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This topic is about the Caddisfly Genus Ceratopsyche

This genus has been proposed off and on for years. For reasons beyond the scope of this hatch page to explain, it briefly had most of the important species of the most important genus Hydropsyche in its fold. They have all been moved back and the name Ceratopsyche is no longer valid.

The Discussion

GooseSeptember 19th, 2006, 10:42 am
Posts: 77Jason: What species', in common angler language, are represented in this genus? I'm trying to determine which ones I should spend my time on imitating them. Are they October Caddis, Grannom Caddis, etc. Are those afore mentioned sedges? I would like to know the names so I can tie them the correct size and colors. Just trying to learn. Thanks
TroutnutSeptember 19th, 2006, 11:49 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2723
They're called "Spotted Sedges."

This is a new genus which includes many species that used to be in Hydropsyche. In LaFontaine's discussion of Hydropsyche in Caddisflies, he recommends these patterns:

Larva: Olive Brown Caddis Larvae

Pupa: Brown and Yellow Deep Sparkle Pupa; Brown and Yellow Emergent Sparkle Pupa

Adult Dry: Brown and Yellow Dancing Caddis; Parkany Deer Hair Caddis

Adult Wet: Brown and Yellow Diving Caddis

If anybody knows any other common names for this genus I'll be happy to add them to the site.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZOSeptember 19th, 2006, 12:02 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
For Hydropsyche/Ceratopsyche, Spotted Sedge is certainly the most common. Cinnamon Caddis (Pobst, Richards), Tan Caddis (Meck), Brown Mottled Caddis (Baylor), and others are sometimes used; but it also serves to illustrate the problem with common names.
MartinlfNovember 4th, 2006, 7:53 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3157
Caddis drive me nuts. Gonzo, you've fished the Tulpehocken. It has many caddis hatches, but I know best these three that hatch in May: a small tan caddis, a small "emerald" caddis (Tulpehocken Creek Outfitter's moniker) and a larger grey caddis.

Oh, checking their website hatch chart

I note they have changed the names, dropping the term "emerald caddis" and just using "green caddis." Tony (TCO's owner) has told me that there are two color phases of green caddis, though, a blue green one that he blends a special dubbing for, and a mint green one. I've seen both. The new chart also lists a tan and a yellow tan caddis, as well as a small black caddis. I can't remember seeing the small black ones, and though they list Grannoms, the new TCO chart describes a green body rather than the blackish green?? or dark grey body the bugs on the Little J have. Once when I asked Tony at TCO if the dark grey bodied bugs were Grannoms he said no, that they were Slate Caddis.

If you have fished over these hatches, might you know the scientific names of any of these Tulpehocken bugs?

Oh, and one other question. I posted something about Codorus caddis on the "patience" thread. These caddis are called "grey caddis" by some of the local TU folks down near Spring Grove; are you familiar with this bug on Codorus?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZONovember 5th, 2006, 7:44 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
You are in good company, Louis--caddisflies drive most fly fishers crazy. Your post provides a perfect example of one reason for that frustration. The common name problem is bad enough when anglers discuss mayflies; but when the conversation turns to caddisflies, about the only truly common name is Grannom. Everything else is a largely useless mix of "colorful" descriptions. (LaFontaine established a reasonably good set of common names, but few anglers or hatch chart writers use them--perhaps because it requires identification to at least the genus level.)

When I read some "hatch charts," it seems that the primary function is to reinforce knowledge that most fly anglers already possess (like the approximate timing of the well-known mayfly hatches) and to leave them scratching their heads in bewilderment about everything else. And I'm not saying that every shop, guide, or hatch chart author should "key out" every insect on their list or rely exclusively on latinized binomials. But when you read that the "tan caddis" is hatching, what can you do with that information? Not much.

Even though I'm pretty familiar with most of the caddisfly hatches in the Tully (and in PA, generally), the color-coded names don't tell me much either. But, I'll still try to decipher what I can:

Most of the time, "tan" or "yellow" caddis refers to Hydropsyche/Ceratopsyche spp.

Most of the time, little "green" or "emerald" caddis refers to Cheumatopsyche spp. But, it might also refer to Micrasema, especially on streams like the Tully. (Micrasema is a widespread and very underrated little relative of the Grannoms.)

Most of the time, "slate" caddis refers to Psilotreta spp. But, if it is listed as an early hatch (April), it could refer to Apatania--especially if "little" is included in the description. (You can probably eliminate the latter possibility on the Tully. It doesn't strike me as the right kind of stream for them, and I've never encountered them there.)

The "small black" caddis is probably Chimarra aterrima if the body is black; but if the body is green, it could be Cheumatopsyche or Micrasema.

As for the "grey caddis" of the Codorus--beats me. About the only clue I can derive from that description is that there must be a lot of visiting Brits fishing there. :) (Inside joke for the English prof.)

