The Callibaetis hatches on our south park reservoirs are a thing of beauty. These hatches happen every year, and the stillwater fly fishermen eagerly await their arrival. I was up on Eleven Mile Reservoir last week, and we saw "columns" of this big mayfly over every rock outcropping along the lake. I knew then, it was just about to start. Yesterday on Spinney, I was pleasantly surprised to catch quite a few fish on Callibaetis.
The Callibaetis mayfly is the larger version of our tailwater mays. They are much bigger and hatch in droves. These hatches are so intense you often spend the day spitting them out and getting them off of your boat or clothing. The trout go absolutely nuts when these guys hatch. All out feeding frenzies across the lake are common and can last for a solid couple hours.
Typically we fish these bugs subsurface with a standard nymph rig and an indicator. The entire key to stillwater nymph fishing is depth. We try and target just above the weed lines of the lakes. Trout do rise to emerging insects, but it's usually slower fishing.
This hatch will last most of the summer and its density will depend largely on water temperature, weather, and sun.
In addition to the Callibaetis, Chironomids will also be a staple all throughout the summer with the arrival of damsel nymphs around the beginning of July.
So grab your float tube and hit one of our local lakes or reservoirs today!