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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

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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Rubinm01
new jersey

Posts: 2
Rubinm01 on Feb 2, 2009February 2nd, 2009, 4:11 am EST
I am intersted in studying the aquatic insects associated with fly fishing. The one question I have is....do they bite (or sting)?
Can you handle them bare handed?

I know, I am a whimp.
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Feb 2, 2009February 2nd, 2009, 8:28 am EST
I know, I am a whimp.


Here is a site you can scroll thru quickly. Pay particular attention to the section below Hemiptera and below Megaloptera & Neuroptera.

I can Bite
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Feb 2, 2009February 2nd, 2009, 9:12 am EST
I’ll never forget the time I felt something crawling up the back of my neck. I reached around with my right hand and plucked it off between my fingers. I brought it around to examine it and nearly $#IT. It was a HUGE Dobsonfly. And to top it off it was after dark.

Or the time I was approached by a Game Warden on Colorado’s Blue River. What I believe was a Pteronarcys californica, landed on his ear. When he plucked the thing off and looked at it -------- he nearly $#IT.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Feb 2, 2009February 2nd, 2009, 9:45 am EST
When I read the lead post on this thread, I immediately thought of hellgrammites. And as I paged down, I see they also crossed Falsifly's mind.

Once when fishing live hellgrammites for smallmouth as a kid, I caught a small rock bass who was hooked by the insect's pincers and was nowhere near the hook point.

So, while most FF related bugs are more like Ghandi than Ghengis, hellgrammites are or can be an exception...
JAD
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Feb 3, 2009February 3rd, 2009, 2:21 am EST
I'm with you two guys (good company ) that's what I thought of, when they pinch ,you move pretty fast. And yea it's always very dark.

JaD

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
Rubinm01
new jersey

Posts: 2
Rubinm01 on Feb 5, 2009February 5th, 2009, 7:35 am EST
Thanks for your replies. I'll be careful when I handle the "little buggers".

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