Fly of the Week with @anna_on_the_fly | Slim Shady Baetis

Slim Shady Baetis | Effective and durable

by Anna on the FlyNovember 05, 2022 in Fly Fishing Tips and Techniques, Anna's Fly of the Week

@anna_on_the_fly is on the water constantly. She is constantly trying new things -- new flies, new techniques, and new gear. We are grateful that she's an Ambassador for DiscountFlies. And, we're grateful that she shares her knowledge and adventures with us here in the "Fly of the Week" (or month during the "off" season) Column.

November 5th 2022


“I broke a thousand hearts
Before I met you
I’ll break a thousand more, baby”

These lyrics are so appropriate, right!! How many heartbreaking days have you had on the water?! Well I’ve had a few and I used to really struggle in the Fall particularly but once I started to educate myself on entomology (aka bugs/their life cycles/hatch charts etc.) and applied it to my fishing it changed my whole experience. This is especially true for me with the “Baetis”, Baetis are in the “Mayfly” family and are often referred to as BWOs or Blue Wing Olives- although there are actually thousands of different species that are not true BWOs.

Slim Shady Baetis
Slim Shady Baetis

One of the most effective patterns that changed my outlook on picking flies and made my Fall fishing more consistent is Ramirez’s “Slim Shady”. This fly is trout candy - ALL DAY LONG and will last all day long because of the uncanny durability!! Typically used to imitate Baetis nymphs this fly can be used to imitate nearly any Mayfly! A few weeks ago I talked about the fish becoming pickier and trying to fish bugs with more realistic, slimer profiles - well this is one of those flies. BWO hatches are prolific in the Fall & are some of the thickest and longest hatches you’ll experience all year.

A person holding a fish Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Baetis nymphs are often brown or redish brown & have 6 legs, 2-3 long tails, a big head and a segmented body that tapers down as you get to the tail. Most of the Baetis nymphs I find are about a size 16 from head to the end of the tail & my general rule of thumb with Mayflies, since they have such long tails, is to fish them a size down so I generally find myself fishing the Slim Shady in a size 18 but having sizes 18-22 will cover all your bases!