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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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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Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jan 18, 2021January 18th, 2021, 4:16 am EST
This fly is, apparently, a favorite on the Au Sable and they are sold at Gates. I can't find a list of materials for this fly anywhere - anyone here ever tie it ??
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 18, 2021January 18th, 2021, 6:02 am EST

A quick search of this and I found The Gates Au Sable Lodge site with this fly listed, it appears to be a nymph? I'm also waiting for the Michigan TN contingent to chime in here...I'd bet Tim Neal has done a couple thousand of these.

GUESSING HERE but: black biot tails, a stripped red/tan quill body/abdomen, and light dun? hackle tied on top sort of clumped style then finished with a pinkish-red thread head. It looks simple which is good since most guide flies are just that- simple and effective; I can't recall a guide fly that was not.

Speaking of guide flies, John Bueter of Cloud Nine in Baldwin (here in MI) supplied me with bunch of Iso spinners some years back that were KILLER ties, and so basic as to be a couple minute each...at most.

Anyway, thanks for bringing this to the attention of the TN mob, I'm gonna' time some in various shades before the season starts up for real in May or so.


"Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 18, 2021January 18th, 2021, 6:12 am EST
Second thought, I looked at the pic of this fly more thoroughly and it looks like a clumped-hackle dry- need some input here, please!
guess I had nymphs on my mind since I'm researching another MI pattern, Springs Wiggler tied for a Hex nymph...plans for this on on the L Manistee this coming season!

Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jan 18, 2021January 18th, 2021, 7:02 am EST
Looks like red quill hackle stacker, moose mane or body hair for the tail, red stripped peacock for the body and dun hackle tied in hackle stacker style. I will do more investigating. Rogue have you checked the rogue hex on nomad anglers? I tied some up, I like it a lot.
Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jan 20, 2021January 20th, 2021, 8:51 am EST
Based on the picture of the fly they sell at Gates it looks like ginger quill tied up to the 3/4 mark - or, as Roguerat said, some kind of stripped redtan quill. Light dun or white hackle tied partly over the quill then clipped off underneath the fly so it rides lower. Tail looks more like biot than moose main to me. And the front is indistinct as well - almost looks like that pinkish henny dubbing.
Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jan 23, 2021January 23rd, 2021, 3:14 am EST
Mike - I looked up how to tie a hackle stacker - you are right - that's got to be what this fly is !!! Thanks so much :-) Brian
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 23, 2021January 23rd, 2021, 3:35 am EST

Just checked out the Nomad Anglers video for the Rogue Hex and it looks well worth tying and fishing, thanks for the tip!

Getting cabin fever in January, sort of a non-winter thing going in W MI this 'winter' and only 8"!? of snow on the 'season' thus far, crazy weather patterns.


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe

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