Callibaetis yet ?

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

  1. I echo everyone's comments on the variability in the coloration of Callibaetis. The Dry Fall bugs are light tan and the spinners are cream. At the same time, the Callibaetis at Leech Lake have a mottled black/dark gray. The Callibaetis that emerged from Coldwater yesterday afternoon had brown/gray wings. This is a clear situation where it pays to have several color versions of the same style if one is fishing Callibaetis in multiple lakes. I have had success with spinners at some lakes, especially later in the hatch when there are not many bugs still hatching and the fish are in clean-up mode.

    In my opinion, proper coloration matters more when lake fishing because the fish have the time to inspect your fly; on multiple occasions, Yes, yes, a hungry fish (naive fish) may take even an Adams as a Callibaetis imitation. I have watched Leech Lake fish rise, inspect, and reject flies. Of course, they may take the same fly after a second or third cast along their cruising path, but you increase your odds if you can minimize refusals. In rivers, there is more importance in placing a fly in the right spot to trigger a reaction strike, though that same scrutiny may occur in slower flows.

    Mark Kraniger likes this.
  2. In Skips article he ties an "ULTIMATE SKIP NYMPH" I tied mine with a heavy bead for indicator fishing before the hatch starts. He writes that most hatches are on cloudy days and come off around 10 or 11 in the morn over weed beds. I surely can't wait that long to fish so will be using this nymph before the hatch starts. Just thought I would share the idea. this is tied on a standard #12.

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    Jim Speaker likes this.
  3. Preston, i had one of those weekends years ago @ lenice chain where the damsels went from olive to tan to almost bright green. all in 2 days.
    best damsel fishing i have had ever. had to go 6-8 lb tippet. fish were just crushing the fly.
    the colors the bugs have can you keep you at the vise for days.
  4. Hi Preston,

    I believe the male imago from Chopaka to be Callibaetis ferrugineus hageni, and the female imago from Lenice to be Callibaetis fluctuans.
  5. Thanks Roger, I can't find fluctuans in my (admittedly limited) reference sources. My usual go-to is Hughes/Hafele's Western Mayfly Hatches (2004), which I realize is aimed at a lay audience. After I took that picture, I sent copies to you and Dave Hughes asking what it was and was surprised when both responses indicated "a female Callibaetis imago".
  6. Oh my, that's a good one. The fact is, I've learned much more about identifying the winged stages of Callibaetis mayflies to species level in the five years since you sent me that photo. This has largely come from A REVISION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN SPECIES OF CALLIBAETIS (EPHEMEROPTERA: BAETIDAE) by Gary Robert Check, a (167) page thesis submitted to the University of Minnesota in 1982 in partial fulfillment of Gary's Doctoral Degree, which was sent to me in 2009 by a fellow taxonomy enthusiast from Pennsylvania. You might also take a look at WA Mayfly Distribution - By County, and click the link on the map for Grant (County), which shows Callibaetis fluctuans as having been officially recorded at Soda Lake.
  7. The callibaetis at Pass Lake are really dark bodied. I tie the Chopaka Emerger with a dark pheasant tail body for Pass Lake, and with a callibaetis dyed biot body for Lenice. I use the three elkhair strand tail within about a half-puff of light dun CDC.

    Preston, great looking spinner, almost exactly how I tie them. I add a few strands of UV crystal flash mixed into the poly wing to simulate the irridescent flash that is evident in a spinner's clear wing on the surface.
  8. Here's the dark variation of the Chopaka Emerger that works really well at Pass Lake. Pheasant tail body matches the naturals there to a T - ribbed with fine gold wire just for durability.

    Mark Kraniger likes this.

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