charlie's flybox

Charlie's Callibaetis Nymph


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step: 1
Pattern Description
Callibaetis are long, slender mayflies common to stillwaters and slow moving water across Colorado and other western states. The nymphs begin emerging in the late spring and early summer. These nymphs are characterized by their oversized gills along the sides of their abdomens. Stillwater mayflies exhibit these large gills especially, because it takes more gill to get air out of still water than it does moving water. Just a little entomological tidbit there for ya;-) This little callibaetis nymph is the product of combining features from several other patterns I like to use. I prefer to sight-fish this pattern to trout cruising the edges of a lake or pond on a long leader tapered to about 4X or 5X. I sometimes add a 2mm gold tungsten bead to this pattern, in case the fish are cruising a little deeper and the weight is required to get the fly quickly to their level. I really strive to keep this pattern thin, as the naturals are very slight and the closer your pattern matches, the better off you are. I also tie this pattern in other colors, to match the local bugs. I have seen calibaetis in colors ranging from almost white to dark olive and brown, and even some with a definite orange tint, so don't forget to add some color variations to your box. This is another quick and easy pattern to tie, and it's incredibly durable as well. Tie a few up and see what happens this spri...the callibaetis are coming!!!
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 2312 #12-18 Thread: Tan 8/0 Tail: Natural wild turkey tail feather fibers Rib: 6X Mono Shellback: Mottled Bustard Thinskin Underbody: Callibaetis Superfine Dubbing Abdomen: Tan ostrich herl Wingcase: Mottled Bustard Thinskin Thorax: Callibaetis Superfine Dubbing Legs: Hungarian Partridge Body Feather
step: 2
Attach the tying thread at the seventy-five percent point and wrap back to the bend of the hook. Tie in three or four fibers from a natural wild turkey tail feather for the tail at the bend. The tail should extend beyond the bend about one-third of a shank. Wrap forward over the butt ends of the tail fibers to the mid-point on the shank and clip the excess there. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Tie in a piece of 6X monofilament tippet material at the mid-point of the shank on the far side of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Wrap back over the mono with the tying thread to the base of the tail, being sure to keep it along the far side of the shank as you go. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Cut a tapered strip of Thinskin as shown. This piece should be about half as wide as the gap of the hook at its widest point, and taper to a point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Tie the Thinskin strip in at the bend of the hook by the pointed end, with the shiny side down. The shiny side is the one that was touching the paper backing when you cut it. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Tie in a single strand of tan ostrich herl by the tip end at the bend of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Dub a thin underbody from the bend of the hook to the seventy-five percent point on the shank. Keep in mind that the ostrich herl will build this up a bit later, so the underbody doesn't need much bulk. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Wrap the ostrich herl from the bend to the seventy-five percent point over the dubbed underbody. Make one turn in front of the other, creating a bushy body as shown. Tie off the ostrich at the front of the underbody and clip the excess. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Pull the Thinskin strip forward over the ostrich and tie it off tightly at the front of the abdomen section. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
Rib the mono forward in spiraling turns over the Thinskin and through the ostrich, taking care not to bind too many ostrich herl fibers down. Tie the mono off at the front and clip it and the Thinskin there. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Trim the ostrich herl flat across the bottom of the fly, leaving the fibers protruding from the sides. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Taper the remaining ostrich herl fibers with your scissors so they are shorter at the back and longer at the front. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Tie in another piece of Thinskin (you can use the rest of the first piece if you didn't already lose it...I did) that is about half as wide as the hook gap, on top of the shank and wrap back over it to the sixty-five percent point, overlapping onto the abdomen. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Dub the thorax with the Superfine Dubbing. Start with a thin strand at the front... charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 16
...and work back up to the base of the wingcase and then back to the front again, creating a tapered thorax as shown here. Be sure to leave at least an eye length of bare shank in front of the dubbing. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 17
Select and trim a partridge body feather as shown. For further details on this technique, see the Copper John. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 18
Lay the partridge feather in on top of the hook shank just behind the eye of the hook. Measure the tips so they extend just past the back end of the thorax. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 19
Pinch the feather in place and tie it in with several tight turns of thread. You should have two neatly divided clumps of partridge on either side of the thorax. Clip the remaining partridge feather flush against the hook at this point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 20
Pull the Thinskin forward over the dubbing, splitting the partridge fibers, and tie it down at the rear edge of the hook eye. Clip the excess Thinskin and build a smooth thread head to cover the butts. Whip finish and clip the thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 21
Finished Fly, side view. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 22
Finished Fly, quartering view charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 23
Finished Fly, top view. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 24
Finished fly, bottom view. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox