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Spring fishing – Stalcup’s Baetis Nymph

Now that Spring has sprung, you may find there is a lot more angling pressure on your local waters, with this added pressure, it is even more important to make sure you are fishing the right flies.

During the winter months, you will often find us fishing tandem nymphing rigs with an attractor and two smaller flies. Not much changes with springtime fishing; we try to match the hatch with our two droppers, focusing mostly on Blue Winged Olive (BWO) patterns. One of these must-have BWO nymph patterns for spring is Shane Stalcup’s Baetis Nymph.

Stalcup’s Baetis nymph

Stalcup’s Baetis Nymph is a game-changing baetis imitation invented by Shane Stalcup, one of the most talented fly tiers in Colorado history. This baetis nymph has a very slim, olive-brown tapered profile with a dark wing pad that matches the hatch perfectly. Although this pattern will work great year-round, its one of the most important flies a fisherman can have in their fly box in spring and fall.

Fishing Strategies:

When the light is low, you will find the nymphs moving around the bottom to feed or relocate. This makes a great time to fish baetis patterns. As we all know, trout can be very picky when it comes to smaller mayfly nymphs, so to be successful, it is critical to use the right size, shape, and color.

Stalcup Baetis Nymph
This beautiful brown trout fell for a Stalcup Baetis nymph. © Pat Dorsey photo.

To increase your odds of success, it’s best to use two baetis nymphs. We suggest leading with a larger attractor fly and dropping your two baetis nymphs below to generate more strikes.

If there is no evident hatch, be sure to focus on the deeper slots and runs. Remember, autumn BWO’s are 1-2 times smaller than the ones you’ll find in the spring, so it’s important to carry various sizes. We suggest having a steady supply of Stalcup Baetis nymphs in sizes #20-22.

If you’re fishing on an overcast day, you’ll likely find the opportunity for some good dry fly fishing. Some of our favorite dries for this time of year are the Parachute Adams and the Sparkle Dun.

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