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GooseSeptember 18th, 2006, 5:47 am
Posts: 77Hi Jason: Being that the bottom side of a BWO is a medium to light olive in color, why do people tend tie them in dark olive or even gray? The fish only see the bottom. Just wondering.
TroutnutSeptember 18th, 2006, 11:08 am
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2539
BWO colors really run the gamut, because they can belong to several dozen different mayfly species. Some are light and some are darker.

Patterns do seem to be a bit on the dark side. This might have something to do with the common name. People think "olive" should be the shade of a green olive, which is too dark for a lot of the species. Then the patterns get even darker when they're wet.

The effect might seem a little worse when you look at the pictures on this site, because I photograph mayflies under really bright light to show the hues and patterns well. Under normal conditions they'll look a bit darker than they appear in my photos.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
SayfuMarch 27th, 2013, 5:23 pm
Posts: 560A guide that I have always respected for his fly fishing knowledge, a Montana Guide who guided on the Missouri River, and a trib, the Smith river, Neal Streaks, wrote that his effective dry for BWO's was a gray bodied Parachute Adams. He didn't feel a need to match the exact body color.
JOHNWMarch 27th, 2013, 7:56 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
Goose,
In fishing many of the same streams as you I have found that fly rite #10 is a very good color for the early baetids, while something leaning more to the gray end of the spectrum is more suitable for the big summer BWO's (cornutas I believe). Although the ones I examined most recently were almost the same dun color as the wing.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn

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