NOW HIRING - Resident Entomologists [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: NOW HIRING - Resident Entomologists

01-08-2003, 03:20 PM
We need volunteers to feature a bug a month for the FORUM's trout board. It doesn't matter if it's one person, affectionately called "the bug doctor" -or- if it's 12 people.

There will be some form of compensation, based on fund raising success, in the form of flyfishing related stuff, maybe from sponsors, etc. I have no idea, but the person would do it for the fun of it and not for the material reward :D

The objective is to get more entomologically educated around here. I for one am only really familiar with caddis first, then stoneflies second. I have been fascinated with hatches, but really unaware of what is happening.

Do we have any bug doctors out there?

01-08-2003, 03:39 PM

When you say a bug a month do you mean a short feature about a particular insect, when/where it is prevalent, flies that imitate it etc, or simply a fly pattern per month? Perhaps it still up to interpretation...

I would be happy to contribute in some capacity although I would hardly consider myself an entemologist. Hardly know any scientific names, but I have a decent idea of how/when bugs come off, at least in my home waters of MA.

-Dave :D

01-08-2003, 03:51 PM
I hope I didn't create an intimidating demand, let me reiterate -

We'll feature an important insect periodically, a month sounds good, unless we are more motivated, and enhance our knowledge base as a community.

Don't worry about the formatting, just the words and pics.

Instead of a post, it will be a bona fide article. We traditionally award fly lines to article contributors, so that seems like a good approach to continue.

Best bug article will be voted on each year, and an annual prize will be awarded to the recipient of the most votes.

01-08-2003, 03:53 PM
I do alot with macorinvertebrates and know alot about stream entomology. I am good with names and scientifics, and I am constantley studying this. I am was hired and am doing sidework for my local watershed to collect samples and write reports on the basis of bethnic biology and stream management!

Let me know....:D

01-08-2003, 04:42 PM
This is the best idea you've had in.....well...years!:cool:
I can't help out, because I'm the one who needs it most! I would love to see pictures of insects to learn the various phases. Images of the flies that imitate them would be handy too. Thanks. I hope someone can do at least the basics. I forget the difference between a "spentwing" and a "spinner dun?, done?, kaput"etc. etc. Shrug?


01-08-2003, 06:09 PM
I just want to make sure I'm on the mailing list. I could offer some names for suggestions.......... but mine wouldn't be one of them. My bug knowledge needs a major overhaul.


01-08-2003, 07:37 PM
Good day,
Grand subject my friend! The Theakston Class Method always comes to mind when the subject turns to "bugs". He found it this way.
First class: Perlids, or Browns, commonly out at dusk or on dark days. These are carnivorous and show in the late spring or summer.
Second Class: Plecoptera, or Drakes. These are Lace, or Vein winged.
Third Class: Ephemeroptera, or Duns. These are Caddis or case worms. "Dun" refering to the color of Thunder Clouds.
Fourth Class: Diptera and Tipulidae, or Spinners. These are Crane flys, Mosquitoes, Spiders etc.
Fifth Class: Anthomyiid, Muscid, Calliphoridae. These are your common Flys; House, Blue Bottle, Dung, etc.
Sixth Class: Coleoptera, or Beetles. Paul, Joh... I mean Soldier, Squash, etc
Seventh Class: Hymenoptera or Ants and Tera. Bees, Wasps, etc.
Extra Class: Hemerodius. Gauze Wing
But I like this stack better...
1- Ephemeroptera- May/day flys, Which are short lived, a 1 day life span. They have an evening hatch only, and there are aprox 550 species in N.A. With 2 or 3 filament like tails, the males dance and mate in flight.
2- Plecoptera- Plaited, or folded wings. Crawls among stones, wings lie flat on body. There are aprox. 400 species in N.A. They have 2 filament tails only, and the absense of them in a water body means a lack of Oxygen or polution. #1 Calif.Pteronarcys, or Giant, #2 Calif. Acroneuria, or common.
3- Neuroptera- Lace, Net, Nerve, or Transparent wing. There are aprox 330+ species in N.A. They have large compound eyes and help to control destructive insects. Brown, Green, and Giant Lace wings all common.
4- Trichoptera- Hairy wing. Caddis, Case worms. They are poor flyers, come out at night and hide during the day. Adult has 1 month life span, the larval stage is like a caterpillar, crawling over rocks or living in portable cases. There are 1000 species/8 family orders in N.A. #1 Bettens silverstreak, #2 Tawny brown longhorn.
5- Diptera- Two winged. Mosquitoes, Gnats, flies. There are aprox 16,000+ species in N.A. #1 Giant western crane, #2 Net winged midge. Also Punkies, Black, and March flys.
Extra- Orthoptera- Hoppers, Crickets, Locust. There are about 1000 species in N.A.
Now, has your bottom lip fallen on the floor yet? It all clicks when you see one fly in front of you, and you can describe it!
I love Fly Fishing....

