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Blue Winged Olive / Adams

Blue Winged Olive and Adams Dry Flies

Two extremely popular and versatile dry fly patterns. Our Blue Winged Olive (or BWO) fishing flies imitate a very common type of adult mayfly; our Adams flies will also pass for mayflies but can also be used to represent caddis flies or even midges.

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More about Blue Winged Olives

One quarter of all North American mayfly species are commonly referred to as Blue Winged Olives. While there are differences in coloration from species to species, and also from male to female within species, the following generally holds true:

  • early stage adults (or sub-imago, commonly referred to as ‘Duns’) have darker blue / grey wings until they molt again and become fully mature;
  • late stage adults (or imago) have wings that are a lighter or even steel grey, with a noticeable blue tint;
  • all adults have bodies that darken as they age and that tend to an olive color (although rust / orange brown are also fairly common).

Blue Winged Olive fly patterns can be used as early as February and as late as November, and in pretty much all weathers. The catalyst for a hatch is water temperature (as low as 38 degrees is sufficient). Many anglers report that these flies are particularly effective when used on slower-flowing stretches of streams or rivers.

More about Adams Fishing Flies

Named for the person who fished the first version of this perennial favorite rather than its creator, the range of patterns referred to by anglers today as ‘Adams flies’ originate from a fly designed in 1922 to serve as an all-purpose mayfly imitator by a man named Leonard Halladay for his friend Charles Adams. After Adams found the prototype extremely effective, Halladay ensured his friend’s name would pass into history by naming it for him.

Over the hundred years since, variations on Halladay’s original pattern have become a staple in fly boxes worldwide, and anglers find them particularly effective for both rainbow and brown river trout. A great all-rounder of a dry fly, this multi-purpose pattern can be used throughout the year (and especially in Spring and Summer) for fish feeding on adult mayflies and other common ‘up-winged’ insects including caddis.

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