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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.

Mayfly Genus Caenis (Angler's Curses)

When the important hatches of Tricorythodes were first discovered by anglers, Caenis was given the credit. We now know that the Caenis mayflies are a different group, smaller and less common in trout streams, and they hatch in the evening instead of the morning.

They very rarely elicit selective feeding, but when they do they're very tough to match because they're often much smaller than size 28. This difficulty has earned them the nickname "Angler's Curse."

Where & when

Time of year : June through early September; best in June and July

Preferred waters: Rivers and lakes

Most Caenis mayflies emerge in the evenings when other, larger mayflies are abundant on the water. This limits their importance.

Hatching behavior

Caenis mayflies typically emerge, molt into spinners, mate, and oviposit within one hour.

Nymph biology

Substrate: Silt, weeds

Every book says pools and stagnant back-waters are the prime habitats of these nymphs. This is probably true, but I have often found them in gravel, vegetation, and other habitats. They have operculate gills adapted to survival on silty bottoms.

Specimens of the Mayfly Genus Caenis

9 Nymphs
1 Dun
1 Adult

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Species in Caenis
Caenis amicaAngler's Curse00
Caenis hilarisAngler's Curse00
Caenis latipennisAngler's Curse00
Caenis tardataAngler's Curse00
Caenis youngiAngler's Curse12
8 species (Caenis anceps, Caenis arwini, Caenis bajaensis, Caenis candida, Caenis diminuta, Caenis eglinensis, Caenis macafferti, and Caenis punctata) aren't included.
Genus Range
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