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
What a picture! All those rod tips waving in the breeze, bending up against the overhanging tree limbs...You will look like one of those old WWII radiomen with antenna all over the place...

Sounds like my bassin' tube, rigged to be of some use:



If I could negotiate wading slick canopied streams with multiple rods bristling from my back, I'd already be doing it. Re-rigging time is what precludes me from extracting more fish from a given stretch than anything else. Like most of us I suppose, I simply won't re-rig unless it's really worth the effort. I work within certain game plans, and adjust when a new and better opportunity presents itself. I suppose the first xtra rig I'd add to my usual bug-serving rig would be a big fish prospecting rig. I tend to do one or the other, and find the bugs so much fun, and satisfying to find big ones on bugs, that I more rarely get to the other.

One thing I did regularly though in steelheading was to carry one rod with two spools for my reel. I'd fish upstream with a floating line rigged for nymphing, and then come back down downstreaming streamers and wets behind a lead-core head. As I worked up I'd fish and also spot and mark fish I missed, then come back and feed them the streamer or wet. Killer. Watching submarine sized wakes roll up behind your fly-line was...ooooooooooohh. Strikes from these fish (steelies, bows, browns, Atlantics, coho, and chinook), many upwards of 10lbs, could be violent carrying them clean out. Making the cast was almost scary. I miss that.
GutcutterNovember 5th, 2010, 5:02 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
spence -
i carry two rigs often and have been doing so for years. it's pretty uncomplicated that way. for example, in the spring, i'll have my 9'4wt rigged for the expected #20 baetis 6x tippett and start with a generic emerger. i'll have my 9'5wt rigged to site nymph with 5x tippett and a generic mayfly or caddis fly. i'll fish this (adding or subtracting weight as needed) until i see or sometimes sense a baetis hatch starting (i am part jedi on my mother's side). then i'll wade over to where i have my dry/emerger rod stashed and now i'm ready. during paralept/subvaria seaon, i'll have one rod for each bug, knowing that i can switch the 4x or 5x hendrickson rod to a nymph rod in a flash just by changing flies and possibly adding weight. if i then encounter big stoneflies or the mayfly nymphs aren't working, i'll cut back the tippett and tie on a "big ugly". suddenly the bluequills start to pop up and i'm in business just by picking up the other rod.
now this works for me because - i have a whole bunch of "favorite" rods and i like to use all of them and i fish on small streams where i'm usually within eye contact of my gear. as i migrate up or down stream, i'll wade over and pick up my stuff until i'm in another good spot and then repeat. when the weather is variable - like the north central penna mountain freestones, i'll throw a stocking cap, fleece and raincoat with the other rod so i don't have to stuff all of that crap into a vest.
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
AdirmanNovember 6th, 2010, 2:01 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 490
Gutcutter;

I like your plan for your outings but I'm confused as to how many rigs you got going: is it 2 or 3? Also, that may be doable for fishing easy access places but would you still go w/ that plan for places w/ a bit of a hike involved?

