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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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Jmd123 has attached these 3 pictures. The message is below.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 24, 2012May 24th, 2012, 8:49 pm EDT
The first time I hit this spot on the Rifle River was the 4th day of the season. The air was filled with mayflies (Hendricksons and Red Quills) and caddisflies (tan wing brown body, #14-16), and this hatching went on for SEVEN HOURS STRAIGHT. I caught 13 browns but felt like I should have caught 50, I missed at least that many strikes and had many steadily feeding fish repeatedly refuse my flies, only to keep feeding below me once I'd passed them up and waded on. They ranged in size from maybe 7 inches to a 13-incher, the majority of them over the legal limit of 8" (of course I let them all go). I re-fished the entire stretch again (I can get out and walk 5-10 minutes to my car, depending on how long I enjoy the trail, with wild orchids, huge pine trees, and at night, flying squirrels) and the lowest 1/4 mile or so three times, and still had hits and caught fish every time! It was certainly a day to remember for me, especially since I couldn't get myself to leave the stream until dark. "Dammit, they're STILL rising!" I then realized I knew what crack cocaine felt like!

Well, today went beyond, yet was totally different. There were next to no flies on the water and next to no fish feeding on top, save for some little ones. Yet, a #12 brown Elkhair caddis brought up 21 fish, mostly browns with maybe six little rainbows (baby steelhead - I could see redds here and there), again the majority of the fish legal (and still swimming right now) with the biggest being 14". I lost a few fish and probably missed as many strikes as I caught, but hooking percentage was way higher today than last time.

I think this is a personal record for me. And the most amazing thing is that there was little, random, mixed fly activity, saw a few different sized mayflies (big brown ones, little white ones, etc.) & very random caddis, almost a smorgasbourd of flies but few and far between. I think we are sort of between hatches now, those of spring tapering off and those of summer about to start, but with the random mixture out there fish were willing to hit anything that looked good. And I guess a little brown caddisfly about the size of a #12 hook looked really good!

No fish shots, these weren't the nice big fat ones that get shown off on here but all nice, healthy looking, well-colored and spunky, rod-bending fish. If you want to see a Rifle River brown, I posted one back in April. But I couldn't resist a few pink lady's slipper orchids, and a big mamma snapping turtle looking for a spot to lay her eggs, that I saw on the trail back to the car.

Going back to another favorite spot on this river tomorrow...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on May 24, 2012May 24th, 2012, 9:39 pm EDT
Good looking my man it sounds like you had a blast of a day. Well done!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on May 25, 2012May 25th, 2012, 3:20 am EDT

Congrats on a great day on the water for you!!

Did you stick w/ the elk hair caddis exclusively the whole time or did you try anything subsurface as well?


Posts: 287
Feathers5 on May 25, 2012May 25th, 2012, 5:54 am EDT
Good for your day. What kind of flower is that?
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 25, 2012May 25th, 2012, 6:41 am EDT
Congratulations on some fine fishing, Jonathon.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 25, 2012May 25th, 2012, 9:08 am EDT
Thanks guys. I had a really hard time getting to sleep last night...

Adirman, I went with the Elkhair caddis almost the entire time, switching to one of my POG Buggers (Peacock, Olive, and Grizzly) for a short downstream walk back to a jump-out point, but I got no hits on it. It was a rather silty area and I was probably kicking up too much mud.

Feathers5, these are pink lady's slipper orchids, Cypripedium acaule. Spectacular, aren't they? There were probably several hundred blooming along the trail back to my car.

Heading back out there to a different spot in a little while...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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