Up-wing Alert! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Up-wing Alert!

10-17-2004, 12:09 PM
UNIVERSITY OF M.A.D (Miniature Aireal Dynamics)


The Crane Fly
You know you always find these baby's flying around in the most un-likely places. They land on your face in the middle of the night, end up waterlogged in your shower pan. or mixed in your saladgreens at the local resturant! (ah...waiter?)
But did you know?
The Crane Fly, is of the family TIPULIDAE, which just happens to be the Largest family of TRUE flys! There are 14,000 species worldwide! 1500 in North America alone!
Their habitat includes most of the Forests, Feilds, and Wetlands of the world. I see these guys here on campus year round, but then again, I'm the Bug Doctor.
They live in the Tropics, and from Sea level to mountains 16,000 ft +!
Crane Flys in their Pupa stage, are refered to as "Leatherjackets" because of their tough exo-skeleton. In this stage they feed on decaying plant material, every so often sheding their skin, or molting.
Adults have 1 set of working wings, and 1 evolved to ballance, called "Halteres". The largest species of Crane Fly in the U.S. is Holorusia Hespera, or The Giant Western Crane. It can have up to a 3 inch wing span! (INCOMING!)
They will often show up at your front door at night, atracted by the light. But have no fear, because the Adult Crane Flys DO NOT EAT!
So, all this information begs the musical question, "Are they fish food?"
YES! Some forms of Crane lay there eggs on top of the water, and the larva and adults spend their whole lives around it.
Tipula Cranes are widley distributed in North America, the U.K and Europe. Crane Flys are a favorite snack of.......CATS!

Did You Know?
* Crane Flys are sometimes mistaken for Harvestmen, a long-legged Arachnid that is neither insect nor spider!
* Adult Cranes live up to 2 months!
* The largest group of Cranes.....live in the Tropics!

The Bug Doctor


10-17-2004, 12:23 PM
I've always wodered what patterns might be used to imitate this poor hapless creatures. When trapped in my home, I always release them outside. Anything else gets crushed.

10-17-2004, 03:10 PM
I will atempt to instill the expertise of my friend John Desjardins, Whom, I might say, is an expert in the art of fish deception!
John, yaouthere, wadayathink/ Got any patterns that might fit the mold?

By the way, the little guy in the picture, I named "lucky" (only 5 legs) :chuckle: :hihi:


10-17-2004, 03:45 PM
Crane flies bring back memories from August days on English lakes after the frequent summer rains. The cranes would hatch in huge numbers and if the wind was right, they got blown across the lake the trout would go nuts for them! Some lakes were also fished with the natural flies rigged for "dapping".

There are a lot of great patterns both wet and dry.

Here are a few of my old patterns:


Body: tan rafia, ribbed with black silk
Wings: cree hackle tips tied spent
Hackle: ginger neck wound very full
legs: cock pheasant tail fibres
Hook" Longshank dry fly

Size according to the naturals in your area.

10-17-2004, 05:17 PM
Thanks Adrian,
A great story, and some nice Cranes to boot! Anyone else?

08-27-2005, 02:40 AM
I typed in at Yahoo "Mosquito Hawks" and read some interesting info on these huge scary looking creatures. I myself, i'm a hobbyist and have a collection of several types of tarantulas, scorpions and huge flying invertebrates.

I live in Northern Calif and there's some biggies out there that are really HUGE. With the daddy long legs stretched out, they're about 5" across.

Two years ago, I was in Boreno and saw either the same thing or a related species and MAN, the ones over there make the Calif species look rather "small". The ones in Boreno are approach the size of a 10" pie plate! I found a dead one and measured it. The body alone measured nearly 4 3/4 long. That's all i hafta say for now.