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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.

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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Hagerstown, MD

Posts: 7
Jlw_5178 on Nov 1, 2009November 1st, 2009, 12:15 pm EST
I live in washington county maryland and would like to know what type of caddis flys I have been seeing hatch lately. I usually fish beaver creek and antietam creek. If anyone is familiar with these areas this time of year I would love to hear your take
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Nov 4, 2009November 4th, 2009, 4:36 am EST

How's about some more details? Size? Color? Etc. I suspect that your part of the country is a bit different than here in Michigan. It was actually spitting snow this morning and was 35 out on my way home from the Wings game last night.

Are these caddis you are seeing about a size 18/20, with a black wing, and funny looking protrusions coming from the side of its head(like little horns or handlebars)? I'm guessing here but we get a late season "Black Dancer" up here (Mystacides sepulchralis), but I'm pretty sure the hatch is over. Maybe where you are it stays warmer a bit longer and the hatch straggles on a bit longer...Again I'm guessing here.

Hagerstown? My mother is originally from Maryland, but west of you over near Oakland...A little town called Hutton. She grew up on a farm way back in the middle of nowhere! Have you ever fished over that way? I once caught the largest blue-gill I've ever seen out of Deep Creek Lake. He almost filled up a paper plate!

Back in the mid-90's my grandmother passed away and my mother and I took her back and had a small ceremony in Oakland for family there and then drove her to a small graveyard, on top of a hill, in the middle of a farmers field...It was near Red House. I couldn't believe it when the hearse pulled off on to a two-track and fish-tailed a bit as it headed up the trail. What a view!

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Nov 4, 2009November 4th, 2009, 8:10 am EST
I will second the request for more info.
If it was a much larger caddis it could also possibly have been an "October Caddis" or "Great Orange Sedge" (sorry I'm not real good with the Latin for Caddis).
On the CV streams a little more northeast of you we have still been seeing some tan caddis that are about a #16-18 coming off sporadically but then again those streams have been known to have sporadic sulphurs in February.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Hagerstown, MD

Posts: 7
Jlw_5178 on Nov 6, 2009November 6th, 2009, 11:50 am EST
in flight they look to be a light tannish color, when held in your hand with the wings closed they are a darker brown color(top side of wings). They are about a size 16. the elk hair caddis flys I have seem to match them perfectly when drifting in the water but I would like to find out what they actually are and also what they look like as emergers and nymphs. I hope this is enough info as I look forward hearing some suggestions. thank you for your help

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