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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.

Dorsal view of a Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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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Lateral view of a Male Stictochironomus (Chironomidae) Midge Adult from Mystery Creek #62 in New York
This midge and several like it, including a female I also photographed, hatched from larvae which were living in some fine mud I'm using as substrate in my bug-rearing aquarium.
portsmouth, nh

Posts: 8
Joec on Mar 21, 2008March 21st, 2008, 7:54 am EDT
Spring can't arrive soon enough...after ice-out streamer fishing and before the high water levels on moving water venues become more reasonable, I love to fish chironomid imitations in ponds. In ponds containing few forage fish, this begins before the ice goes out entirely. My question is simple: why are chironomid species in the East so much smaller than out West? I have fished the Kamloops area of BC which is, of course, world renown for huge (size and quantity)chironomid hatches and the difference is unbelievable. I suspect it has to do with lack of fertility in my home waters, still or otherwise. Can anyone help?
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Mar 21, 2008March 21st, 2008, 8:59 am EDT

There are ~189 genera and ~1233 species of family Chironomidae in North America. My belief is, the extremely large chironomid species referred to as "Bombers" in British Columbia are not present in eastern North America. Of course, this begs the question, why not? And, although I really don't know for certain, I would speculate that, the unique combination of geology and climate they require is simply not found in the East.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 12, 2012August 12th, 2012, 1:06 pm EDT

Bombers? I had the notion they were called "buzzers", but my memory is terrible. Anyway, I find them in a wide range of sizes out here in Idaho. Biguns, and very small ones in lakes . And the colors of pupa that anglers have success with during a days fishing is quite mind boggling. One guy in a float tube tells me he landed 26 on a #18 bright red pupa the week before. I went home and tied up lots of bright little red ones, and went back and got skunked. Some days they are touting purple ones. Wish I could keep it simple.
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Aug 12, 2012August 12th, 2012, 2:09 pm EDT
Hi Jere-

Chironomid pupae range from under 1/8" to over 1 inch in length; the nickname "bomber" refers to the larger pupae. Phillip Rowley, BC & AB author of Fly Patterns for Stillwaters: A study of Trout, Entomology and Tying, page 11.

I believe "buzzers" to be the common name used in England for Chironomids (members of family Chironomidae).
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck

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