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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Ventral view of a Hydropsyche (Hydropsychidae) (Spotted Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
With a bit of help from the microscope, this specimen keys clearly and unsurprisingly to Hydropsyche.
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 Species Macrostemum zebratum (Zebra Caddisflies)

The "Zebra Caddis" is one of the most well-known caddisfly species, and one of the largest to produce high intensity hatches on our trout streams.

It is also an important species for smallmouth bass. Gary LaFontaine wrote in Caddisflies about encountering Macrostemum zebratum on a large smallmouth river:

I never caught so many smallmouth bass on a fly rod before in my life.

Where & when

Time of year : June through September; peaks before mid-July

Preferred waters: Large rivers

This species is usually found in large, thermally marginal trout streams, or in tailwaters which used to have that character.

In 95 records from GBIF, adults of this species have mostly been collected during June (32%), July (29%), August (25%), and May (8%).

In 13 records from GBIF, this species has been collected at elevations ranging from 92 to 12631 ft, with an average (median) of 512 ft.

Species Range

Discussions of Macrostemum zebratum

Zebra Caddis
1 replies
Posted by Lastchance on Aug 4, 2008
Last reply on Aug 4, 2008 by Taxon
Is there a photo of one? I've never heard of them or perhaps I know them by a different name.

Start a Discussion of Macrostemum zebratum


Caddisfly Species Macrostemum zebratum (Zebra Caddisflies)

Species Range
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