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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 Glossosoma (Glossosomatidae) (Little Brown Short-horned Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
I caught this tiny larva without a case, but it seems to key pretty clearly to to Glossosomatidae. From there, the lack of sclerites on the mesonotum points to either Glossosoma or Anagapetus. Although it's difficult to see in a 2D image from the microscope, it's pretty clear in the live 3D view that the pronotum is only excised about 1/3 of its length to accommodate the forecoxa, not 2/3, which points to Glossosoma at Couplet 5 of the Key to Genera of Glossosomatidae Larvae.
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.

Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Feb 7, 2013February 7th, 2013, 4:48 am EST
These should take you through the family and genus keys

Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Feb 8, 2013February 8th, 2013, 5:03 pm EST
Ditto, Mack.

I wonder if these critters can give a painful bite? Having a healthy respect for insects that whittle through wood, I've handled tho ones I've captured gingerly.:) I know it's not the same as dry wood, but still...
"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
Creno
Grants Pass, OR

Posts: 302
Creno on Feb 8, 2013February 8th, 2013, 6:47 pm EST
You have no worries. You can poke a caddis all ya want and they wont hurt ya. I have tried it. I think it is one of those relative mass things. Are you going to bite a blue whale? Think a blue whale would feel it?

But be careful with the adults. Some folks find they are allergic to the fine hairs. After an evening of collecting with an aspirator I tend to have a very sore throat.
Taxon
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Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Feb 8, 2013February 8th, 2013, 8:39 pm EST
Hi Mack-

It is by belief that the only stonefly genus having species of the length you describe is Pteronarcys.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Feb 9, 2013February 9th, 2013, 7:12 am EST
You can poke a caddis all ya want and they wont hurt ya.

Well, I understand that as a general rule about "a" caddis but I'm asking about "this" caddis.:) We've got a critter out here called the Carpenter Bee. It kinda looks like a bumble bee except it's much bigger, all black and not as hairy. I don't know if they have this one back East. Anyway, they like unpainted wood like on old barns and shops in rural areas. On still summer days you can hear them chewing and see tiny bits of sawdust fall out of the holes they make in places like eaves and rafters. Most species aren't supposed to be harmful, but if that SOB bit you, you'll wish your father hadn't met your mother for awhile.:)

Mack - Sure it wasn't a dobsonfly or big fishfly? They can look like stoneflies at first glance and it sounds like pain prevented you from getting a good look.:)
"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
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Feb 10, 2013February 10th, 2013, 2:21 pm EST
We've got a critter out here called the Carpenter Bee. It kinda looks like a bumble bee except it's much bigger, all black and not as hairy. I don't know if they have this one back East.


We've got me here too. I've never been bitten but as a kid I would catch them (they loved our barn) and tie a piece of mono to them and have a flying pet!
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

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Entoman on Feb 10, 2013February 10th, 2013, 3:28 pm EST
Flying pet? :)LOL Perhaps they're not the same species? I wouldn't want to try that with one of 'em out here, I'll tell you that.:)LOL A grade school buddy was harassing one by poking a little stick in its hole. The thing came out and nailed him. Now this kid was tough. He'd get a bloody nose in a pick-up football game and not even notice. That critter though had him screaming!LOL (I shouldn't laugh) Out here they get 1 1/2" long and the females also have pretty impressive stingers. I got chewed by one on the back of the neck while working in my barn many years ago. I don't like to think about it...:(
"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
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Feb 11, 2013February 11th, 2013, 3:22 am EST
It must be a different species. I'll look into that. But in my experience with the ones we have, they are pretty docile. In fact if my memory serves, the males are not even capable of stinging, only the females, which are not frequently encountered. Or maybe I'm the bumble whisperer...
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Feb 11, 2013February 11th, 2013, 5:52 pm EST
We did that with June bugs (Cotinis nitida) when I was a kid.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Falsifly
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Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Feb 11, 2013February 11th, 2013, 7:17 pm EST
Speaking of June bugs, I know they don't bite or sting, but they sure can pack a hell of a wallop. I got hit between the eyes doing over 70 MPH on a motorcycle and it damn near took me off the bike.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Feb 12, 2013February 12th, 2013, 12:08 am EST
Ha! So much for the romance of hitting the road like "Easy Rider", Al. :) My brother took one in the teeth once that didn't make him too happy...

Speaking of stingy bitey things. I've got another story perhaps somebody can help with. We call our big craneflies out here Mosquito hawks. I know they are called different things in different parts of the country, but they're just the common brown terrestrial variety. If I see one buzzing around the house, I'll try to cup it in my hand and take it outside. Anyway, one evening there was one bouncing off a light that I cupped and as I walked it to the door, I started to experience searing pain in my hands. Not centralized like a sting but kind of in the whole palm and even a couple of fingers on the other. I let it go and chased it down with a magazine. All thoughts of altruism were gone as I studied it's remains. It was a little smaller than a typical hawk, but other than that I couldn't see much difference (in what was left to observe). It certainly didn't look much different in the air. Any ideas? Some kind of borer maybe? That little bastard hurt like hell!
"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
Gutcutter
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Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Feb 12, 2013February 12th, 2013, 3:46 am EST
We did that with June bugs (Cotinis nitida) when I was a kid.


