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Pteronarcys californica

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

Caddisfly Species Hydatophylax argus (Giant Cream Pattern-Wing Sedge)

This is an especially large species, with emergence and adults up to hook size 2.

Where & when

Time of year : June through fall

Preferred waters: Small streams

Hatching behavior

Time of day : Morning

Gary LaFontaine reports in Caddisflies that his trout stomach samples held many Hydatophylax argus emergence during their emergence in the East.

Specimens of the Caddisfly Species Hydatophylax argus

1 Female Adult
Female Hydatophylax argus (Giant Cream Pattern-Wing Sedge) Caddisfly Adult
I had some trouble working through the genus key for this one because I'm not great at interpreting caddis wing emergence. Fortunately, figure 19.707 in An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America (Fifth Edition) shows the distinctive color pattern of the striking forewings on Hydatophylax argus, which is a perfect match for the pattern as well as emergence. As there are no other species in that genus in this area, I can be pretty confident in the species ID.

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