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WestCOSeptember 25th, 2011, 10:32 pm
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
Just out of curiosity, what all sizes do you tie your PMD's and BWO's in. I generally tie my BWO's from 14-18, and my PMD's from 16-20, but wanted to get some feedback to see if I wasn't tying a big enough range, or if I was wasting time on too big or too small.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
TNEALSeptember 26th, 2011, 12:53 pm
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
Our (Northern Michigan) late summer/fall olives are trico size; 24-26...
EntomanSeptember 26th, 2011, 2:17 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Westco,

It depends on what you mean by BWO's and PMD's.

If by these names you mean the olive bodied species of the Baetis genus and the sulfurish species of the Ephemerella genus, I would swap the sizes you listed.

If you mean mayflies from any genus with various shades of gray wings and with olivaceous or sulfurish cream bodies, the following list is fairly comprehensive.

BWO
1. Western ephemerellid BWO's run from size 8 to 18
2. Western baetid BWO's run from size 16 (a few can be as large as size 14) to as small as you dare to tie.
3. Western heptageniid BWO's run from size 12 to 16

PMD
1. Western ephemerellid and heptageniid PMD's run from size 14 to 18 (though a few have been documented as large as size 12)
2. Western baetid PMD's run from size 16 to as small as you dare to tie.

There are a few species of all three mayfly families that can blur the lines between these two general color schemes.

Hope this is helpful.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuSeptember 26th, 2011, 4:43 pm
Posts: 560Our Fall Olives are not Olive...very much fluorescent green,/chartruese in body color. And they are small, probably #22's, but I can get fish to eat my size #18 short shanking caddis/pupa hook flies. Second generation PMD's are often the same size as BWO's, a size #18, and again I go a size bigger. Confusion exists out West here between PMD's and the Pale Evening Duns that are much bigger, and come off mid-day to late, Epeorus Albertae, called Pink Alberts..size #14-12. Not as many come off, but fish luv them, and a pink bodied tie is the ticket, often a sparkle dun, or comparadun for me. And the Pink Alberts come off later in the Summer.
EntomanSeptember 26th, 2011, 9:41 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Sayfu -

Yeah, those little chartreuse numbers are one of the species I was referring to as blurring the lines between the two categories of BWO and PMD. This is the baetid we used to refer to as Pseudocloeon edmundsi which is very common in many western waters. It was synonymized with the eastern species P. anoka awhile back and moved to the genus Heterocloeon. It didn't rest there long, though. It has recently been moved to a newly named genus and now goes by the handle Iswaeon anoka. Whatever...:)

It's a heck of a hatch and I've had loads of fun with it over the years. Have you considered a short shank up-eye hook for this critter? I've had excellent results with the Tiemco 500U in size 20. it allows a straighter profile and lighter weight without giving up hook gap. It's perfect for the little chartreuse wingless wets, nymphs and parachutes that are my weapons of choice for this hatch. Here's a photo showing a size 22 baetis wet tied on this hook.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WestCOSeptember 26th, 2011, 11:14 pm
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
Thanks. I wasn't specific. Sorry. I am referring to the Western Baetis for BWO, and the Western pale morning dun (I don't think its a Baetis).

My thinking is this. I generally use a 16 for the BWO when I'm fishing it straight up in calm conditions, but go a size bigger in larger ripple runs. I also don't tie it in Olive, I tie in that lighter green that provides the more lime green aerodecent (SP?) color. I tie specifically for the frying pan, I just wanted to know some thoughts.

Also, for the fly you pictured, I really enjoy tying a baetis colored quill bodied BWO with a brownish flanked mallard wing.

For my PMD's I use a light pink dubbing with a slight tint of orange. I go darker with my spinners.

Overall though I rarely see fish attacking adult dun patterns on the pan. Usually a sparkle dun trapped in the film, or a parachute works better for me. The food is so abundant on that river that I really rarely see them taking duns.

Thanks for the help though.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
EntomanSeptember 27th, 2011, 12:48 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi westco -

...and the Western pale morning dun (I don't think its a Baetis).

