Blue-winged Olives - Duns
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

If the water and air is cold, the Blue-winged Olive duns will ride the water for a relatively
long time. Often the problem with it is that the trout are also cold and as a result, are
not very active. It is much easier for them to take the nymphs and emerging nymphs in
the surface skim than it is the duns. This most often happens in the early season. Later,
when the water is warmer, they tend to take the duns much better. During the Fall
hatch, unless the weather has turned extremely cold, the dun imitations usually work
As I mentioned in the previous article, the hatch can be so prolific that the water is
covered with Blue-winged Olives. Getting the trout to take your imitation over the real
ones can be a challenge. Again, the best procedure under these conditions is to select
one fish and present your dun imitation to it in a timely manner.
If conditions are right, the dun pattern or dry fly can be an exciting way to fish during the
hatch. One of the most successful patterns for this hatch is the trailing shuck version of
the emerging dun. Blue Ribbon's "Sparkle Dun" is the most popular trailing shuck fly. It
imitates a dun that is still stuck to its nymphal shuck. The Blue-winged Olive hatch does
have more than its share of cripples. Apparently, the trout are aware that duns still
stuck to their shucks are easier to catch because trailing shuck patterns works great.
If you find that the trout are not responding to your dun pattern very well and you are
not determined to fish the dry fly under any conditions, you should change back to an
emerger pattern. It shouldn't take long to determine this during a good Blue-winged
Olive hatch.
trout will usually line up in the current seams when they are feeding on
the duns
. You should concentrate on drifting your dun pattern drag-free in the current
seams. This is not exactly easy to do under some circumstances. This is especially true
in smooth or slick water. The smooth, slick water found in some streams, such as the
Madison River, consist of strong, conflicting currents. This type of water can make it
very difficult to get a drag fee drift.
If you make a few bad cast over a trout (sometimes just one bad cast) then you may
have to move to another area. Generally speaking, long light leaders and tippets are
necessary in the smooth water. Nine to twelve foot leaders and 6X tippets are not
uncommon under these conditions. In pocket water, you can get by with heavier leaders
and tippets, shorter cast and maybe even a few mistakes.

Coming Up Next:
Blue-winged Olive - Spinners

Copyright 2008 James Marsh