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  • Sunday, August 18, 2013

    Know Your Foe

    Callibaetis Notes
    get thee to hebgen lake
    Confused Female Callibaetis Ovipositing On A Rock.
    .. When the smoke from wildfires makes the moon red and the sun is a giant orange blob in the hazy sky, it's callibaetis time at the old homestead.
    Art Deco Kodak
    .. Take your camera along and celebrate photography. It seems that every fly fisher is a closet shutterbug. August 19, is World Photography Day, so unmask the Ansel Adams child inside of you, limber up the old Kodak, and take a few snaps.
    .. Out on Hebgen Lake, (and a few other lesser known stillwaters,) the bugs have been popping for some time. Some of the neighbors have been on the reservoir for weeks. Most of them wait until it's just sheer masochism on the rivers before they migrate to the reservoir.
    Wading for Gulpers
    .. The migration is on. Drift boats, float tubes, rubber rafts, john boats, ski boats, and various other sundry craft have taken to the weed beds.
    .. There are quite a few places along the shore of the reservoir where wading will  get you into the noses as well.
    Gulper Getters
    .. Out of tradition we refer to this part of the fishing calendar as 'Gulper Time.'  It's a truism for sure. But the bugs are the stars. The callibaetis mayfly goes through several hatches during the year, (mostly summer.)
    .. Each successive hatch produces a smaller insect. There are always a few million bugs that are out of synch with the general population - so - there are bugs on the water all the time.
    .. By this time of year the flies emerging, and on the surface, can be of different generations. This means different sizes.
    .. Fishers often don't notice the difference. Fish always seem to notice the difference.
    Visiting Male Callibaetis
    .. As Matilda once said: "SIZE MATTERS."
    .. The pattern of the fly is, in this instance, truly far less important than the size and silhouette of the pattern.
    .. The season usually starts with a size 10 or 12. By this time of year the bugs can range from 10 to 16, (some bigger and some smaller.)
    .. Frequently the scenario is confused by a massive Trico hatch as well. Fish, being what they are; and trout being what they are wont to be, this can be confounding to the fly fisher.
    .. Occasionally the fish will bump floating fishers as they rise, (can you cast that short?)
    .. Sometimes the noses surround the boat just a few feet away, (photo-op, anyone?)
    .. Frequently a cast of 25' or so will place the fly in the right place, (good for the mere mortals among us.)
    .. All too often it takes a perfectly placed fly at a distance of 50' or 60'. This requires that your shorts be ripped as you perform wild gyrating motions and strain to get your fly in position with that fancy new four weight rod that was so appealing in the catalog.
    Gulpers In The Weeds
    .. As Snagglepuss is often heard to exclaim: "Heavens to Mergatroid, the bug is the enemy - not the fish!"
    .. So then, hie thee to thine own favorite stillwater. Start early when the breeze is just a whisper.
    .. Use a stick and line combination that gets the fly to where it belongs and the noses are thick.
    .. Pick a pattern that matches the size and shape of what you think the capricious fish are gulping.
    .. Fling it in front of a 'patterned riser.' And hang on. The big fish ascend from the depths to enjoy the feast.
    .. We're off to the fire.
    To Quote Sun Tzu:
    不知彼而 知己,一勝一負;
    不知彼,不知己,每 戰必殆。
    So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself,
     you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
    If you only know yourself, but not your opponent,
     you may win or may lose.
    If you know neither yourself nor your enemy,
     you will always endanger yourself.
    Good Calibaetis Stuff:
    ==> Ralph & Lisa Cutter,
    ==> Trout Nut,
    ==> Bug Guide,
    ==> Fly Fishing Traditions,
    ==> Dennis P. Collier,
    ==> Aquatic Insects, Gunnison County, Colorado.