Fly tying: Bead-head Baetis Nymph

Every fall—and again in the spring, albeit to a lesser extent—baetis hatch from my eastern Idaho rivers. On blustery, cloudy days, these are usually the most dependable mayflies, and when they hatch, a size 20 dry imitation is money. 

But in the days before they hatch, baetis nymph imitations can be deadly, too. Trouble is, the nymphs are just as small, if not smaller than the duns and the cripples when they hatch out. I've yet to find a dependable baetis nymph indication that I'm comfortable tying.

Bead Head Baetis Nymph

Well, until now, anyway. Thanks to Tim Flagler, I've got a new fly in my arsenal—his Bead-head Baetis Nymph. It's not the easiest fly to tie, but the sleek look in a size 18 should be a reasonable match for South Fork and Henry's Fork baetis nymphys, and I'm anxious to tie a few and see how I do. 

— Chris Hunt


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