01-08-2003, 08:16 PM
Great idea look forward to the input, looks like we have some real knowledgeable people here.

I need some refreshing on this subject.

Reminds me I have to reread some sections of my fly entomology books.

PM Out

John Desjardins
01-08-2003, 08:17 PM
Juro, Great idea for those of us that do the size, appearance, color matching without ever knowing what the bugs are.

01-08-2003, 09:08 PM

Don't you just love it when you know what the bugs are (at least to the genus and family level) that the fishes are eating or that you see when astream, whether in the air, under rocks in the stream, or on the bank. Knowing what bug it is makes for a finer trout fishing outing because it both adds to the total experience and gives an advantage when fishing due to knowing how the insect behaves so y0u can better imitate it.

Learning about the bugs was a passion of mine from age 8 until age 38. It ended when I moved to Northwest Washington and got steelhead fever 11 years ago. Interestingly, my kids will trun over rocks and catch Mayflies, Caddisflies, Stoneflies, Midges, Craneflies when they see them flying by on the stream. They then ask or tell me what type it is. They also are facinated by the nymphal and larval forms of aquatic insects.

01-08-2003, 09:29 PM
Juro, That is a great idea. I see that on the flier for Marlboro a fisherman is going to have a show on the Anderscroggin. That is a "Hidden Jewel";) I have fished it quite a bit in the past. I am adding to the thread 2 pictures of flies I took while fishing there. One of them hit me in the back of the head almost knocked me in the river before landing on a Painted flower. The second is of a Caddis fly, one time I got there at the height of the hatch.:) While not being an Entomologist I do know a little bit. I have quite a few books on the subject including Aquatic Entomology written by W. Patrick McCafferty published in 1981. I could lookup and post some information if it is wanted.:eyecrazy:

01-08-2003, 09:32 PM
Anyone know what insect the first picture is? I do know.:)

01-08-2003, 09:42 PM
Good evening,
Nature is a book to be read and understood, it is wonderfull how children are drawn to its pages, how easly they see, and equally as wonderfull when men and women dont loose that child-like vission. I love comming up from the water at sunset, and seeing the clouds of hatch blanketing the landscape. I love to watch the dance, to stand waist deep while Trout enjoy there supper. When it is Truth we enjoy, Truth is revealed more as we turn the pages!

01-08-2003, 09:48 PM

The first bug looks like a Dobson Fly. The adult of the Eastern Hellgramite. They are about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long and have a dark brown underbody. I use to see them on the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania and the upper Delaware between Pennsilvania and New York. Only ever caught smallmouths on them, and then only on larval imitations. A large black woololy bugger tied with dark dun saddle hackle and no Krystal Flash in the tail is an excellent imitation of it when tied on a large 4X (#2,4,6) hook. My father and brother who live in Pennsylvania request several dozen of them from me each year.

01-08-2003, 10:16 PM
Flytyer, is the Dobson a true fly?, or Cleoptera (Beetle) Looked like some yellow on the wing, any color on the abdomen (red?)

01-08-2003, 10:25 PM
I meant Pic#1, Dobsonfly, Corydalis cornutus.

01-08-2003, 11:23 PM

Yes it is a true fly. Some of them have a bit of red on the abdomen (just a spot or two though) and the wing is very reflective which sometimes gives the illusion of either yellow, green, or orange. The wing is actually a very dark, semi-translucent brown that looks black unless is sunlight with the reflectivity of a Mayfly spinner wing. Dobsonflies also can inflict a nasty bite with the mouths as either larva or adults. Adult Dobson Flies are a truly impressive insect, they make the Salmon Fly stoneflies look small.

