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Arthropod Class Insecta (Insects)

Pictures Below
Nearly a million species of insects have been described by entomologists. I have left several of them off of this site, just to save time, but I've tried to include all the main aquatic insects trout eat in North America.

This site focuses on aquatic insects, of which the most important are mayflies (Ephemeroptera) and caddisflies (Trichoptera). Stoneflies (Plecoptera) come in third, a position arguably challenged by the many two-winged true flies of the Diptera order, which includes midges and craneflies. I've also included some terrestrial (Terrestrial: Insects which live on land and are fed on by trout only when they incidentally fall into the water are known as "terrestrials" to fly anglers, and they're very important in late summer.) insects which I've found on or near trout streams. Terrestrials (Terrestrial: Insects which live on land and are fed on by trout only when they incidentally fall into the water are known as "terrestrials" to fly anglers, and they're very important in late summer.) like ants, beetles, and grasshoppers are an important food source for trout in many places, especially during the summer months.

Aquatic insects do not live their entire lives in the water. Instead, they grow for a year (give or take quite a bit) as nymphs or larvae underwater, and then they emerge into air-breathing winged insects for a short while to mate and die. There are many variations on this theme.

The most important aquatic insects for fly fishermen are mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, and midges. Mayflies and caddisflies are the most discussed by angler-entomologists, because it's so useful to closely identify them. The behavior of their species guides the behavior of feeding trout, and an angler who understands the lifecycle of a particular species has the upper hand when it's hatching. This is not so important for stoneflies and midges, because their hatching behavior is less variable.

Pictures of 1010 Insect Specimens:

Specimen Page:1234...102
Neophylax (Autumn Mottled Sedges) Caddisfly AdultNeophylax (Autumn Mottled Sedges) Caddisfly Adult View 20 PicturesThis large caddisfly looks really neat close-up.
Collected September 19, 2006 from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on October 4, 2006
Specimen Page:1234...102

3 Streamside Pictures of Insects:

In this picture: Insect Family Formicidae (Ants). From the Little Naches River in Washington.
Date TakenJul 8, 2018
Date AddedJul 9, 2018
AuthorTroutnut
CameraNIKON 1 AW1
Callibaetis spinner on an alpine lake in Washington's Cascades, the one referred to by the alias of Upper Lake in my Golden Trout trip report.  In this picture: Mayfly Genus Callibaetis (Speckled Duns). From Upper Lake in Washington.
Callibaetis spinner on an alpine lake in Washington's Cascades, the one referred to by the alias of Upper Lake in my Golden Trout trip report.

In this picture: Mayfly Genus Callibaetis (Speckled Duns).
LocationUpper Lake
Date TakenSep 3, 2017
Date AddedSep 5, 2017
AuthorTroutnut
CameraNIKON 1 AW1
In this picture: Mayfly Species Drunella grandis (Western Green Drake). From Mystery Creek # 211 in Washington.
Date TakenJul 8, 2018
Date AddedJul 9, 2018
AuthorTroutnut
CameraNIKON 1 AW1

114 Underwater Pictures of Insects:

Underwater Photo Page:1234...13
Hundreds of cased caddisfly larvae live on this log in a small brook trout stream.  In this picture: Insect Order Trichoptera (Caddisflies). From Eighteenmile Creek in Wisconsin.
Hundreds of cased caddisfly larvae live on this log in a small brook trout stream.

In this picture: Insect Order Trichoptera (Caddisflies).
Date TakenApr 14, 2004
Date AddedJan 25, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
Shown Full Size
AddEmail
A Brachycentrus "Apple Caddis" pupa scoots around in the surface film.  Apparently it had some difficulty emerging, so I was able to slip my camera underneath it and take a picture from below.  In this picture: Caddisfly Species Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis). From the East Branch of the Delaware River in New York.
A Brachycentrus "Apple Caddis" pupa scoots around in the surface film. Apparently it had some difficulty emerging, so I was able to slip my camera underneath it and take a picture from below.

In this picture: Caddisfly Species Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis).
Date TakenApr 19, 2006
Date AddedApr 22, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
Several Baetidae nymphs line up on a rock.  In this picture: Mayfly Family Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olives). From Mongaup Creek in New York.
Several Baetidae nymphs line up on a rock.

