The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.
Size - 14 mm
Condition - preserved
Habitat - cobble bottom, moderate flow run, at a depth of approx. 1 1/2 feet.
Key Characters - pair of large prosternal sclerites
This is a very common taxon at this location. I collected using a kick net. In life, it is bright olive green ventrally, shading to a dull olive at its dorsal abdominal surfaces. In the hand, the legs, thoraxic regions, and head appear medium chocolate brown. The stark contrast of the thoraxic plate's dark edges and light legs are effects of preserving. The plumouse anal hooks were duck down gray, not the color of the gills as appears in the preserved specimen.
The Lower Yuba River is a good habitat for this species, being a larger river with an open canopy. The Feather River just to the north of the Yuba system also finds H. californica in abundance. The other common Hydropsyche species in the area, Hydropsyche occidentalis, seems to prefer smaller, shaded streams.