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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 Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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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This topic is about the Caddisfly Family Glossosomatidae

This family is one of the primitive caddisflies of the Rhyacophiloidea superfamily. However, they are not free-living like their better known cousins the Rhyacophilidae (Green Rockworm). Instead they build rounded "turtle" shaped cases that do not surround the larvae but are rather attached to the rock surface at their margins. Underneath is a sling made of secretions upon which the larvae ride, hence the common name Saddle-case Makers. There are four genera of possible interest but only one is generally recognized as important to anglers. See Glossosoma (Little Brown Short-horned Caddis) for details. The other three are so tiny that they are also called Pseudo-microcaddis.

Protoptila (Tiny Spotted Short-horned Caddis) is rarely important in trout streams and is generally found in warmer, larger water than the other two genera.

Agapetus (Tiny black Short-horned Caddis) is quite common in many northern streams.

Matrioptila is an extremely tiny southern genus.

Example specimens

Knoxville TN

Posts: 51
Litobrancha on Apr 12, 2007April 12th, 2007, 3:41 pm EDT

just wanted to spread the word about agapetus. many trout streams have healthy populations of agapetus and there is no reason that some of these species are important to early season emerger/dry fly fishing. small (#18-22) black caddis dry or emerger patterns will mimic them nicely, as well as Dolophilodes Wormaldia and Chimarra.

my colleagues are describing 12 new species of agapetus, mostly from the southeastern united states. i would encourage troutnuts to attempt to collect and rear agapetus pupae. it is pretty easy to do, find pupating cases and remove them from the rocks using forceps and into a small jar of water. If you use a jar with a small amount of water (just a little bit more than required to cover the pupae, removing the small stones around the puparium), then they will pupate in a refrigerator (preferably 60 C or so). Leave the lid loose to allow oxygen to equilibrate with the pupae. This also works for Rhyacophila, which build a similar puparium. We are describing new species of both Agapetus and Rhyacophila and it would be great to have specimens from Troutnuts!!! if interested in doing this, and it is time, email me litobrancha@yahoo.com You can send them to me in alcohol, who knows what else is out there!!!!

Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Apr 12, 2007April 12th, 2007, 6:04 pm EDT
Great, Lito, another genus to add to my tying list--just what I needed! :) Just kidding pal, it's great to hear from you again! And I'll be on the lookout for Agapetus! (Actually, if Chimarra/Dolophilodes imitations work, I'm all set.) ;)


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