Header image
Enter a name
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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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 Caddisfly Genus Chimarra

Chimarra aterrima is the most important species.

Example specimens

Btopbuckeye's profile picture
Hayesville no

Posts: 1
Btopbuckeye on Mar 4, 2015March 4th, 2015, 3:57 pm EST
I had a large swarm of black sedges in a size 16 ovipositing today.the females hadvblack wings and body with a green egg sack was just wondering if that is this genus or something totally different
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 5, 2015March 5th, 2015, 7:29 am EST
Welcome to the forum. They are most likely Brachycentrus (Grannoms).
"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's profile picture

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Mar 5, 2015March 5th, 2015, 7:50 am EST
Are you sure they were caddis and not stoneflies?
The larger "little black stones" (around a size 16) start to flutter around this time of year up here.
The egg sacks I see are yellowish on the stones.
I'm not sure of the timing of Grannoms or stones in N.C.
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's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Mar 5, 2015March 5th, 2015, 9:10 am EST
Welcome to the forum. They are most likely Brachycentrus (Grannoms).

I was going to say the same Kurt but the description of the Black Wings had me wondering, really Btopbuckeye, It's virtually impossible to say with any kind of certainty what they may have been. But as Kurt pointed out they may have been Brachycentrus sp., the green eggs would be consistent with that. And I imagine you are a head of us here in PA with timing of hatches and we usually see Brachycentrus (Grannoms) in mid to late April here in southern PA. I've heard those Rainbows in the Nantahalla are beautiful fish! I'd like to see one up close and personal some day.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 5, 2015March 5th, 2015, 11:56 am EST
Given that the egg sacks were green, it would seem they were caddis of some sort. At least one hatch chart for the Smokies lists "Grannoms" this early:


And they provide specific information about the bug, which they call a "little black caddis":


They identify the Grannom that hatches early in the Smokies as Brachycentrus occidentalis.

In regard to our Grannoms here in PA, one of Troutnut's bug experts, Lloyd Gonzales observes: "The collecting record shows two Brachycentrus spp. for Huntingdon County [PA]--B. numerosus and solomoni"; and he identifies numerosus as the species most commonly found on Penns Creek.

Eric, might the possible species difference at least partially explain the difference in hatch time, along with geographical differences?

Brian, The Nantahala is certainly a beautiful river; along with the Ocoee it was a favorite when I was a whitewater guide in North Carolina. We primarily frequented the lower reaches, taking out just after the first falls above the Nantahala Outdoor Center. I once saw a kid walking along one of the feeder streams to the Nantahala carrying a stringer of big rainbows. Obviously not a proponent of catch and release.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 5, 2015March 5th, 2015, 1:50 pm EST
Welcome to the forum. They are most likely Brachycentrus (Grannoms).

Kurt...Every darn hatch chart in this state still has the "Little Black Caddis" listed as Chimarra! And listed as an 16/18 hook!? Even after Carl Richards, no less, told them about, B lateralis, B numerosus, and B americanus...

I have made loud, Molson infused, bets to some folk here that they probably haven't ever seen a Chimarra.

"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
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Mar 6, 2015March 6th, 2015, 3:41 am EST
Eric, might the possible species difference at least partially explain the difference in hatch time, along with geographical differences?


Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Last Reply
Mar 18, 2010
by Wbranch
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy