Callibaetis yet ?

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by jwg, May 11, 2013.

  1. Anyone noticed if callibaetis are coming off on eastern wa Lakes.
    I'm wondering if the hot weather has stimulated callibaetis and damsels?
  2. I fished Lenice on Thursday and saw both adult damsels and a few Callibaetis spinners. All the fish I took hit damsel nymphs. One was a complete fluke. I was reeling in the fly and spotted a fish chasing it; I stopped, he took it.
    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  3. I saw callibatis today at 3500 in Eastern Oregon. The surface temp was 68 to 70 up ten degrees from last weekend! Fish were caught and a good time was had!
    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  4. I've been seeing sporadic hatches for over a month now, but only a few big enough to get the fish excited. There were huge black caddis(around size eight or ten) coming off today that had some big fish looking up. I've been playing around a new lake up in the mountains after work last week, and damseles were everywhere, in the air, migrating throughout the lake, crawling all ove my boatrHad a couple thirty fish evenings using a six pack, and drinking one too.
    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  5. Are you sure they were caddis? This is about the time for alderflies to begin showing up. DSCF3655.JPG
    Mark Kraniger and Kent Lufkin like this.
  6. Yep. You're right. Not caddis. The fish sure like em. Ignored what mayflies were on the water and focused on those.
  7. Well, in that case, maybe they weren't alderflies either. Unlike caddis, alderflies can't float and begin to sink and drown if they land (or get blown down onto) the water. I fish a lightly greased soft hackle to imitate them, and the fish will usually inhale them while I'm twitching them make them appear to be struggling on the surface, or as soon as they start to sink.
    Duane J likes this.
  8. it seems there is a 2 or 3 size range with mayflys . the small 16 size or the 14-12 ish size. at least in my limited travels. just wondering if they get to maybe a size 10. when we fished Chopaka many years ago, i seem to remember some bigger may's coming off. but that was 30 years ago.
  9. I fished Chopaka last weekend and there were some sporadic May hatches,tried a nymph with not much production.Most of our damage was done on damsel nymphs.Lots of chronnie guys doing well,also.
  10. 2006_0406callibaetiseries0003.JPG The earliest Callibaetis to emerge in the spring are those hatched from eggs laid the previous fall whose nymphs have had a longer time to feed and grow. The adults of this first generation might be large enough to be imitated on a size 12 hook. Callibaetis, like other members of the family Baetidae, are multi-generational and members of the second generation may begin to emerge while members of the first generation are still doing so. As a result, members of subsequent generations (having a shorter length of time to feed) tend to be smaller than those of the first. These generations continue to hatch through the summer and into the fall providing hatching mayflies on a continual basis for the angler. There appears to be a cycle with three peaks of population size occurring in late spring, mid-summer and fall.

    I've read that the size of Callibaetis mayflies diminish through the season from 12 to 18 but my experience has been that a size 14 will almost always get the job done. Most of the time I fish a floating emerger pattern and believe that overall size is less critically important in this style of fly. Here's a picture of my emerger which I call the Chopaka Emerger
  11. Preston's Chopaka Emerger is one of my favorite flies for callibaetis hatches. I use an older version with three pheasant tail fibers for the tail. The wing hangs on the surface, while the body and tails hang under the water. It's so realistic that fish will often suck the fly down into their mouths, requiring forceps or a release tool to remove the hook.

    Kudos to Preston for designing this great pattern!

  12. Thanks Tom, I can't claim total credit for the pattern but I have fished it and modified it considerably over a number of years. The original version (which was shown to me by a friend of a friend, who had it from "an old-timer at Chopaka") included a wire rib to make it float tail-down as described above but, over the years, it has been my observation that the emerging Callibaetis floats horizontally in the surface film while doing so. The trailing shuck (represented by the sparkle yarn fibers) may be pushed down and under the surface as the adult forces its way out of the nymphal shuck but the emerger usually retains a horizontal attitude. Just to simplify things, I apply floatant to the whole fly, including the trailing shuck.

    Some times, for some reason, the fish will show an apparent preference for the dun so I felt obliged to come up with a dun (a fairly simple deer-hair-winged parachute) although they will usually respond to the emerger from the start of the hatch until there are only a few duns left floating on the surface. And then, since I couldn't find a suitable one (most Callibaetis nymph patterns seem to be too fat and bulky), an imitation for the period preceding the actual hatch when the nymphs become quite active. Then, of course there is the spent spinner although I have usually found it to be the least important stage.
    2006_0202callibaetisnymph10003.JPG Callibaetiseries3.jpg Callibaetiseries4.jpg
    Sorry, that should be nymph, dun and spinner.
    cabezon, Tom Bowden and Dave Evans like this.
  13. nice ties Preston
  14. great, thanks Preston. did well on my tan chronomid. size/color same as the may's. i like to add a crystal flash rib. to get the notice of cruising fish. like your ties. will try them if given another shot at a mayfly hatch.
  15. I use this as well and it is killer. I tie it with an "amber" shuck.

    Fishing crane prairie res. for 8 days last week I finally saw a cali hatch come off the last couple days. although not very a strong hatch we were able to catch a couple adults and saw that in that region the hatch was more of a light grey? Now in the start of June I will be going back to do a combo trip to East lake and crane, east lake being known for it's great cali hatch I had to make some patterns to match the regions hatch. In the new addition of flyfishing and tying journal mag Skip Morris does a write-up of the best lake mayfly hatch - THE CALLIBEATIS - good article and flies tied for each stage. but I actually like Preston's patterns better, thank you Preston for sharing!

    Here is what I came up with for central Oregon lakes. I haven't come up with a dry pattern yet but will probably be an up-wing of partridge soft hackle for wings in A parachute style. most of these patterns are with partridge soft hackle. just thought I'd share!

    I am confused about the colors used from different patterns? Skips patterns are both light grey and light tan? the adult I caught and viewed was light grey so my flies are all in light grey for the region. Is there something I'm missing Preston, thanks for any feed back from the masses!!!
    Irafly and bakerite like this.
  17. Preston, love how you used the grizzly hackle in front of the spinner wings! I'm lazy I just used a black marker for the front edge! your slim profile nymph is very nice also and I will take note!!! thanks again for sharing a world of info and patterns.
  18. 2005_0526chopaka0003-1.JPG DSCF2710.JPG Actually, it's a thin slip of teal flank and it is rather difficult to get tied in without twisting out of position. I'll have to think about using a marker pen.

    Like most insects, Callibaetis adapt to the predominant colors of their environments. The bodies of Callibaetis nymphs and duns can range from tan to gray and even a very pale gray-olive. The wings of duns at Lake Chopaka are mottled a rich, dark brown while those at Lenice are are cream-colored with markings that appear to be a dark gray. Damsel nymphs are another good example; I've seen them in colors ranging from a reddish-brown to straw-colored (but never in the chartreuse that so many patterns seem to favor).

    Here are a couple of pictures of Callibaetis spinners just to add to the confusion. The first is a male from Chopaka and the second a female from Lake Lenice. I almost wonder if they aren't different subspecies.
  19. Great photo's! and they sure look different to me, not just in color. I'f they are cream color at east lake I think I will cry! I'm not going to tie a few dozen different colored patterns for them before I leave next week. I will just have to cross my fingers and make sure my travel tying kit has the materials to tie a few cream patterns fast if need be. thanks again for your help and great photo's. The kind of information that really helps dial things in while doing research. tight lines!!!
  20. The cream color is in reference to the wings. I'm sure that if you tie some with grey or tan bodies you'll be in the ballpark. I've always wanted to fish East Lake but have yet to get around to it.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.

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