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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.

Lateral view of a Clostoeca disjuncta (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one was surprisingly straightforward to identify. The lack of a sclerite at the base of the lateral hump narrows the field quite a bit, and the other options followed fairly obvious characteristics to Clostoeca, which only has one species, Clostoeca disjuncta.
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.

Ryanerb
San Jose, CA

Posts: 2
Ryanerb on Feb 26, 2012February 26th, 2012, 10:00 pm EST
Fishing in Eastern Sierras, California. Hot Creek/Upper/Lower Owens.
I've been fishing but still learning on my entomology. So if I see some bugs, how do I know if they are tricos or midges? I've had midges land on my hand before, they look almost like a mosquito, so I can figure that out. I've seen a BWO on a blade of grass I think on the Upper O. But sometimes I see a swarm of REALLY small flies, are those tricos? Or just super small midges? Do BWO swarm? PMD?
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Feb 26, 2012February 26th, 2012, 10:45 pm EST
Hi Ryan -

Welcome to the forum! It's nice to hear from another Californian.

Yes, mayflies swarm during their mating rituals. As to your other question, they say a picture is worth a thousand words so check out these linked photos:

Tricorythodes -
http://bugguide.net/node/view/503279

Midge -
http://bugguide.net/node/view/381085

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Feb 27, 2012February 27th, 2012, 4:23 am EST
Hi Ryan

Well, one way to tell is that midges have no tails.
Welcome to the forum from PA.


Hey Kurt, good bug sites.

Bruce
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Feb 27, 2012February 27th, 2012, 5:46 am EST
Yes, mayflies swarm during their mating rituals.


Hmmm? Yes Ryan...Mayflies are the only insects so sophisticated they have developed these "rituals"...Stoneflies, caddis, and the lowly midge are not so ritualistic...;) Or sophisticated...:)

Just kidding Kurt...Could not help myself here this morning...

Spence
"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
Ryanerb
San Jose, CA

Posts: 2
Ryanerb on Feb 27, 2012February 27th, 2012, 8:01 am EST
Thanks for the quick and great responses! Great help! The links were helpful.


I am able to identify most bugs up close, it just gets tough 'far' away as I see the swarm over the river and they look like size 22-24. In this case, I'm going to start to need to rely on knowing who is swarming, if its a trico or a bwo by looking at a distance. Sometimes the swarm almost looks like a bunch of sz 22 tan/white flies, not the black and clear like the trico...

I'm 99% sure I've seen midges swarm on the shoreline too? Usually when I'm getting my float tube set up at crowley lake, the midges are all over me and my truck.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Feb 27, 2012February 27th, 2012, 8:20 am EST
Ryan,

I am able to identify most bugs up close, it just gets tough 'far' away as I see the swarm over the river and they look like size 22-24.

Ha! that goes for all of us. As you spend more time looking at them though, it gets a little easier.

Sometimes the swarm almost looks like a bunch of sz 22 tan/white flies, not the black and clear like the trico...

Those were probably midges, but there are several species of tiny mayflies that could be colored that way.

I'm 99% sure I've seen midges swarm on the shoreline too?

Yes, but that is not a good way to tell the important orders apart as they all can and do swarm shorelines.

Spence - Geez, would you have preferred that I called it "swarming in preparation for copulation"?:) The funny thing is I almost did! This is what happens when us hobbiests start sticking our noses into too much science Lit. I'm gonna crack open a little Schwiebert tonight... With my evening libation, of course.:) I'm thinking Rememberances of Rivers Past...
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Feb 27, 2012February 27th, 2012, 10:39 am EST
Spence - Geez, would you have preferred that I called it "swarming in preparation for copulation"?:) The funny thing is I almost did! This is what happens when us hobbiests start sticking our noses into too much science Lit. I'm gonna crack open a little Schwiebert tonight... With my evening libation, of course.:) I'm thinking Rememberances of Rivers Past...


I'll join you mister, right after I get back from my fly tying klatch tonight. With the time difference between you and I we should be sitting down around the same time, give or take...Prost!

I have a few Molson's sitting in the downstairs frig left over from the weekend. I needed them after spending Saturday at an outdoor show helping the little-ones tie their first ever fly. My club set up a booth to promote the club etc...I was tying Wooly Buggers in my sleep I tied so many...From leaning over the kids I developed a knot in my lower back...:) Actually it was a lot of fun and I was pleased with the effort those kids put in to their first fly. They were easier to work with than most adults.

I was going to show them Jonathon's famous KBF but I was afraid that they would of cleaned out the kiddie trout pond they had set up there with it...:) You know it was the only time I have ever looked around for PETA and they were no where to be seen...;) We were thinking about tying up some "Pellet Flies" but thought better of it...You know that after the first few groups of kids fished through that swimming pool of Rainbows they stopped feeding...By the time I left no one was catching any. Maybe the guy that was walking around with a large hawk or all those kids with their Zebco's in their hands just put them down.

I wonder what the MIDNR would have done, if they had walked passed the kiddie trout pond, and spotted one of them snagging?

One little brother of someone I was showing how to tie walked up with one in a zip-lock baggy..."Hey mister. What kind of fish did I catch?" " Here let me see...Hmmm...That looks like one un-happy Rainbow trout. :)"

Spence

"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

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