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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

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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Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
Mcjames on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 3:26 am EDT
last year I collected a caddis larva with a case constructed of small twigs. I "evicted" the worm, varnished the case, and glued it to a weighted hook with an imitation of the peeking caddis head. question: is this legal and/or ethical? or will using this fly make me a bait fisherman? I havent had the chance to try it yet.
I am haunted by waters
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 4:51 am EDT
question: is this legal and/or ethical?

James, as long as collecting the larva was legal, the question of fishing the case as part of an imitation would depend upon where you fish. On some special regulation waters it might not meet the legal critera for a "fly" and on others it probably would. As for the ethical part, I'll leave that entirely for you to decide. Many have used this approach to imitating cased larvae before, but I've never heard much about the effectiveness of the resulting "fly."
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
IEatimago on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 10:43 am EDT
is it common for it to be illegal to collect insects?
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 10:49 am EDT
I haven't read the NYS regulations recently, but here in PA, aquatic larvae are considered "fishbait" and are limited to 50/day. On many of our special regulation streams, collection is not legal.
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
IEatimago on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 2:18 pm EDT
good to know.
i will have to find if its legal in my local water's
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jul 5, 2007July 5th, 2007, 2:26 pm EDT
I wouldn't sweat it too much, Jasen. Unless you're regularly seining hundreds of them and planning to set up a streamside baitstand, you're probably fine. I would avoid collecting in special reg. areas restricted to flies and lures though.

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