It’s cloudy, rainy and finally cooling down. Needless to say, I have Blue-winged Olives on my mind. If it wasn’t raining so hard I’d be on the river. I’m at home right now checking my fly boxes to make sure I have Blue-winged Olive spent spinner imitations and it isn’t because I expect to see an “olive” spinner fall. I don’t know when the spinner fall happens on the rivers I fish, but it isn’t when I’m there.  And I fish the September/October Blue-wing Olive hatches a lot.

You can blame Mike Clark for my fixation on the spent spinner imitations even though I never see a spinner fall. We were fishing to a very difficult hatch of olives on the Frying Pan River. About when I’d gone through every BWO imitation I had in my fly box Mike started catching trout right and left. I couldn’t stand it and asked what he was using.

“A Blue-winged Olive spent spinner. I always go to the spent spinner when nothing else works,” Mike said.

So there you have it. He’s right, too. The spent spinner works when your emerger and dun imitations which actually match what you’re seeing on the water don’t. It seems to defy common match-the-hatch logic. But don’t get me going on possible scientific explanations and there are plenty of them. It just works. Save it as the secret weapon for those times when you really need it. Don’t deplete the juju…..