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Contents for Entomology
Contents for Entomology

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Caddis Fly

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  • Microcaddis
    The true microcaddis all belong to the family Hydroptilidae. This family usually hatches beginning June, but peak activity occurs in July and August. The behavior of microcaddis allows fish to feed on the larvae, pupae, and adults.(September/October 1995)

  • Lesser Net-Spinning Caddis
    The families of Philopotmaidae, Polycentropodidae, and Psychomyiidea could be referred to as the Lesser Net-Spinning Caddisflies. These families have a diverse array of species, but not all are important to anglers. They are considerably smaller and less well-known than their cousins, the Hydropsychids. (May/June 1996)

  • Brachycentrus & Company: Humpless Case-Makers
    The family Brachycentridae has three genera important to anglers including Brachycentrus, Micrasema, andAmiocentrus. These genera produce large hatches in the spring, summer and the fall. (March/April 1998)

  • Sorting out the Summer Caddisflies (4.5MB) 
    Caddisflies produce some of the best summer hatches. Six groups of caddisflies that produce excellent summer hatches are discussed. These groups include the genus Oecetis, genus Rhyacophila, genus Lepidostoma, genusBrachycentrus, genus Hydropsyche and Cheumatopsyche. (July/August 2000)

  • Lay, Lady, Lay
    Caddisflies lay their eggs three different ways. These behaviors include the “skate and skitter,” the “flop and drop,” and the “dive.” Anglers should know these three behaviors so they can decide on which pattern and tactic to use.(September/October 2001)

  • Lesser Net-Spinning Caddisflies  (4MB)
    The families of Philopotamidae, Polycentropodidae, and Psychomyiidae could be referred to as the Lesser Net-Spinning Caddisflies. These families have a diverse array of species, but not all are important to anglers. They are considerably smaller and less well-known than their cousins, the Hydropsychids. (May/June 2002)

  • Matching the Microcaddis
    The true microcaddis all belong to the family Hydroptilidae. This family usually hatches beginning in June, but peak activity occurs in July and August. The behavior of microcaddis allows fish to feed on the larvae, pupae, and adults.(September/October 2002)

  • The Inconspicuous Caddisfly
    The family Glossosomatidae is one of the most important insects in cool, running waters. The Glossosomatids are a unique caddisfly because each time they molt they must build a new case. When they molt they abandon their old cases and drift in the current sometimes in large numbers attracting lots of fish.(July/August 2003)

  • The Traveling Sedge
    The traveling sedge hatch is composed of a number of species that all have the habit of running across the water upon emergence. The family Phryganeidae make up the majority of traveling sedges, however the family Limnephilidae makes up a few sedges. (April 2005)

  • Caddisflies Deconstructed
    The caddisfly life cycle includes the Larval Stage, the Pupae Stage, and the Adult Stage. Being able to recognize these stages and the behaviors that go along with each stage can make a beginner much more successful in fishing. (March 2006)

  • Basic Bug ID, Part II: Caddisflies
    There are several different groups of Caddisflies that are defined by different characteristics. The free-living caddisflies are larva that do not build cases and thus remain exposed throughout their development. The net-spinning caddisflies do not build cases either. They instead put up various shaped silk nets on the surface of stream rocks to catch small insects floating down the river. The saddle cased caddisflies build small dome-shaped cases out of gravel and sand. The true cased caddisflies build cylindrical cases that they carry with them wherever they go. (January/February 2007)

Mayflies

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  • Making Sense of Mayfly Nymphs (3MB)
    Entomologists have defined four major groups of mayflies: clingers, crawlers, swimmers, and burrowers. Knowing how to recognize these groups eliminates the problems of trying to identify a certain species. The presentation and pattern selection of a fly are also made less difficult. (November/December 1993)

  • Meet the Mountain Mayflies
    Entomologists have defined four major groups of mayflies: clingers, crawlers, swimmers, and burrowers. Knowing how to recognize these groups eliminates the problems of trying to identify a certain species. The presentation and pattern selection of a fly are also made less difficult. (July/August 1996)

  • Ameletus
    Epeorus mayflies belong to the family Heptageniidae. This column focuses on Epeorus mayflies identification, behavior, life cycle and importance to fly fisherman. (September/October 1997)

  • The Nighttime Hex (3MB)
    Hexagenia limbata is a species in the family Ephemeridae. This is one of the larger species of mayflies. This article focuses on Hexagenia limbata’s, identification, behavior, life cycle and importance to fly fishermen.(May/June 1998)

  • A New Look at Matching the Drift (4MB)
    The Mayfly family Baetidae is found drifting in very large groups. In some areas well over a million individuals may drift past a certain point in 24 hours. These drifts of mayflies occur mainly right after sundown and prior to sunup. Even though these mayflies appear to be very drap creatures it is better to use a fly with more color that attracts attention in the low light times. (November/December 1998)

  • When Dry Flies Should be Wet (3.5MB)
    Mayflies have two wing stages. These two stages are described as duns and spinners. With the information provided in this column fly fishers can know precisely which phase of the mayfly’s life they may be witnessing and why mayflies act the way that they do. (January/February 1999)

  • American Mayflies: 200-Year Quest  (3.5MB)
    Mayflies have been studied for hundreds of years. The first attempt at describing a mayfly from America was in 1796. This column discusses the history of British and American entomologists who studied mayflies.(July/August 1999)

