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P.O. Box 4273
Sunriver, OR 97707
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P.O. Box 4273
Sunriver, OR 97707
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Fly Tying Corner

Callibaetis Spinner

Tuesday - February 2, 2016
By Phil Fischer
Callibaetis Spinner
Callibaetis mayfly hatches start occurring on local lakes in June and will last through the summer and into early fall. The Callibaetis hatch is unquestionably the most important mayfly hatch on the Cascade Lakes in Central Oregon. Trout key on the nymph stage prior to the hatch, the emerger stage during the hatch, the dun stage on the surface, and spinners returning to lay eggs to begin the cycle anew. Fishing techniques for this insect vary, from nymphs fished beneath an indicator, to wind drifted or stripped, to fishing dun and spinner patters on the surface. Hatches usually occur in the later morning and extend into the afternoon on many days. To extend your fishing day, stock up on various stages of this insect to cover the hatch thoroughly.

For this month’s pattern, I have chosen a favorite fly for imitating the spinner stage of this insect; the Callibaetis Spinner. Because the spinner stage is often on the surface at the same time as the dun, I will fish this pattern in tandem with cripples or dun imitations to give myself a better chance of success.

Callibaetis Mayflies can hatch in the late morning to early afternoon. Shortly after, you will see “the dance of the spinners”, as the insect returns to lay eggs on the surface of the lake. Soon the naturals land on the water one last time as they are “spent”, a final stage where they lay their wings down on the water. Trout key on this stage as there are often thousands of spinners on the water . Trout will swim along the surface and slurp down the spinners in consistent rises. Time the rise with your cast and bingo, fish on! But often it can be a challenging time to fish due to the large number of flies on the water. This Callibaetis Spinner pattern is proven for the spinner stage. Give it a try a try. I think you will like the results!


Callibaetis Spinner Materials List:
  • Hook: Daiichi 1180 Size 14-16 or similar
  • Thread: Tobacco Brown, 70 Denier
  • Tail: Dun Microfibbetts
  • Abdomen: Natural Turkey Biot in dark Brown
  • Thorax: Light Olive Dubbin (75%), UV Dubbing Tan (25%)
  • Wing: Natural Guinea feather with fine spots from the upper back
Tying instructions and steps are being published in video form, and can be found on the Sunriver Anglers Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SunriverAnglers, or at the following YouTube URL: youtu.be/cdnCKGJfnuM.

Experiment with this pattern during the spinner fall 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 Spinner pattern, please don’t 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.