There are also some large aquatic beetles (riffle beetles) in the east but I never saw any of them on the wing. You would see the adults crawling around in the grass or on rocks and shrubs at times. The beetle larva were also found in the same fast riffles with basketball-sized rocks or the rocky rapids that the Dobson Flies lived in. The beetle were never very numerous though. The riffle beetle larva were either a dull, dirty olive shade (a brownish, greyish olive) or a greyish brown in color.

I only ever caught trout on a riffle beetle imitation on the Jefferson river in Montana, Madison River in the park, Madison River below Ennis Lake in Montana, or the Upper Delaware River near Calicoon, NY. The smallmouths didn't like them either.

01-09-2003, 08:07 AM

That first fly is neither a dobson or a beetle. Just an adult black stonefly. I see these all the time on the Deerfield here in MA, up to 3 inches. Prevalent anywhere and everywhere there is clean, well oxygenated water here in the NE with larger specimens as you move west across the country.

Dobsonflies/Hellagramites have pronounced pincers and splayed wings. I can see from the angle of the picture how this bug would resemble a dobson. They truly are nasty bugs with pincers on one end and a stinger on the other. Surpassed only by dragonfly larvae which I have seen with small minnows in their clutches.

Big bugs=big flies=big fish :D

01-09-2003, 12:35 PM
Good day,
Upon further study, Im not convinced its a Dobson or Black stone.
I'm leaning towards Coleoptera Cantharidae, (Soldier Beetle) Black or brown, sometimes with yellow or red. Adults abundant on flowers (feed on nectar and aphids) foliage, and they are known to live near water. They can be sizable up to 15mm.
Any skeptics in the room?

01-09-2003, 12:43 PM
Well I guess I'll just have to take a trip up to the Andro this spring and investigate things for myself :D I drive over the darn thing every weekend on the way to/from skiing and it's a beautiful peice of water, even when frozen up.

Art, did you spend most of your time fishing the Franconia Notch area when you were there, or farther north? This information will be essential to my "research"

01-09-2003, 12:47 PM
Hey I will do one come late spring/ early summer. Callibaetis is my favorite bug as it is the dominant mayfly in the lakes I fish around here. Should be able to get together some fly patterns and a brief synopsis of the callibaetis life cycle if foks are interested.


01-09-2003, 08:34 PM
I have always believed that it was a Dobsonfly, Yes it does have large mandibles, the picture is at a wrong angle to show them. The larves are hellgrammites, and I believe more important than the fly for fishing.
Big Dave I usually fish around Errol. Great piece of water, Book, Brown, Rainbows, and Landlocked Salmon.

01-09-2003, 11:14 PM
O.K. Bro, Ill take you on your word. What am I to say, 3000 miles away in the middle of winter. Seriously, I will just have to go back to the old stomping grounds (Mass. and surrounding) next year, and just fish untill one knocks me into a river. (Hey, that sounds like a pretty good idea!):hehe: This was a great exchange gentlemen, I learn something new almost everyday on FFF! What a great site...

01-10-2003, 12:10 AM

Yes, the angle made it difficult to see the madibles, but there is just a hint of them peeking out if you look closely at the picture. And the abdomen has the characteristic very dark brown coloration of the Dobsonfly. Also, your photo clearly shows the very large antennae of this bug and the wing is slightly curved (although this ishard to see to at the angle of the photo) or supped over the body. The first clue to the bug's identity was your comment about it flying into you and nearly knocking with a good jolt.

Anyway, these are the reasons that I was sure it was a Dobsonfly. Don't you just love aquatic bugs?

The Dobsonflies on Pennsylvania Lehigh and Susquahanna Rivers constantly flew into fishermen when they were out and about. And as you already know they are huge flies that are far bigger than a stonefly.

I have a question for you: Does this same river also support the large purplish grey Mayfly (it is much bigger than the Eastern Brown Drake and Green Drake, which I also assume is found on this river) that hatches in the evening during late June or early July?

