Sloan’s Mighty May Baetis |
By Dave Sloan
I initially came up with the basic idea for this series while examining some baetis on the Pit River and noticed how prominent the notch in the wing case was, especially as the baetis came closer to emergence. I wondered if this could be a trigger that I could incorporate into some other patterns.
As a result I began experimenting with the notched wing case on some other patterns to get a feel for the right material to use on such a small fly and how it fished. After trying multiple materials I settled on good old turkey, colored it black, and epoxied it. Once I had the wing case figured out I began to experiment with a new fly all together. I wanted something with a bit of flash, but not too much, a bead head that wouldn’t put off fish, and something that was relatively durable. The result was a spanflex body wrapped over spiraled Accent Flash to mute the amount of flash, a black nickel bead head, a dubbed thorax, hen saddle legs, and an epoxied wing case.
When I finally got the combination right the results were quite good and the Mighty May Baeits quickly became one of my “go to” flies while fishing and guiding. With the success of the original baetis pattern I began to use and develop several others to form a series including the Mighty May: Baetis, PMD, March Brown, Callibaetis, and the most recent additions, the Mighty May Sulphur and Hendrickson.
The series as a whole is fished best on the dead drift, excluding the callibaeits in lakes, but on occasion just prior to or during a hatch can produce very well on the swing. The series has quickly become one of my most productive nymphs on any river under an indicator and quite often as a dropper under a dry fly. So tie a few up and go rip a few lips. Tie this fly in sizes 16-20.