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> > Crane flies, a real eye opener

LamOctober 18th, 2007, 5:30 pm
Lancaster, PA

Posts: 81
I have seen crane flies tied in various ways and on sale in practically every fly shop I have visited. Hence, I assumed they hatched in or near water.

Just recently, my lawn has erupted with hatch after hatch of crane flies. Which, of course, made me reexamine my original assumption that they hatched in or near water. I decided to check the ole internet and sure enough, the larva are underground and love to eat grass roots. It goes on to say that the larva "may" cause damage to lawns.

Well, over the past few years "grubs" have been a big lawn problem around here. It seems that the "grubs" are crane fly larva. Who knew? Now, if I can only introduce a predatory species, say...trout, I could eliminate the problem. Do you think trout will survive if I throw them in my lawn? God knows there are enough crane flies to keep them fat and happy, I just have to figure out how to flood my yard.
SmallstreamOctober 18th, 2007, 6:47 pm
State College, PA

Posts: 103
flooding your lawn would br pretty sweet, i always said that if I became rich, I would create an artificial trout pond or stream in my backyard
TaxonOctober 18th, 2007, 8:35 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1348

Although the majority of crane fly species have a terrestrial larval lifestage, there are many other species which have an aquatic larval lifestage. Here is a photo of one I recently found in a mid-river kicknet sample.

Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
GeneOctober 18th, 2007, 10:05 pm
Posts: 107Gentlemen:

There are many aquatic species also. In fact, craneflies used to have more total species in Diptera than total number of mayflies, stoneflies, or caddisflies species.

They are a very tough group and can withstand many forms of pollution. I have found them surviving after streams dropped below the pH of battery acid in some AMD streams.

I think their larvae are the "cockroaches" of the stream if you know what I mean. There larvae are ugly bastards compared to the rest of the macroinvertebrate world.

tight lines and beautiful nymphs

MartinlfOctober 19th, 2007, 5:07 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
One of my favorite flies, a simple ugly cigar-shaped fly tied of hare's ear with no rib or anything, called a Walt's Worm by the folks around State College, is often thought of as a crane fly larva imitation, and I've had some fantastic fall fishing on dry flies tied to imitate crane flies.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
FalsiflyOctober 19th, 2007, 8:56 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
Many years ago I hade the pleasure of watching a nice brown feeding on the large adult Crane flies. They appeared to be ovipositing under a low hanging tagalder along the bank. The flies would maintain a position just inches above the surface and momentarily dip to the water. The brown was literally taking the flies from midair. Having nothing in my possession coming close to an imitation was only half the problem. It appeared that the only succesful tactic would be to dap thru the tagalder branches. A recipe for disaster I was convinced. However, a memory ingrained forever.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Jmd123October 20th, 2007, 11:31 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Crane flies, family Tipulidae, are an interesting and diverse bunch. Many of them are "shredders", turning pieces of leaves, bark, etc. into much finer particles, which contribute to the nutrient content of the stream and also provide food for the "filter feeders" (including many caddisflies and midges). A few genera are predators. Homely they may be, but they are nice little packages of protein that make great fish food. Some genera are tolerent of pollution, but others are not - these typically inhabits small headwater streams where they essentially create the base of the food chain by converting leaves into food and nutrients from others.

A good adult imitation would be a spider pattern - overhackle a standard dry fly hook and skitter it across the water like you see the naturals doing.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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