Deep Dish Callibaetis 2.0

Dialed in and drake-compatible

A Drake-ish version of the Deep Dish
As I've written before here, here and here about the Deep Dish Callibaetis, it's one of my go-to still water patterns. Although not the most simple of ties out there, it's a fun pattern to whip up and looks cool to boot. And while originally intended to be just a wicked callibaetis nymph or emerger, this past year I ran into a couple of brown drake hatches that got me thinking about turning it into a brown drake nymph as well.

But here's where you need to put on your bug nerd hats and understand the leap between a Callibaetis and a Drake (Epherema Simulans). A Callibaetis nymph is classified as a swimmer, while a brown drake is a burrower. They're sized differently but overall coloration can be similar. Compare the two photos below. Both insects have lighter brown/tan contrasting colors on the body and wing case as well as fairly pronounced gills along the abdomen. And although both photos here show a lighter thorax area, both bugs can have varying degrees of darker brown, gray or tan as well.

Either way, the Deep Dish has now become a mash-up style pattern where I vary colors and sizes to imitate different mayflies. It works out in the end, just ask a fish or two if you don't believe me.

Emphemera Simulans (Brown Drake)

Callibaetis -- Courtesy of

In a river, where you'll find drakes more often than callibaetis usually, I'll nymph the drake version of the Deep Dish on either a euro rig or a dry dropper.

Material List

Hook: Daiichi 710, #14 (+)
Thread: Danville 70 Denier, Olive (+)
Under-Body: .015 Lead Free Wire (+)
Bead: Mayfly Nymph-Head, Swimmer & Burrower, Small, Brown (+)
Tail: Lemon Barred Wood Duck (+)
Abdomen: Pearl Tinsel, Medium (+)
Abdomen 2: Ostrich Herl, Scud Tan (+)
Abdomen Back: UNI Double Sided Mylar, Orange/Peacock #14 (+)
Ribbing: UTC Ultra Wire, Gold, Small (+)
Thorax: Hare'e Ice Dub, Tan (+)
Legs: Grizzly Micro Legs, Rootbeer (+)
Wing Case: Nymph Skin, Bronze/Tan - Clear (+)
Wing Case Stripe: UNI Double Sided Mylar, Orange/Peacock #16 (+)

NOTE: For a bigger bug like a Drake, go with a #10 or #12 hook and the medium sized Nymph-Head

Other Tools, materials:
Loon UV Fluorescing Clear Fly Finish (+)
Stonfo Combo Comb/Brush (+)