I'm afraid that's about as much clarification as I can offer. Keep in mind, however, that the "uncommon-name-clutter" that contributes to caddisfly confusion shows no sign of abating. I have even seen well-known angling authors using the term "black caddis" as a label for a genus that includes some common species that have nearly white wings and green bodies!!! :(

PS--Be careful when using the body color of "aged" adult Grannoms as a model for pupae or freshly emerged adults. They darken considerably after emerging. The dark grayish-black body of an older or egg-laying adult can can come from a green pupa (usually with a darker back and belly). For example, Schwiebert appears to have made this extrapolation in Nymphs, and many have either followed his lead or made a similar mistake.
MartinlfNovember 6th, 2006, 9:11 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3157
Very interesting. Many suggest a peacock body for Grannom wet flies (See Bill's post on the SCFC site, I believe, and I may have copied that part of it in another post for this forum as well). Would you use another color for the emergers and pupae on the Little J, Fishing Creek, and Penns, where I belive we have essentially the same bug hatching in early spring?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZONovember 6th, 2006, 4:01 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681

My first impulse is to answer yes, but that would be misleading. First, I try not to argue against success. I know that Bill wouldn't recommend a fly for the hatch unless it was proven to be effective. Second, I have my doubts that only one "grannom" is present on the Little J, let alone on Penn's and Fishing Creek (hence my question to Bill on the SCFC site).

The collecting record shows two Brachycentrus spp. for Huntingdon County--B. numerosus and solomoni. The record for Centre County shows four--B. numerosus, solomoni, lateralis, and the related Adicrophleps hitchcocki. And this is not including the smaller, but closely related Micrasema--five species listed for Centre County, and two for Huntingdon. Collecting records are often incomplete for any given watershed, so this does not mean that a species is not present. Neighboring Blair County, for example, has no Brachycentridae recorded; but, because it sits beside the heaviest concentrations of Brachycentrids in the state, I have to assume that this is just due to an incomplete record.

Another consideration is that color is only one factor that might stimulate a trout to hit or not hit a pattern. I do think it can be an important trigger with pupae imitations, probably more important more often than with dry adult imitations. But the peacock-bodied wets may simply be a good compromise among several species or color variations throughout the heaviest "grannom" hatching period.

So, you can see that it's not a simple "yes" or "no" question. That said, however, the most famous Brachycentrid in that region is numerosus. Chas Wetzel's nickname for this species was the "Penn's Creek Caddisfly." Every numerosus pupa that I've seen was green with blackish back and belly markings, giving the appearance of a wide green lateral stripe.

Never underestimate the effectiveness of a good pupa imitation during a "grannom" emergence. Yesterday, I was in West Virginia as the guest of the FFF. I had the pleasure of being seated at the tying tables next to Brett Billings of the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Brett had some of his aquatic insect collection on the table, and we entertained ourselves during lulls by inspecting the vials and discussing indentifications. The most memorable one was a bottle about the size of a baby-food jar. It was packed full with many hundreds of fat B. numerosus pupae. They were faded to a pale tannish-white in the alcohol, but still retained the dark markings. "I assume these were originally green?" I asked Brett. "Apple green," he replied. The entire jar of pupae had once been the stomach contents of a single rainbow trout caught in the Cumberland River tailwater!!!
MartinlfNovember 7th, 2006, 9:35 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3157
Amazing. I'm going to stop hazarding guesses and just stick to questions. At least about caddis. Though, I suppose making guesses is part of the inductive process, No? But I'm again glad to have someone who really knows something about these bugs. I've found that fly shop owners do indeed know what flies will work, but often don't have the kind of knowledge about the bugs that a troutnut might wish for. The questions in the post about the Tully and your answers make that abundantly clear to me. I also had searched Pobst and Richards The Caddisfly Handbook for clues about the species in the Tully but nothing matched up for me. Now I'm thinking about some patterns for grannoms that match your descripton. I'd think they might be just the thing for pressured trout, especially near the end of the hatch when they've seen the peacock emergers. Those peacock wets may also copy drowned adults, which I'm sure the fish eat a lot of. I'll also double check your book--I've mostly studied the mays and stones in it, but perhaps you have a recipe for grannom pupa or emergers in it that I don't remember. If not might you suggest one? (I know your adult grannom pattern from your book.) Also, "the collecting record" -- does that refer to biologists reports (Peen State? available perhaps on the web?) or to your records?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZONovember 7th, 2006, 9:41 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
It does have specific "grannom" pupa and emerger patterns. In addition, nearly all of the Sedge styles can be adapted to match them.
MartinlfNovember 7th, 2006, 9:43 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3157
OK so this is IM??
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZONovember 7th, 2006, 9:54 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Huh? (I'm not up on all of the Internet "codes.") The collecting record resource is Right now it only includes caddisflies and stoneflies. (Greg Hoover compiled the record for mayflies a few years back, but it is not yet online.) Great resource! (Got to run--time to vote!)
MartinlfNovember 7th, 2006, 9:56 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3157
Instant messenger. I got a laugh out of seeing you post up an answer immediately. With a 14 year old daughter one learns about IM very fast, though I don't use it, except here that is :)

Glad to hear you're voting. Hope others vote to preserve clean air and water. Nuff said, lest I really start a firestorm on this peaceful site. Thanks for the info on the resource; I may dig into it, if I ever get these darn papers graded. Got to get started.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
MartinlfMarch 21st, 2010, 10:33 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3157
A bit more on grannoms above in thiw thread.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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