Callibaetis Soft Hackle

Cheech - October 31, 2016

There is truly something special about fishing high elevation lakes that take a bit more effort to reach. These lakes are typically off the beaten path just enough to keep a lot of the other anglers away, and most of the time there are maybe only a handful of people around. Low fishing pressure mixed with a healthy population of fish usually means that the fishing is fast, furious, and simple. I wish it were that easy, but at some of our favorite spots the fish have really become snobs about what they will and will not put into their mouths. I'm constantly searching for a new wonder bug most of the time when we go fish these places, and then I'll look over at friggin' Curtis and he's got yet another fish on guess what... Yeah. The stupid Chimera. I say it's stupid because it's usually the culprit for me being out-fished, and it's not because I don't have them in my box... It's also not because Curtis doesn't offer to share. I'm just stubborn.

The only reason that I'm sharing this whole "fake" hatred of the Chimera (which is actually one of the most effective patterns that we use), is that I finally found a bug that hung in there and gave the chimera a full on beat down. Granted there was an insane callibaetis hatch going, but it still wrecked em' nonetheless. This pattern was used over two different trips, and it performed equally well on both trips while many other patterns were tried with much less success. I wish I knew what the secret was for this fly, but the fish really preferred it so much that I ended up throwing two of them at a time (Check out the videos below.)

As far as the construction of the fly, it's really nothing groundbreaking in regards to materials and it's really kind of just a mashup of an AP Emerger and a Hare's Ear Soft Hackle. A couple of keys to the fly that are maybe a bit unique are the "veil" of ice dub that adds just a tiny bit of flash, and the bead placement that makes the soft hackle flare out a bit more than normal.

~ Cheech

P.S. - A few notes regarding the materials I chose. I really prefer to use the partridge that you get right off the skin because you can get the size that you want, and the feathers are in great shape with few broken ends. I used a skin from Nature's Spirit, but the skins that we have from Hareline are also excellent quality. I have listed the other options below. Also, I used Snowshoe Rabbit's Foot Dubbing on this fly, but you could also get away with hare's mask dubbing that I have listed as well. I also used the HMH Spartan vise on this bug just for fun. It's the first time I had ever tied on one, and it's a very nice piece of equipment!

Material List
  • Hook: TMC Tiemco 9300 Dry & Wet Hook - 14
  • Thread: 8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge - Camel
  • Bead: Plummeting Tungsten Beads - Copper - 7/64" (2.8mm)
  • Tail/Hackle: Hareline #1 Hungarian Partridge Skin Natural
  • Rib: UTC Ultra Wire - Copper - Small
  • Body: Nature's Spirit Snowshoe Rabbit Foot Dubbing - Hare's Ear
  • Thorax: Ice Dub - UV Brown
  • Tools Used: Stonfo Comb/Brush Tool, C&F Design Hackle Pliers
Materials & Alternate Materials Listed Below
Ice Dub
Ice Dub
Ice Dub

Ice Dub

$3.50
UTC Ultra Wire
UTC Ultra Wire

UTC Ultra Wire - Small

$1.75
Plummeting Tungsten Beads - Classic Colors
Plummeting Tungsten Beads - Classic Colors

Plummeting Tungsten Beads - Classic Colors

$6.50
8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge
8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge
8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge

8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge

$3.25
Stonfo Comb/Brush Tool
Stonfo Comb/Brush Tool

Stonfo Comb & Brush Tool

$9.50
Nature's Spirit Snowshoe Rabbit Foot Dubbing
Nature's Spirit Snowshoe Rabbit Foot Dubbing
Nature's Spirit Snowshoe Rabbit Foot Dubbing

Nature's Spirit Snowshoe Rabbit Foot Dubbing

$2.75
C&F Design Hackle Pliers
C&F Design Hackle Pliers

C&F Design Hackle Pliers

$45.95
TMC Tiemco 9300 Dry & Wet Hook
TMC Tiemco 9300 Dry & Wet Hook

TMC Tiemco 9300 Dry & Wet Hook

$7.75
Hareline #1 Hungarian Partridge Skin Natural
Hareline #1 Hungarian Partridge Skin Natural

Hareline #1 Hungarian Partridge Skin Natural

$55.99