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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.

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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Dorsal view of a Brachycentrus (Brachycentridae) (Grannom) Caddisfly Pupa from Cayuta Creek in New York
The green blob contained in this case is a pupa in the early stages of transformation from larva to the final stage we generally picture and imitate. This specimen and several like it were fixed to a rock I picked up, and each one had the front of its case sealed off, protecting the helpless pupa from predation. It's neat to see the insect part-way through such a radical transformation.

It was very hard to extract this thing from its case, so there's a bit of extra goo near the head from where I accidentally punctured it.
Posts: 3
Dgracia on Jan 14, 2009January 14th, 2009, 2:01 am EST
Hi Jason,
One of the things I've done forever is carry at least a couple of fairly large (3"-4") darning needles in my vest. You can conveniently carry them inside one of your foam fly boxes or poked into a foam fly patch. Besides making a good fid (tool for opening knots) it also persuades caddis to come out of their cases generally in one piece. If you have the larva in your hand and he hasn't sealed the opening for pupation, you can just insert the blunt end of the needle (the part with the eye in it) in through the back of the case and slowly push. Pretty quickly, he will start coming out the front of the case and you can persuade him to come out entirely without much problem.
You can extract intact examples of the larva or pupa pretty easily with this method. With a pupating caddis, you do need to cut off the sealed opening so the caddis can get out. You have to be pretty careful though, because it's easy to cut off his head if you aren't.
Of course, you won't get those great photos of half-cut open cases, but you don't have to worry about breaking off legs either. I started carrying those needles with me when I was teaching so I could undo "wind knots" more easily, but they are great at persuading caddis to leave their case.
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 13, 2013February 13th, 2013, 11:58 am EST
This green pupa looks a lot like the Bot fly larvae I've seen being removed from guy's heads on the Animal Planet. Pretty gross when the fly lays it's eggs on someone's head!
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Feb 15, 2013February 15th, 2013, 4:00 pm EST
Thanks Dan, I'll try that.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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