  • Mighty Mayfly Midgets  (3MB)
    The majority of insects that trout eat are small. This article examines three different groups of small mayflies that are very good at snagging the big one. These include the Tricos from the genus Trycorythodes, Blue Winged Olives from the genus Baetis, and Tiny Blue-Winged Olives from the genus Baetis and Acentrella.(March/April 2000)

  • The Gray Drakes of Spring (4MB)
    Siphlonurus mayflies belong to the family Siphlonuridae. The column focuses on Siphlonurus mayfly’s identification, behavior, life cycle and importance to fly fisherman. (May/June 2000)

  • Springtime Blues  (3MB)
    Baetis mayflies belong to the family Baetidae. The column focuses on Baetis mayfly’s identification, behavior, life cycle and importance to fly fisherman. (March/April 2003)

  • A March Brown by any other Name (4MB)
    March Browns describe several different species depending on the geographic location. All March Browns are from the family Heptageniidae. The genus Stenonema is restricted mostly to the East and Midwestern streams. The genus Rhithrogena can be found throughout the United States. Some species like Rhithrogena morrisoni, are found only in western rivers. The article discusses the differences between Eastern March Browns and Western March Browns. (May/June 2003)

  • The Bugs of Summer (3.5MB)
    Ephemerellidae mayflies produce some of the best hatches of the year throughout the United States. The genus Drunella dwells in many Midwest and Eastern streams. The genus Drunella and Ephemerella inhabit many western streams. Both groups and their habitat and distribution are discussed in the column. (Summer 2004)

  • The Rise and Fall
    The spinner is considered the fourth stage of a mayfly’s lifecycle. This stage is often overlooked by many fly fishermen. This article describes many of the behaviors of spinners and why fly fishermen should try using spinners more often throughout the year. (Summer 2005)

  • A Bug for all Seasons (3MB)
    Entomologists have defined four major groups of mayflies: clingers, crawlers, swimmers and burrowers. The clingers, which comprise a single family (Heptageniidae), will be discussed in this column. The identification, habitat and behavior of clingers will be explained. Important genera to fly fisherman include Epeorus, Heptagenia, Leucrocuta, Rhithrogena, Maccaffertium, Stenonema, and Stenocron. (Summer 2006)

  • Basic Bug ID, Part I: Mayflies

  • Quill Gordon and Friends
    Quill Gordon mayflies have been important to anglers since Theodore Gordon developed his famous pattern of them in the 1800’s. This article discusses the biology, identification, and best ways to mimic these important mayflies. (May/June 2008)

Stoneflies

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  • Stonefly Eating Habits
    Ever wonder what insects eat? Many fishermen probably wouldn’t care what stoneflies eat. Stoneflies eat a variety of foods ranging from the Chironomids to Algae to Caddis flies. Chironomids are very important to many stonefly diets. Even though fishing may be less frustrating without midges, it would also be less exciting because there would be few stonefly hatches without the midges.

  • Large Yellow Stoneflies (3MB)
    Large Yellow Stoneflies are in the family Perlodidae. These can be confused with golden stoneflies or the family Perlidae. The large yellow stoneflies belong to a large and diverse group, but general identification isn’t difficult. They are found in cool water streams with lots of oxygen and no pollution. (March/April 1996)

  • Peltoperlidae: The "Cockroach" Stoneflies
    The Peltoperlidae stoneflies can be confused with a small beetle or water bug. If this stonefly is found in a stream it indicates that the stream is clean and relatively undisturbed. Peltoperlids have not been well studied. Little is known about their lifecycle. Peltoperlids are found in small, cold, clean, undisturbed mountain streams. They are found in eastern and western streams. (July/August 1998)

  • Mellow Yellow
    The genus Isoperla is from the family Perlodidae. This genus has the highest species diversity of any stonefly. These stoneflies present a real identification challenge to the angler and the entomologist. The nymphs of Isoperla have no gills which influences where and how they live. They need well oxygenated water in order to survive. This means they can be found regularly in riffles where there is a lot of oxygen. (July/August 2002)

  • The Golden Hatches (3.5MB)
    When the stonefly family Perlidae hatches, one of the most wild and exciting fishing experiences occurs for fly fishermen. The article describes the identification, behavior, and lifecycle of the family Perlidae. (April 2004)

Crane Flies 

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  • Crane flies (3MB)
    Crane Flies are considered to be one of the hidden forms of food for fish. Crane flies are usually available to fish as adults and larvae but not as pupae. The pupae are rarely seen because most develop well hidden out of the water under shoreline debris. The larvae are also hard to find because many of them burrow under the sediment. Unless a disturbance, like high water occurs, the larvae of Crane Flies are pretty hard to find.(January/February 1992)

Hatches 

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Catching Hatches: Easier said than Done! (4MB)
Determining exactly when a hatch is going to happen is hard. Research on the insect life cycle has determined certain factors that play an important role in when a hatch will happen. These factors include genetic traits, temperature, food supply, and photoperiod. Even with these factors chances are you won’t be able to predict exactly when a hatch will occur. So the best thing to do is to go fishing whenever you have the time and if you are lucky you might just hit one of the big hatches that have fish rising all over the place. (March/April 1994)