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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
Baetis

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 Limnephilidae (Giant Sedges) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
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.

This topic is about the True Fly Family Simuliidae

Black flies are not usually regarded as important trout fare, but scientific studies of some rivers have shown them to make up the majority of the trout's diet. Such places are few and far between, but anglers should be aware of the possibility and keep a lookout for high concentrations of the larvae.

The adults are nasty, annoying, biting flies.

Example specimens

Wendy
massachusettes

Posts: 3
Wendy on Jun 28, 2007June 28th, 2007, 11:30 am EDT
I've been looking around the web to find out what they are and I saw a site that said they were drain flies? It makes sense to call them that but what are their true name? It can't be drain flies can it? Anyway they are taking over my tank. They start out like 1cm long white inch worms that have a black tip on the face and tail, they then form a brownish-black shell, like a cocoon and then they turn into tiny flies the size of a gnat or fruit fly and they don't die under water they are water proof. I hate to say it if you guys are bug lovers but they have to move out, possibly to the swampy stream out back. Does anyone know their name and if they are harmful to goldfish at an epidemic rate? They breed like crazy and I can't keep up.
I once caught a pickeral with my bare hands,I swear!
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 28, 2007June 28th, 2007, 12:04 pm EDT
Don't assume we all love all bugs, Wendy. It would probably be more accurate to say that we all love fish, and so we care about what fish eat. It is perfectly fine, in my opinion, to subject annoying insects to a merciless holocaust. I had a fishing trip cut short last week when some flies the size of a speck of dust started biting my brother and I without remorse. We finally left after my brother's eye swelled shut from what we presume was a bite from one of these vile little demons. If I had had the power, I would have smitten their entire race without stopping for a second to wonder whether they held in their DNA the cure for cancer or something. I hope we can all agree that bugs that feed on people and are not trout food are evil and deserve grim death.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jun 28, 2007June 28th, 2007, 2:11 pm EDT
Wendy-

Another common name for drain fly is moth fly (Psychodidae). The larvae feed on algae. Can't imagine how their presence would harm your goldfish, but it could indicate cleaning your goldfish bowl/tank is overdue.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Harvz
Posts: 1
Harvz on Jun 28, 2007June 28th, 2007, 10:26 pm EDT
im just wondering how to memorize all of the species of the fly!
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 29, 2007June 29th, 2007, 4:02 am EDT
Thanks, David. I never knew the Latin translation for "little bastards."

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 29, 2007June 29th, 2007, 9:56 am EDT
Hey Shawn, where did you find those "little bastards"--or should I say where did they find you? I'll remember to use bug juice if I fish there. If it's a secret (not well-known) stream, just PM me. I'm heading to the Delaware in a few days if all goes well. Tight lines; I hope your brother had a good trip home.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 29, 2007June 29th, 2007, 11:35 am EDT
Nah, no secret. In fact, we caught so few fish there, I doubt I'll ever find you in my favorite spot, which would be a little like finding someone else strapped to my favorite whipping post. It was in the Narrows on Fishing Creek, the morning after a thunderstorm passed through. I'm guessing that little bit of dampness is what triggered the hatch... of lots of nasty things the fish weren't paying the least bit of attention to.

My brother got home fine, if one can consider arriving in Texas just in time for July a fine trip. Thanks for asking - he appreciated your company on the J. And good luck on the Delaware.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Zeltzer909
california

Posts: 1
Zeltzer909 on Dec 7, 2007December 7th, 2007, 11:42 am EST
we had the same problem with our tank and we contacted a pond specialist that gave use medicine to kill them.The worms in the tank cocoon and turn into flies and live in the filter of the tank i hope this is any help.
maryann
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Dec 8, 2007December 8th, 2007, 5:16 am EST
Take up fly fishing, immerse yourself in aquatic entomology, get rid of the gold fish and start rearing the little buggers.
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."
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Dec 8, 2007December 8th, 2007, 8:31 am EST
Well guys, my first inclination is to call Wendy's problem an infestation of psychodid "moth flies". They do breed in drains - that's how they used to show up in the middle of winter in the bathrooms of the Natural Science Building on MSU campus. And I've seen larvae that almost match Wendy's description perfectly - approx. 1cm long, very small black heads and off-white to cream-colored bodies. They were actually making a living beneath a gasket on the bathroom faucet in an apartment I lived in - and the flies were most definitely psychodids, they are very distinctive. Fortunately, none of the North American species are known to bite (I believe), however there are species in Africa that not only bite but transmit diseases! Also, the moth flies are covered in hairs like moths, and this may be why Wendy found them to be "water-proof" - the hairs keep them from getting wet.

