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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.

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.
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Dorsal view of a Taeniopteryx (Taeniopterygidae) (Early Black Stonefly) Stonefly Nymph from unknown in Wisconsin
Altoona, pa

Posts: 5
Ljnbass on Jan 13, 2010January 13th, 2010, 1:49 am EST

Just found this web site and have to say this is the most informative and detailed one I've found.
I live in PA and fish the Little Juniata. I never seem to hit the early black stoneflies. When is the best time for them? And after looking at these photos I believe my pattern ain't what it should be. I know these photos are from a sample out west but are they similar to our eastern blacks?
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jan 13, 2010January 13th, 2010, 8:32 am EST

PA has the following species of family Taeniopterygidae:

Bolotoperla rossi (Smoky Willowfly)
Oemopteryx contorta (Dark Willowfly)
Strophopteryx appalachia (Appalachian Willowfly)
Strophopteryx fasciata (Mottled Willowfly)
Taenionema atlanticum (Atlantic Willowfly)
Taeniopteryx burksi (Eastern Willowfly)
Taeniopteryx maura (Spinyleg Willowfly)
Taeniopteryx metequi (Shortwing Willowfly)
Taeniopteryx nivalis (Boreal Willowfly)
Taeniopteryx parvula (Hooked Willowfly)
Taeniopteryx ugola (Cumberland Willowfly)

Don't know which of them are present in the Little Juniata, but would expect all of them to be quite similar in profile and size.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jan 13, 2010January 13th, 2010, 5:24 pm EST
This genus comes out heavy on the Huron River (Ann Arbor, MI) in March. Now if I could just get the smallies to pay attention to 'em...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 17, 2010January 17th, 2010, 2:31 am EST

It's possible that the Early Black Stone is not present on the LJ. There are a number of avid, and some zealous, LJ fishers who frequent this web site who should be able to respond to your inquiry.

On the rivers I fish in NYS I often see them on pleasant, sunny, days in March. Typically I see them emerging before any of the mayflies on those rivers.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Jan 17, 2010January 17th, 2010, 9:08 am EST
Hi all
I think their are very few streams without the early blacks. I have seen them on the snow in February and on the water when the weather was quite pleasant in late April into early May. I realize that is a broad statement, but even some of the streams that are polluted with sewage in Erie have Early Blacks .


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,
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Jan 17, 2010January 17th, 2010, 2:36 pm EST
I'm not sure about other fishermen, here, but we get decent hatches in March as well. For the most part, the fish don't seem interested in them. It may be because the water is still too cold and the metabolism of the fish is still running low OR it could be because they often hatch in high fast water that is muddy or off color. The fish COULD be feeding on them underwater, but I've had no luck on my imitation of them during these times.

The only time I've had any luck on them is when, for some reason, the water is running lower than normal and temperatures-both outside and in the water are running somewhat higher than normal. Then the fish have a great feast.

I've posted my pattern before, but I'll repost it for you.


If you fish during the hatches, let us know how you do.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Gutcutter's profile picture

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Jan 18, 2010January 18th, 2010, 5:44 am EST
the little j has 'em. rarely get the fish up in any numbers. they are #16/18 and hatch any time there is decent weather jan-march. in my experience, the trout take more midges during the e.b.s."hatch" and flinging a 16 black stonefly or cdc caddis (close enough)above a 26 midge emerger works well so you can locate the emerger faster.
i have missed a few fish that hit the big fly as i was so concentrated on and fixated on the micro emerger!
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Altoona, pa

Posts: 5
Ljnbass on Jan 19, 2010January 19th, 2010, 12:31 pm EST

I like the pattern you posted. I'm going to try it but I think I'm going to try mixing a little amber in with the black for the thorax. After looking at some of the photos on this site I noticed they have a little amber in them. My patterns were made all black and had very little luck with them. Thanks for the post and awesome site!

Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Jan 19, 2010January 19th, 2010, 1:19 pm EST
Absolutely. Patterns are made to be adjusted to where you fish. I've been thinking of adding a little brown to mine. I've noticed that some that hatch here, have more of a brownish tinge to them, but they are very dark, and often appear black.

What I like about this pattern is I have fished it like a nymph, drawing it slowly to the shallows and in the surface after treating the fly with a flotant, and it worked both ways.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html

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