In this picture: Mayfly Family Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olives).
Date TakenApr 19, 2006
Date AddedApr 22, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
Underwater Photo Page:1234...13

Recent Discussions of Insecta

Trico emergers 3 Replies »
Posted by Bwoklink on Jul 14, 2018 in the genus Tricorythodes
Last reply on Jul 20, 2018 by Martinlf
Anyone have experience fishing Trico emergers patterns? I’ve had experience fishing the winged and spinner stage, but haven’t heard of anyone fishing emergers during the early morning female hatch. Anyone used emerger patterns and if so would you might sharing which ones you have found effective?
ReplyTrico Tips 46 Replies »
Posted by Martinlf on Jul 21, 2007 in the genus Tricorythodes
Last reply on Jul 14, 2018 by Wbranch
I'll start with a fly patterns, follow with a bit of what I think I know about Tricos (Entomologists, please offer corrections if needed), and close with a few questions.

I love designing different patterns for Tricos, partly to keep myself entertained, and partly to show the fish something new from time to time. Jason's photos and the opinions of some fussy fish have led me to tie an extra large thorax recently on all my Tricos. My old standby is a parachute tied reverse, with a high vis post over the bend of the hook, and grizzly hackle, with no tails. It's modeled on Al's Trico, which could be found on the Little Lehigh Flyshop website until Rod closed the shop. An internet search may provide images now. It's very visible and fish generally approve. My newest fly is a take off from one of Gonzo's (Lloyd Gonzales) patterns in his book Fly-fishing Pressured Water, and it also shows the influence of Al's Trico. Gonzo ties an upside down Trico on a wide gap hook using synthetic material for the wing. I tie this fly also, and it certainly does catch fish, but I recently tied a version with grizzly hackle, making an oversize thorax and palmering hackle over the thorax to create a full wing. I then clipped hackle from the top of the fly (which becomes the bottom, as this is an upside down fly) so that the fly would sit flat, upside down, on my tying table. A drop of Locktite brush-on super glue on the bare recently clipped thorax after darkening the hackle stem with black marker and the fly was done. (By the way, I put tails on this one to balance it [P.S. Later correction: this pattern doesn't need the tails. I've caught plenty fish now on a tailless version] .) It caught several fish the first time I tried it on a heavily fished stream.

I believe for some, if not most species of Tricos, males hatch at night, females in the morning, and that the spinners fall when the air temperature hits the upper 60's. This generally means that as the season goes on, spinners hit the water later and later. Sometimes by 7:00 am (or earlier) in the early summer, by 10:00 (or later) in the fall.

It's been unseasonably cool in the Northeast the past couple of days, and I would have gone out this morning but for taking my daughter to a midnight showing of The Order of the Phoenix (I just couldn't get up) but I'm wondering if the spinner fall happens later than normal on cool mid-summer mornings like today's. I hope to find out Monday, but am curious if anyone has experiences to share. Also, does anyone have an effective Trico pattern to share? I'm always looking for ideas.
ReplyDifferences I'm dying to know about 2 Replies »
Posted by Reify on Jul 8, 2018 in the genus Tricorythodes
Last reply on Jul 9, 2018 by Martinlf
What are the differences between Baetis, Caenis and Tricorythodes may flies. I get different answers from different FF buddies.

Thanks in advance
ReplyLittle Black Stonefly pics 12 Replies »
Posted by Adirman on Apr 14, 2018 in the species Allocapnia granulata
Last reply on Apr 21, 2018 by Martinlf
Hey guys, went out on the Neversink for awhile today and had a look around, saw a lot of little dark flies, may be the little black stone fly? Hard to tell cuz looked like Caddis too. Looks like about a size 16? Any pics of available of this species would be great.


Thanks
ReplyEmerger pictures anyone??? 5 Replies »
Posted by Hellgie on Mar 30, 2010 in the genus Chimarra
Last reply on Apr 9, 2018 by Gazzer
I would like to see a picture of an emerging Chimarra or a pupa stage before emerging if anyone has one. I am baffled and curious to how and when they change from a yellow/orange larva to a black adult fly. Also, what would be a good emerger pattern for this fly? Lafontaine emerger in what color?
Reply
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