You're right. The common name "Pale Morning Dun" is usually applied to the species of Ephemerella called E. dorothea infrequens and E. excrucians. However, common names being what they are can be used by anglers however the please (and they often are).:)

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WestCOSeptember 27th, 2011, 10:47 pm
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
Thank you. I've been studying entomology for about 2 years now and am just getting to the point where I understand the scientific names so that's actually really helpful. I do understand the difference between ephemerella and baetis even though I'm still coming to grips with all the varieties. I feel like the next step for me would be to start tying for rivers other than the frying pan so I could become more familiar with other forms of the two. I also think I would benefit from reading Dave Whitlock's book again because even though it really clicked for me, I could probably understand it on a completely different level now.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
EntomanSeptember 27th, 2011, 11:41 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
WestCo -

You're welcome.
just getting to the point where I understand the scientific names so that's actually really helpful....I also think I would benefit from reading Dave Whitlock's book again because even though it really clicked for me, I could probably understand it on a completely different level now.
Yes, it sounds like you are ready to take it to the next level. With a few exceptions, getting really comfortable with identifying to the family level and committing their behavioral characteristics to memory will open up a whole new world for you. From a practical angling standpoint, it's at the family level where the important differences between them is the most important. That's where the bulk of the characteristics regarding important hatching style, nymph appearance, behavior and habitat reside. Dave Whitlock's book is an excellent resource for the rudimentaries. Might I also suggest you look into getting a copy of Hafele's revised Western Hatches? I think you will find this book even more helpful. Studying the Encyclopedia on this website also. Start in at the order levels and work your way down. It's really good and getting better all the time.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WestCOSeptember 27th, 2011, 11:49 pm
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
Will do. I have a stack of books I'm working on right now including the Marinaro books, and the Harrop books. I'm definitely looking for some good entomology books for when I'm done with those. Thanks!
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
SayfuOctober 2nd, 2011, 9:31 am
Posts: 560Entomen..We have no confusion with these Fall Baetis and PMD's. The late PMDS are small, but conclude before the Fall Baetis emerges. Cooler weather, a nite freeze, some rain, brings them out, and the PMD's are done at this time. I've had a question in my mind for a long time on how much body color makes a difference in patterns, and often their is quite a range of colors within a species, but for these Fall Baetis? I got totally skunked amongst lots of feeding fish until I captured one, and viewed the body color...down to the local flyshop, back on the river, and scored. It was obvious to me that the body color made a big difference. Good looking little wet you've displayed. I use soft hackles as well using some grey EP fibers under a partridge hackle that I "apply" rather than wrap behind a very small (XM) size black plastic bead. It gives it a sparkly, wet wing look, under the partridge fibers. And I've identified this Baetis as Punctiventris as it was identified by Craig Mathews.
WbranchOctober 3rd, 2011, 10:25 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
My destinations have been limited to MT, ID, and the states of NY and PA. I've never needed a PMD type mayfly larger than a #14 nor smaller than a #20. Most being #16 - #18.

Regarding BWO's, Baetis, etc in the east they can be as large as a #14 and as small as a #26. It seems that the sizes I see hatching the most are #16 - #24. I use sizes #18 - #22 and catch as many fish as I want.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
EntomanOctober 3rd, 2011, 9:08 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Sayfu - Thanks for the compliment on the little wet. The pattern you mention sounds like a good one. It's very similar to several sold out here commercially that are very popular, and for good reason.

And I've identified this Baetis as Punctiventris as it was identified by Craig Mathews.

Are we still talking about the little chartreuse critter you mentioned? If so, Plauditus punctiventris (prev. Pseudocloeon punctiventris) is improbable as its darker bodied members are predominately eastern (though populations have been reported in the Southwest). It is probably Iswaeon anoka (prev. Pseudocloeon edmundsi combined with the Midwestern P. anoka ), which is the only lime green/chartreuse little baetid that I'm aware of that provides excellent hatches in your region. They go by many common names and no single one of them has seemed to stick. Little Pale Watery, Tiny Bright Olive Dun, and Little Chartreuse Spinner among several others are in play.

I can't comment on the book you referenced (having never read it) other than to say there was angler confusion over these three species of closely related though different appearing Pseudocloeon that could perhaps explain the missunderstanding. P.edmundsi, anoka, and puncteventris. were all considered for combining or partial combining in several different genera. They have presently settled in the two genera referenced above.

Mark - Your size recommendations are spot on out here as well in my experience. Interesting thing is that #20 is a fly size very popular in the West when the littlest ones are coming off, though I've never personally examined a Pale Morning Dun that small. For some reason the trout often prefer an imitation smaller than the actual critter. When anglers come across "PMD's" truly smaller than #18, it's my suspicion that tails are going unnoticed. BTW - In your last sentence, substituting the word "can" for "want" better describes my experience. (which isn't necessarily always that many). :)

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
GONZOOctober 4th, 2011, 12:40 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
And I've identified this Baetis as Punctiventris as it was identified by Craig Mathews.

