The Might Mite Baetis was a late night creation at the vice before a guide day about 6 years ago. I was using some V-Rib on another pattern and realized that a flashback over V-rib would give a unique, extremely segmented look to the fly. As I began to mess around with the idea I discovered that if the flash was woven through the V-rib, it muted it a bit giving it just the right amount of flash. Originally I tied and fished it with rubber legs, but knew that something was missing, it just didn’t look quite right. After a couple of weeks and no real success in finding proper legs, I was at the vice again and saw a stray piece of Accent Flash laying on my tying table and thought it looked a lot like moving legs, so I tied up a few with the new legs and the results were impressive.
The Mighty Mite Baetis has been in the shop for three years now and people come in on a regular basis saying how well it works for them. I think the reason anglers like it is it is an extremely durable fly that produces on a consistent basis. And while it is called a baetis, it really just looks buggy and I think fish often take it for caddis larvae too. That thought is what led me to tie the Mighty Mite in Tan and Brown and the results have been great. All three colors are tied in sizes 12-20. The larger sizes work well; especially early in the year when big bugs are out and spring steelhead love them too. The smaller versions tend to be a middle of the season through late season bug.
The fly is fished best on the dead drift but can be swung on occasion to produce fish.
Here is the materials I use when tying this fly:
Hook: TMC 2487 Size 14-20
Bead: Copper Bead to match hook
Thread: Danville 6/0 Black
Tail: Natural Pheasant Tail
Back: Narrow Pearlescent Flat Tinsel
Body: Small Olive Vinyl Rib
Wingcase: Thin Skin Mottled Oak Olive
Thorax: Peacock Herl (80832) with Medium Olive Sparkle Blend as an
Legs: Black Accent Flash
Slide the bead onto the hook and start the thread behind the bead and wrap the thread back ½ way down the bend of the hook.
Even the tips of six pheasant tail fibers and tie them in where the thread is stopped. The length of the tail should be the same length as from the point of the hook to where it just begins to bend.
Now tie in a piece of pearlescent tinsel on top of the hook and tie it down back to where the tail was tied in. Tie in a piece of Small olive Vinyl Rib, Curved side towards the hook, and tie it down to the same point as the pearlescent tinsel. On size 18’s and 20’s stretch the Vinyl Rib As much as possible before tying it in. Bring the thread up to just past mid shank.
Make one wrap with the Vinyl Rib and pull the Pearlescent tinsel over that wrap. Now make another wrap forward with the Vinyl Rib, wrapping over the tinsel. Pull the tinsel back and make another wrap forward with the Vinyl Rib. Now pull the tinsel forward over the last wrap of Vinyl Rib and make another wrap of Vinyl Rib that goes over the tinsel. It is an over under, over under process. It should take approximately nine wraps of the Vinyl Rib to get to where both the Vinyl Rib and the Pearlescent tinsel will be tied off. There should be about a gap of the hook left from where the tinsel and vinyl rib are tied off to the back of the bead.
Now tie in a piece of Thin Skin where the V-Rib and the tinsel where tied off at. It should be wide enough to cover the top of the thorax of the fly and be tied in directly on top of the hook. Now dub a small thorax just big enough to lock the bead into position.
Tie in two pieces of Peacock Herl and twist them around the thread. Make one wrap forward, stop the peacock and tie a piece of Accent Flash on each side of the thorax where the Peacock Herl was stopped to form the first set of legs. Now re-twist the Peacock Herl around the thread and make two wraps right on top of one another. Stop the Peacock again and tie in another piece of Accent flash on each side of the thorax to form the second set of legs. This second set of legs should be tied in the middle of the thorax. Now re-twist the Peacock around the thread and wrap it forward just shy of the bead, leaving just enough room to tie in the third set of legs, and tie off the peacock. Now tie in another piece of Accent Flash on each side of the hook to form the third set of legs.
Pull the Thin Skin over the thorax, tie it off directly behind the bead and cut it as close to the bead as possible. Lastly, build a thread collar, whip finish, and clip the legs to length, about ¾ the gap of the hook. In the end there should be six defined individual legs.