Header image
Enter a name
Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Dorsal view of a Limnephilidae (Giant Sedges) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Speckled Duns

This common name refers to only one genus. Click its scientific name to learn more.

Mayfly Genus Callibaetis

These are pretty much always called Speckled Duns.
The speckle winged Callibaetis genus contains on average the largest species in the Baetidae family with hatches ranging in size from 20 to 12 (6mm to 12mm). However, most can be matched with 14 and 16 imitations. They reside only in very slow weedy sections of rivers or lakes and ponds.

The most important are the sub-species Callibaetis ferrugineus ferrugineus in the East and Midwest and Callibaetis ferrugineus hageni in the West. It is in the West however, where this genus achieves its densest populations and most significant hatches. Other important western species also happen to be at both sides of the size scale. The outsized Callibaetis californicus can produce excellent hatches. The diminutive Callibaetis pictus can also be locally prolific, especially at higher elevations.

The duns are easily recognized by their speckled bodies and distinctive wings usually featuring a dark background overlaid with white veins. Female spinners are also easy to recognize with their clear wing's leading edges marked with dark blotches -- see the pictures.
Female Callibaetis ferrugineus (Baetidae) (Speckled Dun) Mayfly Dun from unknown in Wisconsin
Female Callibaetis ferrugineus (Baetidae) (Speckled Dun) Mayfly Spinner from the Flathead River-lower in Montana
These adults are probably C. ferrugineus.
Lateral view of a Callibaetis ferrugineus (Baetidae) (Speckled Dun) Mayfly Nymph from Mystery Creek #304 in Idaho
This nymph was one of a horde I could see cruising the still shallows of a cold tailwater, mixed in with an intense emergence of duns. It's one of four specimens I photographed together from the same hatch, also including a male dun, a female dun, and a male spinner.

This nymph keys to either Callibaetis ferrugineous or Callibaetis pallidus. The lack of a darkened preapical band on the femora would suggest pallidus, but I can't definitively make out the "single seta" on the outer, ventral apex of any of the tarsi, the length of which is supposedly a more reliable characteristic to tell the species spart. I can maybe make something out on one of the legs at the highest magnification, and its dimensions would suggest ferrugineous.

Speckled Duns

Scientific Name
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy