Southwestern Montana's Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service

7 Tips For Fishing A Blue Winged Olive Hatch

Friday, March 17, 2023

The blue-winged olive (BWO) hatch is one of the most important hatches for fly anglers, and it can occur in various waters around the world. Here are some tips for fishing a blue-winged olive hatch:

  1. Know the Hatch Timing: BWO hatches usually happen in the spring and fall, depending on the region and the climate. Knowing when the hatch is happening in your area will help you prepare for your trip and choose the right flies.
  2. Use the Right Equipment: For a blue-winged olive hatch, you'll want to use a 9-foot, 4- or 5-weight fly rod, a floating line, and a tapered leader with a tippet in the 4X-6X range. Choose a fly reel with a good drag system and backing capacity to handle the large fish that you might catch.
  3. Choose the Right Flies: BWO patterns are available in a variety of styles, including dry flies, nymphs, emergers, and soft hackles. Size 16-20 BWO patterns, such as Parachute Adams, RS2s, and Pheasant Tails, are some popular options. Make sure to have a good selection of flies with different colors, sizes, and styles.
  4. Observe the Water: Look for rising fish, active insects, or any other signs of fish feeding on the surface. This will give you a good indication of where to focus your efforts. Remember to be patient, and observe the water for a while before making your first cast.
  5. Match the Hatch: Once you identify the fish's feeding pattern, try to match the size, color, and behavior of the natural insects as closely as possible. Pay attention to the fish's response to your fly, and make adjustments as needed.
  6. Use a Drag-Free Drift: A drag-free drift is crucial for success in BWO hatches. Use a reach cast, mend your line, and adjust your leader and tippet to achieve a natural drift. Keep a tight line to feel for any takes or strikes, and be ready to set the hook.
  7. Be Stealthy: When fishing for rising fish, be stealthy, and avoid making sudden movements or casting shadows over the water. Keep a low profile, and approach the water cautiously.
Remember, a blue-winged olive hatch can be unpredictable, and fishing success can vary from day to day. So, be flexible, experiment with different patterns and techniques, and enjoy the experience of fishing in the midst of nature.
Fly Fishing Southwestern Montana Guided Float Trips

Book Your Fly Fishing Trip Today!

Why Choose Us

Professional Guides
Licensed, trained, and experienced.
Enjoyable & Memorable
Satisfaction is our top priority.
All Inclusive
We'll provide everything you need.

Connect With Us

Contact Us

MT. Outfitter License #6813
Madison River SRP #60
BH2 SRP #87

Get Updates

Join our mailing list to receive the latest Montana fly fishing news and tips!