Callibaetis Hatch? Where Did It Go?

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#1
Why would a callibaetis hatch disappear on a lake after fishing it every Spring for the last 6 years? Did the weather screw up everything. Also, the damsel hatch hasn't even hardly showed either. I'm SO disappointed this year. Any others have a similar experience? bawling:
 
#2
Yes, exactly that. It was an odd spring, and I've seen damsels as of late but not like last year. Callibaetis came around but I'd say it was 20% of last year's hatch if that. It's certainly not abnormal since every year is one of a kind and, on the flipside, midges went nuts from mid-Feb all the way into June. They were affording 50+ early on before any stillfishers were showing up. What I see every season though is when one or two foods are disappointing, something else will offset, and it's a matter of discovering which.

Bummer about those callibaetis, it's usually the best dry fly fishing on lakes.
 

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#4
I do agree there seemed to be some midges around for some Spring fishing that was fun. Oh.... but my poor callibaetis fella's didn't hardly show. I love that hatch!
 

Taxon

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Not to despair, Larry. They will likely be back on your lake again next spring. Incidentally, the Callibaetis mayflies, which emerge in the spring are offspring of the fall emergers, and they overwinter in their nymphal lifestage before emerging in the spring.
 

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#6
Not to despair, Larry. They will likely be back on your lake again next spring. Incidentally, the Callibaetis mayflies, which emerge in the spring are offspring of the fall emergers, and they overwinter in their nymphal lifestage before emerging in the spring.
This is probably a stupid question, but, is the nymph at all active in the winter? Fish food?
 

Preston

Active Member
#7
Steve Raymond, in his book, Blue Upright, reported hearing lots of anecdotal reports of serious declines in Callibaetis populations all up and down the Pacific coast. The mayfly population of Lake Chopaka took a nosedive during that time but it was blamed on the smallmouth bass infestation. Enormous hatches of Callibaetis lasting, sometimes, for an hour or more had dwindled dwindled to sparse hatches lasting only fifteen or twenty minutes. I haven't fished Chopaka as regularly as I used to since the rehabilitation but, when I have fished it, (admittedly treatment with rotenone is hard on gill-breathing invertebrates as well as fish), I haven't seen signs of any really rapid recovery of the mayflies.

As another example, I have not, in the last ten years or so, seen the large hatches of Callibaetis that used to be a regular feature of fishing Lake Lenice. There would be so many, and so many swallows working over them, that it was not at all unusual to have your emerger or dun imitation snatched off the surface by a passing bird before a fish could grab it. Fortunately, most of them would drop it as soon as they felt the weight of the line. Again, only anecdotal evidence and, I'm sure, there are a plethora other potential causes but it seems to me that several of my favorite Callibaetis fisheries have declined dramatically over a relatively short period of time.
 

Taxon

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Larry-

Actually, it's a really good question. My belief would be that, although they are probably active, they may still be too small to attract the interest of fish. However, they are likely of great interest to predaceous aquatic insects like stonefly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, etc.
 

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#9
I can see no reason why there was hardly a hatch on this lake this year, other than coolish Spring weather conidtions. The lake is in a pristine forest and no homes around it. There has been some logging in the foothills above the lake in recent years, but a good good distance away.
 

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#10
Larry-

Actually, it's a really good question. My belief would be that, although they are probably active, they may still be too small to attract the interest of fish. However, they are likely of great interest to predaceous aquatic insects like stonefly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, etc.
Ah, and this leads me to another question.... ha. Since this lake is open all year and I have not fished it in the winter, are damsel and dragonfly nymphs active enough to provide food source? It is a western washington lowland lake.
 

Taxon

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Ah, and this leads me to another question.... ha. Since this lake is open all year and I have not fished it in the winter, are damsel and dragonfly nymphs active enough to provide food source? It is a western washington lowland lake.
Yes.
 

Go Fish

Language, its a virus
#12
Larry,

My vote is weather.

Coldest, wettest, most
suckiest winter since Nixon
and his goons ruled.

If I was a bug (don't talk to
my wife) I wouldn't hatch either.

All we can do is hope for next year.

This is the first year in memory that
all my Rhodies, Roses, Lillies, et all, bloomed
at the same time. I've never seen that before
even when I've been drinking.

Dave
 

dryflylarry

"Chasing Riseforms"
#15
Larry,

My vote is weather.

Coldest, wettest, most
suckiest winter since Nixon
and his goons ruled.

If I was a bug (don't talk to
my wife) I wouldn't hatch either.

All we can do is hope for next year.

This is the first year in memory that
all my Rhodies, Roses, Lillies, et all, bloomed
at the same time. I've never seen that before
even when I've been drinking.

Dave
I'll have to go with the weather, and, global warming. Perhaps its time to start one of those threads! Guess we'll have to suffer until next year Dave! Time for salmon soon and maybe some sea runs. We still need to have a couple drinks off your porch when the sea runs are moving in mass this fall.