Ah yes, the Ceratopogonidae, also known as "punkies" or "no-see-ums" - the last name is especially appropriate since they all seem to be less than 1 mm in size. And they do bite all out of proportion to their size! The best thing to do when you encounter them is to move away until you don't encounter them, as they tend to fly in very limited areas. In other words, they won't follow you for a half-mile like mosquitos and blackflies will.

Oh, in case anyone is wondering and I haven't told you, I have a M.S. in entomology from Michigan State - took aquatics from Rich Merritt (of Merritt & Cummins) there in 1991.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Dec 8, 2007December 8th, 2007, 8:35 am EST
Shawn, have you gotten your brothers out on the San Marcos or Blanco yet? I found that "winter" in Texas is the best time of the year to fish, as the fewest people are in the water and there are good caddis hatches. Get 'em out there and they'll stop bitching about living in Texas!

Also, the Devil's River in SW TX - 3-5 lb. smallmouth in the desert (I am NOT kidding, I broke off several on 4-lb. test...)!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Dec 8, 2007December 8th, 2007, 9:52 am EST
Thanks for the tips, Jonathon - I will pass that info along to my bros. I don't know if they've gotten out recently or not. Both of them being family men with busy jobs, my guess is they haven't. But I'll ask the next time I talk to them.

Take care,
Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Dec 10, 2007December 10th, 2007, 8:51 am EST
I spoke with my brother, Jonathon, about fishing, and he said he hadn't been out recently. He became a little jaded when he made a few trips to the Guadalupe and had to pay for access, which I think kept him from actively seeking flyfishing opportunities for awhile. I'd forgotten, but he reminded me that he recently suggested to me that if I ever make a trip down there without the family we should float the Devil's River - he's scoped it out pretty well but hasn't gotten a chance to fish it yet. He says it's pretty inaccessible, which is good reason to fish it (we both love inaccessible spots), but it's hard for him at this stage in life to take entire days or weekends to explore. I passed along your tips, though, and he was appreciative.

Thanks,
Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 11, 2007December 11th, 2007, 4:16 am EST
Jonathon, thanks for the tips on no-see-ums. Your comment on mosquitos and blackflies made me laugh, then remember a swarm of biting flies that followed me for some time on a bike trip along some barrier islands once. You could look back and see the bastards following along in the slipstream. I don't know if it was the same ones all the time, or if they had relays, like pony express riders, so they could keep the tribal quest for blood alive. It sure kept me pedaling.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wendy
massachusettes

Posts: 3
Wendy on Dec 15, 2007December 15th, 2007, 3:44 pm EST
Hi everyone! Thank you for your help in distinguishing the insect you guys were right it is the drain fly. I had plumbing issues which are fixed now. I bought a brand new fish tank along with filter... but the "Bastards" have infultrated the new tank and no matter how clean the tank is they are still there. In fact they are un-noticable when there is a bloom -- they are so tiny -- like a peice of dust, you just dont see them right away. Anyway I will take the advice of zelter909 and will be calling a pond store or something to rid them. Sorry it took so long to get back to you I am in college and raising an angler! I'm american indian so fishing is a part of life for the guys in the family, however, I've been known to kick butt in fishing too. Happy anglin and Happy Holiday's
I once caught a pickeral with my bare hands,I swear!
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Dec 16, 2007December 16th, 2007, 12:23 am EST
Good to hear you're figuring out the puzzle, Wendy, and as usual the bug guys on this site (not to be confused with me) know what they're talking about. You sound like quite a woman! Any woman, of course, is a welcome surprise on this forum, but one who can catch a pickerel with her bare hands... wow!

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Wendy
massachusettes

Posts: 3
Wendy on Dec 24, 2007December 24th, 2007, 7:56 am EST
Yup! I caught a pickerel once with my bare hands it was only about 7 inches but it had teeth. I used to go fishing with my ex husband and his friends but they started getting bent out of shape because I was a bettter fisher-woman, lol. My ex said that the pickerel I caught was probably in shock from being caught previously maybe he was right but he looked fine to me and there were no marks on him. He was a juevenille I think? (The fish that is, well my ex too, lol, just kidding). My son was quite the fisherman as well. He has more trophies than I know what to do with but his love of fishing has been replaced, temporarily I'm sure, by soccer.
Anyway,I am really relieved about you guys coming through with an answer to my problem. Nobody could help me and I knew if anyone would know it would be someone who is close to nature. Thanks again all of you! Ps maryann I am waiting for a call from a local pond club your advice was very helpful, thank you. :)
I once caught a pickeral with my bare hands,I swear!

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