i've discovered the adults are orange. any advice for the pupae?
Although emerging Dicosmoecus
usually do have orangish bodies and legs, the wings of the big adults tend to become rather dark (brownish to nearly black). As for the pupae, it is worth remembering that what we call a "pupa" is really an adult with the wings folded up and enclosed within a translucent skin. This means that we can usually determine the proper color of a caddisfly pupa by knowing (or looking at) the color of the body of freshly emerged
adults. (This is unlike most mayflies where the nymphal shuck often retains a considerable amount of dark pigmentation.) The catch is that most caddisfly adults darken considerably as they age, and mating or egg-laying adults can be poor examples for determining the color of the pupae.
As Roger points out, Dicosmoecus
is a Western caddisfly. However, Eastern/Midwestern anglers sometimes (mis)apply the name "October caddis" to the common large caddisflies of Pycnopsyche
. Like Dicosmoecus
, these are large fall-emerging limnephilids. They have orangish or pumpkin-colored wings, usually with fairly distinctive dark markings. For general applications, a decent imitation of a Dicosmoecus
pupa would probably work for Pycnopsyche
, and vice versa. Pycnopsyche
is slightly smaller, so #8-10 hooks are about right.