Thanks,

Northcountryman
LastchanceNovember 6th, 2010, 5:06 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Gutcutter is a great guy to follow around on the stream because he always has 2 rods and lays one down to fish the other. This is when I really benefit because I now own a nice bamboo rod and another great sage. Of course, I can't fish them when I'm with him.
Bruce
GutcutterNovember 6th, 2010, 5:30 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
adiman
when a hike is involved, it really depends on the river, stream or creek that i'm going to fish. when the hike involves steep banks, i limit it to 1 rod. and it is usually one of my less than favorite rods. better to only break one!
i have the disadvantage of having to schedule my outings well in advance. if the weather is lousy, so be it.
i schedule my trips around expected hatches, so i have a pretty good idea of what to expect and carry only what i suspect that i'll need.
but what's always in my chest pack are midges (24-30), generic caddis dry/larvae/emerger, (16-20) and OLIVES - the topic of this thread - in 18-24. i also carry some basic mayfly and stonefly nymphs in my wader pocket with some shot and indicators.
the rest of my boxes are hatch specific.
i limit my tonnage to 2 rods and depending upon what bugs i feel are out and about (remember that i am part jedi) - i'll rig two 4wts, a 4 and 5 wt, a 3 and 4 wt or my cane rod with something else.
although i love fishing my cane rod, it does have it's limitations in my hands. one particular spot that i love forces me to make a pretty long cast (50 ft+) and punch that fly into the wind and under a low bridge (you know that spot shawnny) and i CAN do it with the cane but it takes a helluva lot of effort to do it and the boron/graphite is a better tool. usually after i catch a few risers out of that spot, i'll switch to the bamboo just so i know that i can still do it if i have to...
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
GutcutterNovember 6th, 2010, 5:36 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
and
when i fish with lastchance i always make it a point to "accidentally"shove him into live electric fences. and then while he is dazed, i get my gear back. this usually results in amnesia for poor bruce so the next outing i let him "borrow" some gear again just so i can repeat the cycle and enjoy watching his hair curl and waders melt
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
GutcutterNovember 6th, 2010, 5:42 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
and when i fish with louis i just watch the man methodically stare at a pool for 45 minutes change the fly and nail one on the first cast
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
GutcutterNovember 6th, 2010, 5:43 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
and when i fish with wbranch i just bring a large net
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
GutcutterNovember 6th, 2010, 5:47 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
and if i ever get the opportunity to fish with spence i'll bring earplugs
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
GutcutterNovember 6th, 2010, 5:48 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
if i ever get to fish with gonzo, i'll bring a notebook and tape recorder
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
GutcutterNovember 6th, 2010, 5:50 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
if i ever head to washington to fish with taxon, i'll bring the white lid from a canning jar
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
MartinlfNovember 6th, 2010, 12:01 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2902
Great posts, Tony; You're holding up the Troutnut tradition of some fall and winter humor when the fishing slows a bit. But as I told you, that fish was mostly luck. And Gonzo's fly. I'm hibernating with a stack of papers to grade every week or so, but hope to get out for some winter midging when things let up a bit.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
OldredbarnNovember 8th, 2010, 8:17 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Damn Tony! Maybe this morning you should of passed on that 4th or 5th cup of Joe! :) Your are starting to ramble on like me...

Actually you will be able to leave the ear plugs at home if we ever get to fish together...Other than on this site, which I'm unable to explain, I'm usually a fairly quiet fellow...Especially when I'm luckey enough to be in the woods or on the stream chasing trout.

My fishing buddy has been known to call me Mr. Lore but that's after having to hear me go on excitedly since the late 70's...This wasn't usually while we were fishing but down in the basement watching Hockey Night in Canada and tying flies and drinking beers...Over untold numbers of breakfasts, sitting on a log waiting for the rise, in the car on the way up and back,...Oh for a while we worked together and his mom use to make me homemade pierogies, apple pies, vego-pizza's and vego-pasties...Yum! Yum! So you see I don't really ramble on all that much...I'm just an "excitable boy". :)

If anything in life is worth doing it's worth getting excited about...When my folks divorced, when I was ten, I promised that 10 year old at the time I'd watch over him. There is still a little bit of him hanging around inside me somewhere and I still get excited about Opening Day among other things. It use to be worse...We would leave Detroit in the 60"s at 3:00am in January, my grandfather and me, to hunt. Years later my fishing buddy and I did the exact same thing and I still had a hard time getting to sleep the night before and when we finally hit the river I'd be so geeked...I could barely tie on a fly...He was releasing his 4th or 5th trout and would call back over his shoulder, "Hey Dutchman! You fishing today or what?!"

Spence

Thanks for softening up Phoenix for us the other evening! I'll be down at the Joe tonight to watch the next Stanley Cup champs play them.

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
LastchanceNovember 8th, 2010, 9:53 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Tony, I found out no matter how I grab that wire it will still give me a jolt. Man, those cows and horses don't have it easy.
OldredbarnNovember 8th, 2010, 11:56 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Man, those cows and horses don't have it easy.


Bruce...The thing about a cow and a horse is that after the first pop they no longer touch it...Hmmm.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
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