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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.

Dorsal view of a Grammotaulius betteni (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This is a striking caddis larva with an interesting color pattern on the head. Here are some characteristics I was able to see under the microscope, but could not easily expose for a picture:
- The prosternal horn is present.
- The mandible is clearly toothed, not formed into a uniform scraper blade.
- The seems to be only 2 major setae on the ventral edge of the hind femur.
- Chloride epithelia seem to be absent from the dorsal side of any abdominal segments.
Based on these characteristics and the ones more easily visible from the pictures, this seems to be Grammotaulius. The key's description of the case is spot-on: "Case cylindrical, made of longitudinally arranged sedge or similar leaves," as is the description of the markings on the head, "Dorsum of head light brownish yellow with numerous discrete, small, dark spots." The spot pattern on the head is a very good match to figure 19.312 of Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019). The species ID is based on Grammotaulius betteni being the only species of this genus known in Washington state.
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.

This topic is about the Insect Order Trichoptera

Some say caddisflies are even more important than mayflies, and they are probably right. The angling world has taken a while to come to terms with this blasphemy. Caddis imitations are close to receiving their fare share of time on the end of the tippet, but too many anglers still assume all caddisflies are pretty much the same.

Caddis species actually provide as much incentive to learn their specifics as the mayflies do. There is just as much variety in their emergence and egg-laying behaviors, and as many patterns and techniques are needed to match them. Anglers are hampered only by the relative lack of information about caddisfly behavior and identification.

Example specimens

Posts: 1
GennieS on May 25, 2009May 25th, 2009, 9:10 am EDT
I am a Canuck. I grew up trout fishing in the Canadian Rockies and Purcells, and learned to tie flies way back in the 1950's. I became quite expert at it by the standards in those days but the flies we tied were all of the traditional "Royal Coachman, Silver Doctor" type. Some older fishers were tying flies on the water according to the hatches they encountered but us kids never got that sophisticated. In our teens we switched to spin fishing and it has been over 50 years (I am 69 years old in a few weeks) since I tied flies. However I am a biologist and always look under rocks and so on, and discovered caddis fly larvae when I was barely past the toddler stage.

I now live on Lake Athabasca which is way back in the sticks so to speak, and in Arctic Grayling country. (Lake Athabasca produced the world record Lake Trout at 102 lbs)I have purchased another fly tying outfit and am trying to 'catch up' to the art that has really passed me by. This summer/fall I hope to catch my first Arctic Grayling, and thus my interest in this site. I would be interested in anything anyone has about the Caddis/Mayfly/Stoneflies of the north and any information on tying such flies as well. Internet links would also be appreciated. Nice to meecha all by the way, and my compliments on the site. Gennie
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Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on May 25, 2009May 25th, 2009, 10:17 am EDT
Hi GennieS-

Welcome aboard. While looking up your lake, I discovered Dale Parker's AquaTax Consulting site, which seems to be a terrific resource for SK aquatic invertebrates.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on May 26, 2009May 26th, 2009, 11:29 am EDT
Welcome, GennieS. It's never too late to get into flyfishing, though it can certainly make you wish you'd done it sooner. I wish you the best in your "new" hobby, and hope it doesn't become too much of an obsession for you. If it does, this is a good place to meet people similarly obsessed. Call it therapy.

Hi, my name is Shawn, and I'm a flyfisherman...
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis

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