Let us know how this one works Cooper.
I'm especially curious about its size. Here's why. Small / young hellgrammites are rarely available as a food source. They hide from predators. My attempts to downsize hellgrammites for trout were failures. Only the large adult size flies were successful. Even small trout readily took flies that were close to half their size. Hoping to hear of success for you and sharing that success.
Good to know @Bill. I recently attended the TU teen trout camp in Michigan. We used kick nets and collected some macroinvertibrates for identifying and were kicking up some about that size. That could be because we were uncovering them up? Thanks for the input.
I think you are dead on Cooper. You can "kick" them up from their hideouts, but juveniles are generally reclusive until they become close to emergence-sized adults. This is only my experience on my local waters however.
I'd like to know if you have different experiences from mine. I mostly fish hellgrammite patterns for warm water species but do encounter them in colder waters too. My thinking is pretty basic on fishing the larvae. They are secretive until they become ready to emerge. That suggests to me that only larger (more adult) larva are abundant. I'm still surprised at the size of the trout (or for that matter, other species) that will grab a 3" larva.
Since we are getting into some of the complexities of hellgrammite behavior, I'm also wondering about your color choice for your imitation. Did all or most of the larvae appear tan Cooper?
I've always wondered if these guys synchronized their molts (10-12 times over a 3 year life span to adult stage) the way stoneflies seem to. Finding tan or light colored mites here on my waters is a rare event. The larva, regardless of size, are generally dark brown or black. If all of the larvae you saw were light in color, I'm curious. I've seen stonefly populations that were so light in color as to make me wonder if they were a new variety. Finding the populations in the same stream and area to be dark in color a few weeks later convinced me that I'd seen a synchronized molt of petronarcy dorsata.
I'm glad you brought up the color. I remembered them being all a more tan color. However, that was a week ago. I looked up pictures and I'm thinking you are right. I think they were probably a more brown color. Thank you for sharing this.
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