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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

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

Dorsal view of a Holocentropus (Polycentropodidae) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to tentatively key to Holocentropus, although I can't make out the anal spines in Couplet 7 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae nor the dark bands in Couplet 4 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae, making me wonder if I went wrong somewhere in keying it out. I don't see where that could have happened, though. It might also be that it's a very immature larva and doesn't possess all the identifying characteristics in the key yet. If Holocentropus is correct, then Holocentropus flavus and Holocentropus interruptus are the two likely possibilities based on range, but I was not able to find a description of their larvae.
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.
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Caddisfly Family Phryganeidae

Where & when

Time of year : Late spring or summer

Preferred waters: Lakes or rivers

In 1159 records from GBIF, adults of this family have mostly been collected during July (30%), June (30%), August (19%), May (8%), and September (7%).

In 607 records from GBIF, this family has been collected at elevations ranging from -30 to 14692 ft, with an average (median) of 774 ft.

Family Range

Hatching behavior

Pupae of this family crawl out on shore to emerge.

Egg-Laying behavior

Females lay their eggs on the surface, and they may run across the surface to the bank. This behavior may be found throughout the family but it has earned the common name Travelling Sedges for the stillwater genus Banksiola.

Larva & pupa biology

Diet: Smaller aquatic insects; other food when small

Current speed: Still or slow

Shelter type: Leaf or bark

This is the most primitive family of case-making caddisflies, and the larvae may easily enter or leave their cases. I caught two of them in my collection container fighting over one case in a really funny video.

Specimens of the Caddisfly Family Phryganeidae

2 Larvae

1 Video of Phryganeidae Caddisflies:

Two Phryganeidae caddis larvae fighting over a case

Caddisfly larvae of this family can easily leave and re-enters their cases. I caught two of them playing musical chairs or something with this one... funny!

Discussions of Phryganeidae

4 replies
Posted by Entoman on Jan 14, 2011 in the genus Banksiola
Last reply on Jan 22, 2011 by Entoman
My understanding is the two most important species are B. selina (East) and B. crotchi (West). Supposedly of minor importance in the East but very important in certain areas of the West. Where they do occur they seem to be very abundant. Current thought in entomological circles is that selina is now synonymous with crotchi.

It's far and away the most important large stillwater caddis I've come across because of its hatching behavior. Unlike other large lake dwelling caddis I've observed, they seem to exhibit all three traits that make them valuable to anglers. It's activity is diurnal, they emerge in open water, and they do this synchronized in large numbers over several hours. It gets even better! They don't fly off but scamper across the surface until they reach shore. This trip may cover a distance covered in yards not feet (once watched one go an estimated 50 yds into shore before I lost site, hoping to see a big rise that never happened...

The best fishing is on soft evenings. Use stiff tippets and any number of green bodied deer hair winged dries in the appropriate size. Spot casting to rises or attempts to lead them usually proves futile as the fish are usually covering water pretty fast. What works for me is to cast fan fashion as far as is comfortable, stick the rod under the casting arm and strip back with both hands to avoid pauses in the retrieve while matching the speed of the natural. Hold the line delicately because the takes can be vicious! Experience has shown the fish are more selective to the appropriate motion than differentiation size or even color of pattern. Best are those designed to skate leaving the proper "V" wake and that float well.

For reasons unknown (maybe due to atmospherics messing with a clean emergence?) they will sometimes swim around in a circle whirligig fashion. On evenings when this behavior predominates, the pupa are a more consistent bet throughout the hatch, either swam shallow with a strip retrieve or raised from the bottom using a long tippet. Hard to beat the traditional Carey Special in the appropriate color for this. Unless of course, somebody can come up with a way to make their dry fly swim around in circles.

Start a Discussion of Phryganeidae


Caddisfly Family Phryganeidae

Genus in Phryganeidae: Banksiola, Phryganea, Ptilostomis
7 genera (Agrypnia, Beothukus, Fabria, Hagenella, Oligostomis, Oligotricha, and Yphria) aren't included.
Family Range
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