In August/Sept. we get heavy callibaetis hatches around here. These large, stillwater mayflies hatch out of shoreline cattails and weedy growth and spread their gray speckled wings learning to fly. The big trout love them…gobbling the nymphs…slurping the winged adults. I’ve had good success fishing the nymph under a hi-viz dry fly with a short dropper. I make my cast by reading the wake made by the trout, dropping my flies just ahead of the risers and cruisers. Some call it “fishing the gulpers.” They mostly fish from a boat of some type.
I do it wade fishing. It reminds me of one of my favorite types of fishing…fly fishing for bonefish. Stalking. I am fishing this hatch in two to three feet of water.
I have developed a non-bead head fly that has proven to be deadly on the callibaetis hatch…I call it the “Cally Special.” I recently hooked 31 trout from 15″-20″ in two mornings using this fly. I don’t use a bead head mostly because I feel this pattern looks far more realistic without one. I have never seen a callibaetis nymph in real life with a brass ball stuck to its nose!
Here is what it looks like…in the boat and in the noses of trout:
Cally Special (no bead head)
Thread: Danville waxed nylon 6/0 gray
Hook: J Stockard J2-235 or Daiichi 1710, #12, #14
Tail: Lemon Wood duck
Rib: gold or copper wire, small
Body (spun dubbing): Wapsi Super Fine dark tan, Fly Rite Extra Fine Poly light tan, Antron Dubbing hexagenia.
Weight: three wraps of lead wire, small (just enough to sink the fly under the surface).
Legs: Lemon Wood Duck
Wing Case: Rainey’s Pearlescent Wing Ribbon, trim to shape.
My personal fly boxes for still water fishing...
Cally Special, Fuzzy Scud, PTC Nymph, Chironomids, Blood Leech, Bighorn Shrimp, O-Leech, Damsel Nymph.