Caddisfly

Mayflies

Mayfly Hatch Chart

Mayfly Sulphur Mayflies begin life as an egg, and hatch into an aquatic stage known as a nymph. Nymphs usually live about a year but may last two years or more, or just a few months, depending on the species. Some mayfly species have two broods per year, making them important in the spring and again in the fall when the next generation matures.

Mayfly nymphs range in size from 4mm to 40mm and most often have three tails (sometimes two). Some mayfly nymphs are burrowers, others have adapted to cling to rocks in fast water, so each nymph species has a different body shape and design. Most are dark on top (mottled brown, tan, or dark olive) with a lighter-colored underside.

When a mayfly nymph rises toward the surface and splits its shuck, the insect that emerges is called a dun (technically a subimago or pre-adult). They have two large, upright wings, two or three tails, and most have two very small hind wings. The wings are opaque and their bodies are often drab-colored.

Duns are the mayflies that ride the water�s surface in an upright position while their wings dry before taking flight. It�s a clich�, but fly fishers often say they look like miniature sailboats. When duns are on the water, you are in the hatch situation fly fishers live for, and it�s time to fish with dry flies, which float on the surface of the water.

After they hatch, mayfly duns fly to streamside vegetation where they molt or shed their skins and enter the adult or imago phase fly fishers call �spinners.� The change from dun to spinner often results in a different body color, and spinner tails are longer than dun tails. The most noticeable difference is that the wings of mayfly duns are opaque or cloudy. Spinner wings are usually clear.

A short time after molting into spinners�usually within 24 hours�the mayflies fly back to the water and gather in large swarms over riffle areas, where they mate. This most often happens late in the evening or early in the morning.

The females lay eggs and then die in the egg-laying process. Males continue to fertilize eggs until they also fall spent to the water, with their outstretched wings flush with the water�s surface. Trout sometimes prefer spinners over duns because they have learned that spinners have no chance to escape�they are dead�and are easier meals. Also, duns hatch over a relatively long period of time, while spinners fall to the water en masse, creating an irresistible feeding opportunity.

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Caddisfly

Mayfly Hatch Chart

Caddisfly Many species of caddisfly larvae enter a stage of inactivity called the pupa stage for weeks or months after they mature but prior to emergence. Their emergence is then triggered by cooling water temperatures in the fall, effectively synchronizing the adult activity to make mate-finding easier. In the Northwestern US, caddisfly larvae within their gravel cases are called 'periwinkles.'[4]

Caddisfly pupation occurs much like pupation of Lepidoptera. That is, caddisflies pupate in a cocoon spun from silk.[5] Caddisflies that build the portable cases attach their case to some underwater object, seal the front and back apertures against predation though still allowing water flow, and pupate within it. Once fully developed, most pupal caddisflies cut through their cases with a special pair of mandibles, swim up to the water surface, cast off skin and the now-obsolete gills and mandibles, and emerge as fully formed adults. In a minority of species, the pupae swim to shore -- either below the water or across the surface -- and crawl out to emerge. Many of them are able to fly immediately after breaking from their pupal skin.

The adult stage of caddisflies, in most cases, is very short-lived, usually only 1�2 weeks, but can sometimes last for 2 months. Most adults are non-feeding and are equipped mainly to mate. Once mated, the female caddisfly will often lay eggs (enclosed in a gelatinous mass) by attaching them above or below the water surface. Eggs hatch in as little as three weeks.

Caddisflies in most temperate areas complete their life cycles in a single year.[5] The general temperate-zone lifecycle pattern is one of larval feeding and growth in autumn, winter, and spring, with adult emergence between late spring and early fall, although the adult activity of a few species peaks in the winter. Larvae are active in very cold water and can frequently be observed feeding under ice. In common with many aquatic insect species, many caddisfly adults emerge synchronously en masse. Such emergence patterns ensure that most caddisflies will encounter a member of the opposite sex in a timely fashion. Mass emergences of this nature are called 'hatches' by salmon and trout anglers, and salmonid fish species will frequently 'switch' to whatever species is emerging on a particular day. Anglers take advantage of this behavior by matching their artificial flies to the appropriate fly.

