It’s too easy to just do what you always do when you’re fishing home water. Take the Blue-winged Olive hatch—maybe you always start off with the same fly patterns when you see the trout rising. Let’s say a dun imitation to begin with because you’re seeing duns on the water’s surface. Okay, that kind of works, but you amp it up a little by trailing your favorite BWO emerger 15-inches behind the dun on some 6X.
It’s all good. But don’t forget to always take a minute or two to look at the water. It might be that one day when something different is happening. It doesn’t matter if you’ve fished this same stretch of water at the same time of year for the past 25 years.
So let’s say it’s another windy day on the river. You didn’t even know the BWO hatch was on until you see freshly hatching duns in a calm backwater shielded from the gusts. Then you notice that the wind has blown some of the duns over before they can get into the air. The unlucky ones are “glued” to the surface film by their newly emerged wings. You look out over the river and it’s only then you see that trout are rising. The wind is doing a pretty good job of obscuring the subtle riseforms. It reminds you of the way trout take spent spinners.
We’ve talked about this before in the Lone Angler Journal. Look at the September 11, 2013 post. It talks about how a BWO spent spinner imitation just works when your usual dun and emerger imitations don’t---even if there’s no spinner fall!
Take a look at these photos I took just last week. For all practical purposes those duns glued to the surface film might as well be spent spinners! So there you have it. Always carry some BWO spent spinner imitations for those windy days and if they don’t work take a scissors to the parachute or traditional hackle on one of your BWO dun imitations and modify it so the fly floats on its side with a wing in the surface film.
There are all kinds of other fly pattern possibilities or existing fly pattern modifications to cover this windy day hatch phenomena. I just can’t get enough of this stuff. More on this later.