Pets?
We just fried 'em with a magnifying glass.
I'm glad kids have better things to do today.
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
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Feb 12, 2013February 12th, 2013, 4:38 am EST
Mosquito hawk imposter,
Hum, not being from your park of the country it would be difficult to speculate with any accuracy, but that has never stopped me before. I guess it could be some ichneumonid wasp, maybe but I've never known any of them to sting, but if they can stick that ovipositor into the side of a tree, a hand shouldn't be that difficult. Maybe a robber fly?
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Feb 12, 2013February 12th, 2013, 11:44 am EST
...it would be difficult to speculate with any accuracy, but that has never stopped me before.

Well, that's a great thing. Otherwise the conversation would be pretty skinny around here...:)

...ichneumonid wasp...

"By Jove, I think you've got it!" With your lead, I shopped the web for photos and came across several likely prospects.

You're a very well-rounded bug guy, Eric! Thanks!
"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
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Feb 12, 2013February 12th, 2013, 6:48 pm EST
You're a very well-rounded bug guy, Eric! Thanks!


Don't encourge him Kurt! :) Sometimes they get stuck in the foam on his Guinness and he's swallowed a few...;)

We did that with June bugs (Cotinis nitida) when I was a kid.


Louis. We used to tie kite string to a rear leg when I lived in Norfolk...Walk around the courtyard with a June Bug on a leash...Kids would also remove the abdomens from lightening bugs and make patterns on their T-shirts...It was a hoot.

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
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 17, 2013February 17th, 2013, 9:25 am EST
Yes, and we would fill a jar with lightning bugs to make a lantern. What fun days those were.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Feb 17, 2013February 17th, 2013, 3:12 pm EST
What fun days those were.


Yes indeed! Louis. You and I are sounding like two old men sitting out on the front porch...

When I was in third grade I lived in Norfolk VA...Some of the older boys built a big wooden box and half filled it with dirt...We kept box turtles in there and would have races with them across the courtyard of our apartment complex...

The older boys parked this box up against the wall of my apartment...I can still remember the awe I felt when I looked in the box and we were missing some turtles...I thought someone had stolen them, but they had buried themselves in the dirt to hibernate...

All these crazy things we did as kids were part of our education.

Some of the boys painted numbers on the shells of their turtle with model car paint. :) We went on great hikes in the woods to find these turtles...What fun.

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
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Feb 17, 2013February 17th, 2013, 3:56 pm EST
Louis,

You got me started now...:)

I was lucky in a weird sort of way...At ten my parents divorced...In hindsight I came to look on this in a positive way since I created myself to an extent...Instead of being my father's son I was responsible for myself and am way more independent and self at ease.

My dad's father took me under his wing and I spent a great deal of time in the company of my grandparents. They grew up on farms before the depression and my grandmother owned the old shack/house she had grown up in with 40 acres. It was built by my namesake, Spencer Beebe. My great grandfather.

My father was born in 29 and my grandmother had 9 children in all...He was first and my aunt, who was born in 53, just a few months before I was, was the last. I was treated like the 10th child, though my aunts and uncles say I was treated more like the prince of the family.

I spent my summers running around up there like Huck Finn. I fished, ran in the woods, picked wild berries with my grandmother and just had a ball. There was an old house across from the farm that had belonged to the Shank family and was forever known as the Shank Place, or Shank's.

The old house had only half the roof still intact and it was our club house...We attached chicken wire across the tops of old drawers and kept snakes, gophers, bunnies, and frogs in our own little zoo...We even made the girls watch a milk snake eat a frog. :)

The things my grandparents knew are things that seem to be lost these days...When I walked in the woods with my grandmother she knew wild flowers, and berries, and a folk wisdom she had learned from hard times.

My grandfather would take me up in the winter to hunt bunnies. Just he and I and the beagle. The shack had a pot-bellied stove, an out house, and no electricity...It was paradise for me...We would leave Detroit sometimes at three in the morning and drive through blizzards...Stop for breakfast in a town called Farwell...The ladies there would let me have a burger in fries for breakfast if I wanted...:)

I would give a million dollars to somehow had those times filmed...You wonder sometimes what you were like when you were a kid...I knew they loved me and gave me a comfort and confidence in the woods I wouldn't trade for anything. Neither one of them made it out of elementary school.

My grandmother would lay in bed at night and talk to us kids as we fell asleep just a little ways away. My grandpa would fall right out and grandma would tell us stories about the family and growing up and sing us little hymns and "oldtimey" music...Some with rather bleak themes.

We had kerosene lamps and she would leave one on an old organ as a night light for me...I remember waking up one night and as the dim light was flickering across the floor I saw the cat had a mouse trapped between its paws...It was still alive but afraid to move...I think the poor thing had a heart attack from the stress that cat put it through that night. :)

Anyway...A couple old boys out on the front porch sharing a couple cold ones and some memories.

Spence

Don't look now but I think we've highjacked another great thread.

"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
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Feb 18, 2013February 18th, 2013, 11:38 am EST
Don't look now but I think we've highjacked another great thread.

Hoisted on my own petard, Spence!:) I think I started it with the question about biting.

Discussing whether certain bugs bite or not seems to be a matter of opinion and anecdotal experience. Reminds me of that scene in the Pink Panther. Sellers walks up to the hotel desk with a little dog yapping behind him and asks the clerk, "Dus your dug biet?" The taciturn clerk replies, "No, monsieur." A little later as the dog is ripping his pant leg to shreds, Sellers exclaims, "I tut you said your dug did nut biet!" The deadpanned clerk replied calmly, "Tat's nut muy dug."
"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
Gutcutter
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Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Feb 19, 2013February 19th, 2013, 5:56 am EST
For the complete derailment of this topic-

Old lady - But that's a priceless Steinway
Clouseau - Nut enymour

My favorite
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

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