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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
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 Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen appears to be of the same species as this one collected in the same spot two months earlier. The identification of both is tentative. This one suffered some physical damage before being photographed, too, so the colors aren't totally natural. I was mostly photographing it to test out some new camera setting idea, which worked really well for a couple of closeups.
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 Mayfly Genus Callibaetis

The speckle winged Callibaetis genus contains on average the largest species in the Baetidae family with hatches ranging in size from 20 to 12 (6mm to 12mm). However, most can be matched with 14 and 16 imitations. They reside only in very slow weedy sections of rivers or lakes and ponds.

The most important are the sub-species Callibaetis ferrugineus ferrugineus in the East and Midwest and Callibaetis ferrugineus hageni in the West. It is in the West however, where this genus achieves its densest populations and most significant hatches. Other important western species also happen to be at both sides of the size scale. The outsized Callibaetis californicus can produce excellent hatches. The diminutive Callibaetis pictus can also be locally prolific, especially at higher elevations.

The duns are easily recognized by their speckled bodies and distinctive wings usually featuring a dark background overlaid with white veins. Female spinners are also easy to recognize with their clear wing's leading edges marked with dark blotches -- see the pictures.

Example specimens

Royal_Coach
Royal_Coach's profile picture
California

Posts: 1
Royal_Coach on Jan 15, 2018January 15th, 2018, 2:04 pm EST
every book/article I read says Baetidae is the most imporant family and Callibaetis the most important genus of mayfly. Why? Does this just mean they are the most prolific? Am I not likely to encounter any other family/genus on a western river?
Millcreek
Healdsburg, CA

Posts: 344
Millcreek on Jan 15, 2018January 15th, 2018, 5:09 pm EST
Mark - Callibaetis probably won't be found in rivers except in slackwater areas. In lakes or beaver ponds it can be an important hatch. Members of Baetidae can be very prolific in rivers, especially in California. As far as other species that can be locally abundant in California there are Epeorus, Ephemerella, Drunella, Tricorythodes, Choroterpes, Paraletophlebia and many others that can be seasonally important.
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
-Albert Einstein

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