North Woods Field Guides PO Box 107  Wevertown

Aquatic Insect Notes

Dragonfly Nymph ~ Damselfly Nymph ~ Damselfly ~ Alderfly ~ Midge ~ Cranefly ~ Hellgrammite ~ Caddisfly Pupa ~ Caddisfly Larvae ~ Caddisfly Adult ~ Stonefly Nymph ~ Stonefly Adult ~ Mayfly Swimmer ~ Mayfly Crawler ~ Mayfly Emerger ~ Mayfly Dun ~ Mayfly Adult

 

Dragonfly Nymph ~ Found in still to slow moving waters. The nymph has a cigar shaped body with large eyes and prominent legs. Color may vary from black, green, gray to brown. The nymph will crawl from the water to a rock or vegetation to hatch as an adult Dragonfly. Present throughout the year, match with a wet fly pattern.

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Damselfly Nymph ~ Found in still to slow moving waters. Their bodies are long and slender with large eyes and three leaflike gills resembling a tail. They can be found clinging to submerged rocks and vegetation. They crawl from the water to shed their skin to become the adult Damsel. Colors vary from green, brown, yellow/green to blue/green. Present throughout the year, Match with a nymph pattern.

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Damselfly (adult) ~ Prefer still water. Can be distinguished from Dragonflies by their wing position while resting. Damselflies hold their wings folded back against their body. Their body is also more slender than that of their cousin. Colors vary from blue, green, black to brown. Seasonal from spring through fall match with a dry fly.

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Alderfly ~ Dark bodied with smoky wings they lay their eggs near the water or on waterside vegetation into which the hatched larvae drop. The larvae when fully grown crawl from the water and pupate into the adult Alderfly. The larvae resemble that of the Dobsonfly but lack the pair of hook like legs and have a single tail like filament present. Color varies from brown to yellowish/brown. Larvae found throughout the year, match with a wet fly pattern.

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Midge ~ Larvae found year round in most water types. Adult Midges resemble mosquito's. There are many different species of midges but their small size makes the resemblance of the fly cover most of them. Colors vary from blacks, browns to gray. Adults are active during warm periods, match with a dry fly.

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Cranefly ~ Resembling a giant mosquito in appearance they have excessively long legs but lack the stinger of the mosquito. Found mostly around shallow still waters where they will lay their eggs. Colors vary from brown, black to gray. Seasonal spring through fall match with a dry fly.

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Hellgrammite ~ The hellgramite is the nymph stage o fthe Dobsonfly. Hellgrammites are found year round. They prefer running water with graveled bottoms. Easily recognized by the pair of hook like legs at the end of their bodies and eight pairs of leg like gill filaments along their sides. Dark brown to black in color. Match with a nymph pattern.

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Caddisfly Pupa ~ Once the Caddis larvae pupates the pupa swims to the surface to hatch as the adult Caddis. The pupa may remain below the water surface to wait for the right conditions to hatch becoming easy prey for fish. Colors vary from shades of browns to greens. Seasonal from spring through fall, match with a wet fly pattern.

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Caddisfly Larvae ~ Found in slow to fast moving waters. The Caddis in this stage is wrapped in it's protective casing made from sand, small pebbles or vegetation. Fish will feed on the larvae after their casings have become dislodged from the waters current. Keep this in mind when fishing after heavy rains. Colors of the larvae's body vary from shades of white to green. Present year round, match with a nymph pattern.

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Caddisfly (Adult) ~ Also known as Sedges Caddisflies are moth like in appearance~. Their wings are held parallel to their body in a wedge shape while resting. They are very erratic in flight, have a long antenna and no tail. Common colors are gray, black and brown. Seasonal spring through fall. Caddisflies are often the last flies to hatch and the first to disappear in the fall. Match with a dry fly.

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Stonefly Nymph ~ Found in still to fast moving waters. The nymphs crawl on underwater rocks and vegetation. They make their way to shore and will climb on a rock or vegetation to hatch into the adult Stonefly. Colors vary from black, brown, orangish, yellow to green. Present year round, match with a nymph pattern.

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Stonefly (Adult) ~ Stoneflies are recognizable by their two tails that are present. The adult does not differ much from the nymph other than the addition of it's wings. Stoneflies hold their wings flat over their body while resting as opposed to the Mayfly which is held upright. They do not hatch from the water surface but rather from the top of rocks or vegetation that the nymph will climb on. Colors vary from black, brown, yellow, orangish to greenish. Seasonal from spring through fall, match with a dry fly pattern.

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Mayfly Swimmer ~ Found on the bottom of slow to fast moving waters. With three tails present the nymphs are flat and dark in color and are agile swimmers. Present year round, match with a nymph pattern.

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Mayfly Crawler ~ Found on the bottom of slow to fast moving waters. As the name suggests these Mayfly nymphs crawl along the bottom of their environment. Three tails present. Colors vary from shades of yeIlow, orange/brown, brown, greens. Present year round, match with a nymph pattern.

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Mayfly Emerger ~ Found in slow to fast moving waters. The Mayfly nymph in this stage rises to the water surface to shed it's skin and become the Dun. Colors vary from shades of browns, yellows, to greens. During a hatch if the fish are not taking the Duns then trying the emerger patterns may produce better results. Seasonal from spring through fall, match with a nymph pattern.

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Mayfly Dun ~ The first stage of the emerged land dwelLing Mayfly. It will roost on nearby vegetation where in a few days it will molt to become the clear winged adult. Wings are held upward above their bodies. Body showing three tails and is usually dark in color with wing colors varying from pale yellow, white, light green to light gray. Seasonal from spring through fall, match with a dry fly.

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Mayfly Adult (Spinner) ~ The last stage of the adult Mayfly. Body is usually lighter in color than the Dun's and the wings have become transparent with two to usually three tails present. Wings are held upward above their bodies. Returns to the water to lay their eggs and then expires on the water surface with it’s wings out stretched. Body colors vary from yellow, brown, green to black. Seasonal from spring through fall, match with a dry fly.

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North Woods Field Guides PO Box 107  Wevertown


North Woods Field Guides
PO Box 107  Wevertown, NY 12886
Phone:  518-744-6011  Email: northwoodsent@aol.com

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