Here’s a little Callibaetis spinner pattern to tie up for our sure-to-be-fruitful stillwater season. With the snow pack at crazy levels this year, I think it might be prudent to stock up your still water box a little earlier than usual…I think we’re gonna have plenty of time on the lakes this spring! While the pattern shown here is tied to imitate a Callibaetis spinner, it can just as easily be tied to imitate a variety of other mayfly spinners with a mere adjustment in the colors. I have used the new material, DNA, for the wings on this pattern and have been quite happy with the results. DNA (Frosty Fish Fibers) is a little thicker than Flouro Fiber and is a fair bit stiffer, making it perfect for supportive wings on a pattern like this. It’s micro-crinkled texture also makes it an accurate match for the tails on this fly as well. We’ll tie the version shown here with a stand up biot body just for the sake of doing it, as I don’t believe I have shown this technique yet on the site. Check this tutorial out and see if some material or technique doesn’t pop out at you!
Hook: TMC 100SP-BL #12-18
Thread: Cinnamon 14/0
Tails: Gray DNA Fibers
Abdomen: Callibaetis Colored Turkey Biot, wrapped with ribbed edge standing up
Thorax: Callibaetis Superfine Dubbing
Start the thread about two eye lengths back from the eye and wrap a thread base to the bend. Clip three strands of the DNA fibers from the clump and lay them in at the bend of the hook at a downward angle on the near side of the hook. Do not worry about the length of the fibers just yet as they are easily trimmed to length later.
Catch the DNA fibers with the thread atop the hook and wrap forward over their butts to anchor them in place at the bend.
Wrap forward over the butt ends of the tail up to the starting point and clip the excess there. Pull on the tail fibers to separate them into the separate tails as shown here.
Select a turkey biot from the quill and clip the tip off so you have a bit of width to the feather. Clipping the very tip of the feather off will make it much easier to anchor the biot tightly to the hook than that thin wispy tip will. Orient the biot so the notch at its base faces up so we can wrap it with the stand up edge following the flat edge up the hook.
Tie the biot in by its cut tip at the bend of the hook immediately in front of the tail.. bring the thread forward to the starting point once again and let it lie in wait for the biot.
Grab the butt of the biot in your hackle pliers and lift it up so the tip of the feather folds against the shank as shown here. Again, we want the stand up (in this case, back or right) edge of the feather to the rear.
Begin wrapping the biot forward in slightly overlapping turns creating the segmented body shown here. Note the flat edge of the biot is leading the way up the hook, leaving the stand up edge upright on the back of each wrap.
Continue wrapping the biot forward to the starting point, then tie it off with several tight turns of thread. Clip the excess biot flush.
Wrap a smooth thread base over the butt end of the biot to prepare for the wing.
Cut a clump of about 20-25 DNA fibers from the clump. Lay them along the hook with the center of their length crossing the hook at the front of the biot body.
Tie the DNA fibers to the hook with three tight wraps of thread from the back edge of the near wing to the front edge of the far wing.
Pull the far wing out perpendicular to the hook and make another three tight wraps from the front of the near wing to the back of the far wing, anchoring the wing clump at a right angle to the hook.
Dub the thread with a VERY thin strand of dubbing and begin wrapping the dubbed thread around the hook just behind the hook eye and up to the base of the wing.
Wrap the dubbed thread through the base of the wings, taking care to go at least one turn from the front of the near wing to the back of the far wing and at least one more turn from the back of the near wing to the front of the far wing to cover the previous tie down.
Continue dubbing back to the front of the biot body, then smoothly return the dubbing to the hook eye, forming the smoothly tapered, slightly egg shaped thorax.
Use the tip of a Sharpie marker to bar the wings as shown here. Don’t go crazy, just a few bars on each wing are plenty.
Whip finish and clip the thread. Pull the wings out a bit and spread them out into a more pronounced profile.
Pull both wings back parallel to the shank and clip them just beyond the bend of the hook.
Finished fly, Side View