Deep Dish Callibaetis

A breakthrough stillwater callibaetis pattern

callibaetis fly pattern stillwater deep dish

I think we've all had those days when the fishing was so-so until we dialed in either a fish holding location or found a bug the fish were really keying on. On a recent trout-hunting trip, the lake we were targeting was known for a veritable buffet of aquatic life for the fish to chow down on. The fishing started relatively so-so, with only a few fish to net in the first hour or two. They were definitely into chironomids (of course, how often are fish "not" into Chironomids?) and I wasn't in the mood to switch up much. However, I remembered a "new" callibaetis pattern I had been working on for the past week or so. [Queue lengthy blog detour into the background behind this pattern...]

This pattern was one of the more "error"-prone results of my trial and error tying sessions the week before as I tried to come up with a better callibaetis pattern. I ended up with easily a dozen "failure" flies sitting on my desk staring at me as I was on the verge of saving the fly for a future tying session. What's more, I had tied it not for this specific lake, but for some awesome (stay tuned) high mountain lakes I plan on hitting later this spring and summer where the callibaetis action is insane. So yeah, as I sat at the tying desk the night before this current trip, I wasn't too concerned about having callibaetis patterns to fish with. Nonetheless, I eventually dialed in the pattern and churned out 4 flies that I threw into my box. (I will say it bears some resemblance to the Masked Marauder and Aero Baetis, which I've been fishing all go figure...)

callibaetis fly pattern with a rainbow trout

And back to the story on the water...I grabbed my fly box and snagged one of the new callibaetis patterns. I tied it as a dropper below my trusty Gut-Bomb and let it fly. The first cast was met with a solid take as the slip indicator took off with pulsating jerks. The 22 inch Rainbow shown above had inhaled the fly. The fish below did the same thing...

The rest of the day produced similar results until I finally ended up losing the last of my 4 patterns to an aggressive fish. Obviously, I was busy tying the days that followed in order to build up my reserves. The next couple of trips to different lakes saw this fly producing the most fish out of all my normal spring-time patterns and so it now has a permanent spot on the fly rotation varsity team.

But I digress...the idea behind this pattern was to make a somewhat realistic representation of the natural that could be tied in a variety of colors and sizes with a focus on the two-toned nature of callibaetis, the pronounced gills on the abdomen and the sparkley-ness of the emerging insects. So you can't beat Ostrich for gills and mylar is pretty dang sparkly. Two-tone bodies are a breeze if you throw in something like thin skin or skinny skin. Add some dubbing to match and you've got a winner. Pattern recipe shown below.

Deep Dish Callibaetis

Hook: Daiichi 1150 #12 - #18 -- Buy Here --
Bead: 2.4 mm Tungsten, Black or Gold  -- Buy Here --
Thread: UTC Ultrathread 70 Denier Tan  -- Buy Here --
Tail: Lemon Wood Duck Feathers  -- Buy Here --
Body: Tan Ostrich herl over pearl mylar tinsel (LRG)  -- Buy Here --
Over-Body: Holo-Tinsel, Copper, MD  -- Buy Here --
Thorax: Arizona Synthetic Dubbing, Yellow-Tan or Hare's Ear  -- Buy Here --
Legs: Rootbeer Crystal Flash -- Buy Here --
Wing-Case: Brown Fino Skin, -- Buy Here --  Black Holo-Tinsel  -- Buy Here -- coated with Loon UV Clear Fly Finish, Flow  -- Buy Here --

And the Video...