Fly Tying Corner
Callibaetis Biot Nymph
Monday - November 7, 2016
This past fly fishing season wrought destruction on my fly boxes. Back in June I had full boxes of flies lined up in neat tidy rows in each box. I had spent the previous winter prepping for the season by tying all those patterns that I knew would perform well on our Central Oregon lakes. Last May I had every fly one might need for East Lake, Lava, Hosmer, Crane Prairie and others. But here in November the season is past. I am left with wonderful memories, pictures of nice fish caught, and the rubble that is now contained in my fly boxes. Everything comes around again and soon the snow will fly, meaning it must be time to once again reorganize flies and start tying for next season.
I inventoried flies and found I need to tie a bunch of those chironomids used early season on East Lake, the damsels for June on Crane Prairie and Lava, and the ants, beetles and hoppers used mid-summer. But the most glaring hole in my fly boxes is Callibaetis. This is the single most important hatch on our lakes all summer. This year I fished Callibaetis on Hosmer during a memorable hatch in June and took some nice rainbows on dry flies. And on East lake, virtually every trip featured Callibaetis, from drifting nymphs over the hump to sight casting cruising fish on the West shore, to the fabulous hatches and spinner falls during early July along the East beach just down from the resort. Even on Wickiup and Crane Prairie I ran into Callibaetis hatches. So here it is November and with my boxes in shambles, I better to get busy tying. Up first, Callibaetis.
For this monthís pattern, I have chosen a Callibaetis nymph that is effective in advance of the hatch, and often during the hatch when some of the larger fish take nymphs subsurface. It is a very effective fly on East Lake, Hosmer, Lava and others. This pattern features a unique blend of materials to make it fish effectively. I weight it slightly to get the fly to sink at a nice pace, but not too fast. I use a biot on the abdomen to simulate the segmentation on the natural, and tied a rib over this biot wire for color, and strength. The thorax features a dubbing blend that has UV (ultaviolet) fibers that seem to trigger a troutís instinct to take this fly. Lastly, the wingcase features barbs from a peacock eye feather. This is a natural flashback-like look, without adding flash.
Callibaetis mayfly hatches start occurring on local lakes in June and will last through the summer and into early fall. Trout key on the nymph stage prior to and during the hatch. Fishing techniques for the Callibaetis Biot Nymph pattern varies, from fished beneath an indicator, or wind drifted or stripped in short choppy pulls of your fly line to get the fly to lift and drop as you retrieve the pattern. I will often fish this nymph in tandem with a leech or wooly bugger when I am doing a strip retrieve. The larger fly might attract the fish, but they almost always take the Callibaetis nymph.
Callibaetis Biot Nymph Materials List:
- Hook: Daiichi 1260 Size 14-16 or similar
- Thread: Tobacco Brown, 70 Denier
- Tail:Natural Lemon Flank Feathers from a Wood Duck
- Abdomen: Natural Turkey Biot in light Olive
- Rib: Bronze Wire - Fine
- Wing Case: Bronze Peacock from the Eye of a Peacock Tail Feather
- Thorax: Light Olive Dubbing (75%), UV Dubbing Tan (25%)
- Legs: Natural Lemon Flank Feathers from a Wood Duck
Experiment with this pattern during the Callibaetis time at East Lake, or Lava, Hosmer or other favorite lake where Callibaetis thrive. If you have questions or would like additional information about the Callibaetis Biot Nymph pattern, please donít hesitate to email me. Or if you have suggestions on future patterns to feature in this column, I welcome your input. I can be reached at Philfischer@sbcglobal.net.