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Stonefy

Stonefly Hatch Chart

Stonefly Many species of caddisfly larvae enter a stage of inactivity called the pupa stage for weeks or months after they mature but prior to emergence. Their emergence is then triggered by cooling water temperatures in the fall, effectively synchronizing the adult activity to make mate-finding easier. In the Northwestern US, caddisfly larvae within their gravel cases are called 'periwinkles.'[4]

Caddisfly pupation occurs much like pupation of Lepidoptera. That is, caddisflies pupate in a cocoon spun from silk.[5] Caddisflies that build the portable cases attach their case to some underwater object, seal the front and back apertures against predation though still allowing water flow, and pupate within it. Once fully developed, most pupal caddisflies cut through their cases with a special pair of mandibles, swim up to the water surface, cast off skin and the now-obsolete gills and mandibles, and emerge as fully formed adults. In a minority of species, the pupae swim to shore -- either below the water or across the surface -- and crawl out to emerge. Many of them are able to fly immediately after breaking from their pupal skin.

The adult stage of caddisflies, in most cases, is very short-lived, usually only 1�2 weeks, but can sometimes last for 2 months. Most adults are non-feeding and are equipped mainly to mate. Once mated, the female caddisfly will often lay eggs (enclosed in a gelatinous mass) by attaching them above or below the water surface. Eggs hatch in as little as three weeks.

Caddisflies in most temperate areas complete their life cycles in a single year.[5] The general temperate-zone lifecycle pattern is one of larval feeding and growth in autumn, winter, and spring, with adult emergence between late spring and early fall, although the adult activity of a few species peaks in the winter. Larvae are active in very cold water and can frequently be observed feeding under ice. In common with many aquatic insect species, many caddisfly adults emerge synchronously en masse. Such emergence patterns ensure that most caddisflies will encounter a member of the opposite sex in a timely fashion. Mass emergences of this nature are called 'hatches' by salmon and trout anglers, and salmonid fish species will frequently 'switch' to whatever species is emerging on a particular day. Anglers take advantage of this behavior by matching their artificial flies to the appropriate fly.

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Midges

Midge Life Cycle The midge cycle is similar to that of the caddis: they live as larvae, are buoyed to the surface as pupae, emerge and deposit their eggs as adults. Midges hatch year round so they are welcome prey for trout.

The first stage consists of an egg stage. Adult midges mate during flight, and tend to gather in large mating swarms along the waters edge of lakes or streams. Once mating is complete the females fly back over the water to release fertilized eggs by tipping their abdomen in the surface film. The eggs sink to the bottom of the stream.

Midge The larval stage emerges from the egg and begins its life on the bottom of lakes and streams or free living in the water column. Because most midges are poor swimmers, they are often found hiding amongst the aquatic vegetation of the slower runs and flats of the stream. Some species of midges construct small tubes or cases in which they live in. These larval house are oriented upright at the bottom of the stream. Fully developed larva undergo the change into the pupae state. For many species, the final larvae stage occurs with a larval tube or case, which is sealed off while it undergoes the final transformation. Once the pupa is fully developed it breaks free of the old larval casing and begins to rise to the surface of the stream. They produce a gas beneath the abdomen which give the pupa a silvery or mirror appearance that trout will often key in on.

When the pupa reaches the surface film a split forms along the back of the thorax and the adult phase emerges on the surface of the water and immediately flies off. Most pupal emergence, mating usually takes place within-in 24-48 hours, completing its lifecycle.

Prior to midge hatches, larva and pupae become washed into feeding lanes and trout will eat them. The pupae are extremely vulnerable as they kick feebly to the surface and hang suspended beneath the surface film. They are small, but so many are available that trout feed on them eagerly. Trout often feed selectively on midge pupae, but rarely feed selectively on midge larvae or adults.

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Tom T. Hargrove Fly Fishing Inc,
9024 Manchester
Saint Louis, Missouri 63144
email: Tom@thargrove.com
Phone - 314.968.4223
Fax -314.968.0272
email: Craig@thargrove.com
Craig

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