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Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Insect Order Hemiptera (True Bugs)

The large, diverse family of "true bugs" contains several insects of importance to anglers, both aquatic and terrestrial.

Perhaps the best known are the water boatmen of Corixidae, which are a primary trout food source at times in many high lakes, spring ponds, and slow-moving rivers. They are generally aquatic, although they may come out of the water to mate. I have seen good numbers of them flying over a northwoods river in late March, a sight that had me baffled until I captured one of the odd insects that kept flying past me and plunging into the water.

Other aquatic true bugs have received very little attention in
fly fishing literature, but they probably deserve more, because they are among the largest insects native to the trout's environment. The giant water bugs of Belostoma are especially favored, but trout also feed on the water scorpions of Nepidae. I plan soon to spend more time researching and imitating these insects to confirm my hunches and early observations.

The most famous terrestrial members of Hemiptera are the cicadas, which make for good fishing on those rare years when a large brood appears. Late every summer some fly fishers turn to tiny related terrestrials they call Jassids, which are the leaf hoppers and tree hoppers of the families Membracidae and Cicadellidae.

Specimens of True Bugs:

9 Adults

1 Streamside Picture of True Bugs:

7 Underwater Pictures of True Bugs:

Recent Discussions of Hemiptera

DO You Remember???
6 replies
Posted by JANNEY on Jan 4, 2007 in the family Cicadidae
Last reply on Feb 7, 2007 by Konchu
My brother and I have a disagreement about bugs from our childhood.

I remember a swarm of cicadas (17-year locusts), and I'm trying to place the year. It would be 1954 to 1959, I believe. I remember the cicadas' distinctive call ringing through the summer (spring?) night. They covered anything that shed light—lampposts, storefront windows, porch lights. They were about in huge numbers. When you walked down the street, you couldn't avoid stepping on them, and they crunched. (Big bugs.)

My brother says he only recalls a mayfly swarm—post 1959—that was so bad it caused auto accidents on the freeway because cars ran over the mayfly bodies and collectively they were greasy and caused cars to skid.

So does anyone out there remember either of these events. I think both probably occurred. We'd like to pin down the years.

Janney
Anyone else find these to be important?
2 replies
Posted by Troutnut on Jul 26, 2006 in the species Belostoma flumineum
Last reply on Oct 9, 2006 by GONZO
Back when I was just starting to learn to fly fish and still kept quite a few fish, I autopsied the stomachs of a couple 17-19 inch brown trout in August and found them packed with these Belostoma flumineum bugs.

I haven't tied a reasonable imitation yet, but if those fish (from a few miles apart on the same river) were so fond of them an imitation is probably a great idea. It would be good to figure out where and when these things are important.

None of the fly fishing literatue I've seen has dealt with them at all, except for mentioning their existence in passing.

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Taxonomy
» Order Hemiptera (True Bugs)
Family in Hemiptera
BelostomatidaeGiant Water Bugs217
CicadellidaeLeafhoppers01
CicadidaeCicadas14
CorixidaeWater Boatmen315
MembracidaeTreehoppers00
NepidaeWater Scorpions17
NotonectidaeBackswimmers25
11 families (Gelastocoridae, Gerridae, Hebridae, Hydrometridae, Macroveliidae, Mesoveliidae, Naucoridae, Ochteridae, Pleidae, Saldidae, and Veliidae) aren't included.
Common Name
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