I would hate to wade into a stream in Colorado during the spring or fall without a sufficient supply of small blue winged olive imitations. Furthermore, the track record of the CDC blue winged olive is superior to that of all the other flies, that I deploy during baetis hatches. My post of 03/11/2014 provides an excellent description of my history with the CDC BWO as well as an explanation of the pluses and minuses of this diminutive fly.
During recent years I encountered several situations where the CDC olive disappointed me. Most of these scenarios involved wind, and I theorized that the adults were swept off the surface before the fish could react. Since trout always seek the least amount of energy expenditure for their meals, they seemed to tune into emergers just below the surface. I adjusted to this scenario by tying the Klinkhammer BWO and the soft hackle emerger, and these alternatives provided improved success during windy conditions.
Despite these occasional hiccups I continue to rely on the CDC blue winged olive as my favorite baetis imitation. When I spot tiny mayflies on the surface of the stream during blue winged olive seasons, the CDC BWO is always my first option.
Since I view CDC BWO’s as a key element of my fly box for duping trout during blue winged olive hatches, I performed my customary count, and I determined that I stocked adequate quantities of size 22 and 24. I sorted through my damaged fly canisters and uncovered a batch of various tiny flies. Many of these flies were midge larva in previous lives, so I stripped them down and converted them into CDC BWO’s. Two were comparable to size 22 and three approximated size 24. A blue winged olive hatch is certainly in my future, and I feel adequately prepared.