Bubba's Callibaetis is a fly that has evolved over 40 years of fishing the Callibaetis hatch starting at Davis Lake, Oregon. Trout from 2–10 pounds would be feeding on these small mayflies and these big fish were very tough to fool. In those days the Cate's Turkey was what most flyfisherman used and it was effective. It did not hold up well as trout's teeth shredded the turkey fibers easily. I continued to make the fly stronger and more effective as new materials came along through the years. I also found out how well it worked for big rainbows on the Madison River, Montana. A long time guide told me that a size 16 or 14 Callibaetis nymph fished 18" above a Prince nymph or stonefly would often take the biggest fish of the day. I was skeptical until the first day I tried it and caught 3 rainbows over 18". Once in a while a big brown would take it, but 90% of the time it is the rainbows that love this fly. At age 66, I find myself fishing lakes most of time and the Callibaetis hatch along with chironimids, damsels and leeches are the primary trout food in most lakes. I spend most summers in Ennis, Montana fishing Ennis lake which has a daily Callibaetis hatch that can last three or four hours. I use a floating line most of time, but I will often attach an intermediate poly leader to the floater with a long leader using 3 or 4x tippet. You cannot fish this fly too slow. I cast out and count to 10 letting the fly sink while keeping in contact with the fly. Using short strips, I stop the fly for a 5 count every 5 strips and be awake on the first strip after a stop. I have had good success using the Bubba Callibaetis 18" above a chironomid or damsel. If the wind is a factor, I have found that I can use larger sizes such as a #12, instead of the unusual #14 or #16. While using a floating line is my favorite way of fishing this fly, I will often us an intermediate line before and after the hatch. In deeper water, I have had success using a fast sink line with two Bubba Callibaetis flie I named the Bubba Callibaetis after my beloved Black Lab who was always with me in the kickboat. Bubba was well known around Ennis for his fondness for loving a whitefish for breakfast. Bubba was relentless chasing down a crippled duck and his namesake fly has been my favorite fly because it consistently takes big trout and never fails to produce.
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