Are we still talking about the little chartreuse critter you mentioned? If so, Plauditus punctiventris (prev. Pseudocloeon punctiventris) is improbable as its darker bodied members are predominately eastern (though populations have been reported in the Southwest). It is probably Iswaeon anoka (prev. Pseudocloeon edmundsi combined with the Midwestern P. anoka ), which is the only lime green/chartreuse little baetid that I'm aware of that provides excellent hatches in your region.
Sayfu and Kurt,
Both of you are probably referring to the same critter, and Craig Mathews' ID was probably not a mistake. Between 1990 and 2006, punctiventris (in Baetis and then Plauditus from '98 on) would have been the "correct" (accepted) identification for edmundsi (now Iswaeon anoka).
SayfuOctober 4th, 2011, 11:08 am
Posts: 560Entomen...There was a good article in FlyFisherman Mag awhile back where CDC was used on softhackles as an under wing moving fiber, and then the softhackle feather. The thought that CDC is strictly a floating feather, and only to be used on dries, put it in perspective. The fiber networking, for no other term to give those little cross fibers found on CDC keeps the fibers moving individually rather than matting. Sure looks like a good use of CDC, but I have not used it yet since my mindset has gone to these synthetic EP fibers.
OldredbarnOctober 4th, 2011, 2:13 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
CDC was used on softhackles as an under wing moving fiber, and then the softhackle feather


Mark Libertone (Softhackle) sent me some nice looking examples of softhackles, a year or so ago, where game bird "after-shaft" feathers are used in the same way as the CDC you mention above. The after-shaft feather is wrapped one time around the shank just behind and before you wrap the game bird feather (i.e. partridge, quail, grouse, hen)...

I think that maybe Jack Gartside may have tied this style as well.

I found an old March Brown pattern in a Nemes book where a couple wraps of rooster hackle was wrapped in this same manner just before the game bird feather was wrapped...It helps to keep the softer hackle from collapsing back over the fly.

The after-shaft feather for the smaller sizes may be a chore to find though!

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
EntomanOctober 4th, 2011, 5:43 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Gonzo & Sayfu -

Both of you are probably referring to the same critter, and Craig Mathews' ID was probably not a mistake.

That's what I believe as well, assuming we are still talking about the chartreuse baetid. This description is unique. Matthews book must have been written in the time frame you mention, Lloyd, as was Knopp & Cormier that also shows all three as B. punctiventris. It's a good thing for anglers that this is no longer the case as all three have substantial differences in appearance. For the same reason, I'm hoping that Konchu's labors end in a similar result for Ephemerella excrucians.

I'm having a deja-vu moment; haven't we had a similar conversation involving this book with another species? Sayfu, since you are relying on CM's book it might be a good idea to mark the margins with the updated names. I've done that with several in my library to reduce the confusion (at least a little). If you do, use No. 2 pencil as the current names for many species are likely to change again over time. :)

Lloyd - Angling texts seem to generally ascribe this "tiny olive" niche to A. turbida for CA and OR and I. anoka for the rest of the NW and Rocky Mtn. States. I'm not sure, as I think I've probably fished over both in all the above locales at one time or another. What do you think?

Sayfu & Spence -

Yeah, I experimented with CDC quite a bit. Like with beads, I tend to be more judicious with its use of late. As far as dries go, I'm not a big fan of materials whose primary characteristic quickly degrades with use. I like it for wings on emergers for mayflies that leave their nymphal shucks behind subsurface, usually mixed with a hint of antron (sure wish some of the stuff was speckled like woodduck). I've never wrapped CDC or aftershaft with hackle, but it sounds like an excellent idea.

BTW - If you can't find aftershaft feathers small enough, it seems to me you could use some similar textured body marabou tied in short and spread around the shank. Wrapping back towards the shoulder of the thorax will flair it. This is the method to use for applying soft hackle to tiny flies anyway, so there is nothing sacrosanct about having to wrap it in the first place (see above example). An added benefit is not having to mess with the delicate quills of the aftershafts.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WestCOOctober 4th, 2011, 9:58 pm
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
By aftershaft are you referring to the fluffy hairs on the bottom of a hackle feather? I've been wondering if there was a good use for those.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
TaxonOctober 5th, 2011, 2:51 am
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Jamie-

The aftershaft (or philoplume) is a skinny and fluffy secondary feather, which is attached to the base of the stem of a pheasant rump feather.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
SayfuOctober 7th, 2011, 1:30 pm
Posts: 560
Entomen..I don't know how enthralled with CDC I am, but I use it, and only those major fern/fan type CDC feathers that I can pinch together, and use several as a wing..either by themselves, or, as an underwing to get the natural grey color. They are fine, appearing on small flies, and if I then bend the stems out at right angles to the side behind the head, I get the pontoon emerger when you trim them down short like emerging legs..makes the fly land flat on the water as well. I don't worry to much about their floatability....wash them off after a fish, blow, false cast air dry them, and back fishing. They are tough fibers when pinched together as a wing....not a one fish fly by any means. Movement is my biggie, and as an under fiber on nymphs?...sounds good, but I have no results to post.

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