01-10-2003, 05:56 AM
Flytyer, I really don't know, about the purplish flies. I first recall fishing for trout , in the evening in the late 40's and early 50's when the hatch was on in late June, and early July. Use to call them the Great White Fly. When the hatch was on the large trout use to go airborn after them. Imitated them with a spun rabbit fur tapered body, and a white, or a grizzly hackle tied on an 8 long shanked hook. It was later that we figured out that there was two stages, the subimaginal stage, the green drake, and the adult stage which was called the Coffinfly. The Coffinfly stage was when the trout went nuts, and still do.:D This year I have got to try and take pictures of them, as well as other insects.:)

01-10-2003, 09:34 AM
I think this will work, I am already impressed by the knowledge we have in this thread alone!

We can either start with a single editor channeling featured member articles using an easy publishing tool -or- have a group of editors each representing a region.

The most important quality for this person initially will be energy and commitment. We can only comp the editor with our staff benefits. As an editor of a legitimate publication with thousands of readers you will qualify for pro programs with sponsors and manufacturers, be included in gear testing / demo programs we go after, etc. Who knows, the success of these things is equally in this persons hands.

Anyone up for the 2003 "bug doctor" editor role?

01-10-2003, 09:32 PM

I used to love fishing the Coffin Fly spinner fall. Caught many a fish right on into dark. Same with the large Hexagenia called the Hex hatch in the midwest and northern rocky mountains.

What my father, his fishing buddies, myself, and my fishing buddies found was that an emerger was the way to go during the Eastern Green Drake duns. We found a fly tied with a piece of tan rabbit strip tied as a longish tail on a standard length dry fly hook (#8 or #10) with a thorax (body) of dubbed light brown rabbit and a grey partridge (make sure you use the grey feather not the brown one) hackle was a superb fish getter during the dun hatch. The fly is unweighted and fished on a floating line.

Give this simple emerger a try this summer, I think you'll like the results. It sure has been a long time since I fished the Eastern Green Drakes or Coffin Flies. It has been 15 years since I left Pennsylvania. I won't trade the PNW for it though I wouldn't mind doing a little fishing there once in a while.

01-10-2003, 11:30 PM
Good day,
Well if no one else has already been issued the illustrious honor of FFF Ofical "Bug Doctor", I would be honored to fill the seat! Consider my hat in the ring, and I would be happy to address any comments, pro or con, in that direction.
I remain, out in the rain, with my trusty butterfly net...

01-11-2003, 06:29 AM
I was hoping you'd say that!

Just to be clear, the role is to be the senior editor to coordinate the insightful content of contributors into articles that help educate and enlighten the readership in the ways of the multi-legged exoskeletonish fish-gettin' wiggly things. When contributions are not forthcoming, we'd hope that content be provided by what you can gather for us in your own virtual sampling net. An even distribution of subjects and authors would seem the best for the track.

You will be given an account and password to publish using a similar tool to this one to produce articles. It's about the same as posting messages. It's very easy to use and it might be the best way to get other's to put together their articles, we'll see as we get into it or not.

The articles will be featured in the sidebar links, expertise pages, homepage links, etc. I'll prepare the info for you right away to get started.

I think you will be filling a large gap in our resource and I believe I speak for everybody when I say THANK YOU!!!

01-11-2003, 02:57 PM
Good day,
I would like to say first that I am truly honored. I believe that we have a superior site, and that is because of the superior people that attend to it, and by that I mean ALL the readership. A more formal address will follow, but for now....
I remain, Honored, Thank you

01-11-2003, 03:31 PM

congrats look forward to this it will eliminate having to pull out my old books all the time.

What family should be first, perhaps we need a quick poll of what every one favors?

epemerellidae, baetidae. or ametropidae etc...

If I hadn't gotten steelhead fever 23 years ago maybe I would be more of an expert on these, but I am not.:mad:

PM Out

10-28-2005, 03:47 PM

Did anything ever materialize with this idea?

10-28-2005, 10:30 PM
I filled the shoes of The Bug Doctor for a while, then it fell by the wayside with other responsibilitys...... and fishing! I spend alot of time researching Enviromental issues now. You can archive the past posts, or...... you can contribute a piece if you feel the urge. I for one would like to see some fresh perspective in the area of Enotmology (from the Greek entomon , or insect)
Hope this helps