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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.
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.

CAuletta's profile picture
Westchester County, NY

Posts: 4
CAuletta on Aug 17, 2011August 17th, 2011, 3:16 pm EDT
This is my first post, so I wanted to make it at least a slightly useful one. I noticed there is no thread for the Croton River (West Branch & East Branch), so, by creating one that's about as useful as this post will get. I don't know how much of you fish this river, but I'd like to hear if you do.

Last week I picked a spot near the West Branch outlet, just south of the Route 6 bridge. It was early morning, raining cats and dogs, but I hadn't been out for a while so figured I'd give it a go. The path from the bridge was very overgrown, probably due to all the rain we've had lately in NY, so I had to bush-whack my way in from the road.

This time of year there are not many folks in this area, so I had the whole river to myself. One of the most peaceful and beautiful spots that I go to.

The fish were elusive though, water temps and levels were higher than I'd like. I didn't catch anything except trees for three hours and then snagged a nice brookie on a small ant (I love terrestrials this time of year). He got my hopes up, but that proved to be it for the day. I'm hoping to head back this week, but may need to head to the reservoirs if the temperatures stay high.
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Aug 18, 2011August 18th, 2011, 12:37 am EDT
Welcome to the forum! I've been near that area but never had a chance to fish it.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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