October caddis question

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by Pat Lat, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. So I always seem to find two different bugs, or at least I think they're different, when I am looking for good shots of october caddis'.

    The first being ones that I see on most rivers in the fall are large dark winged, bright orange abdomen and fuzzy thorax. This is what I envision when october caddis comes to mind.

    The second is a more slender bug, rusty colored body and wings with not much variation in color throughout the entire body. I see pics of these online being called an october caddis but they dont seem the same. Ive also seen this bug at my house, which is no where near a river that I would normally think holds a population of october caddis, only a few small creeks.

    There are pics of both on google images.
    Maybe you could shed some light on this for me, I thought maybe male/female of the same sepcies. Or maybe there are just two types.

    Patrick Latimer
  2. Hi Pat,

    Please provide a link to a decent macro photo of the "more slender bug, rusty colored body and wings with not much variation in color throughout the entire body" which you described. That way I can probably identify it.

    Derek Young likes this.
  3. i think i know what your talking about. on most all waters that i come across october caddis on ive also seen another big caddis that hatches around the same time as well. as far as i know its a different bug.
  4. octobercaddis2.jpg

    these are the slender ones, the fly in the middle was tied by graham owen, and he also refers to it as an october caddis.
  5. The ones Ive seen "hatch" at a river were more like these. I just got all the pics off google, there wasn't a good pic of the underside but the abdomen is very orange
    img_caddisflies_october.jpg October_Caddis_Fly_350w.jpg
  6. Pat-

    The two most recent caddisfly photos you posted are what flyfishers (in the Pacific NW) refer to as October Caddis, and are of family Limnephillidae (Northern Caddisflies) and genus Dicosmoecus.

    With regard to the earlier photos you posted:

    #1 - Haven't yet identified it, but it's not of genus Dicosmoecus.
    #2 - Imitations aren't identifiable. ;)
    #3 - Haven't yet identified it, but it's not of genus Dicosmoecus.
  7. yeah i put that one in there to show that some fly fishers call that bug an october caddis, thats his realistic october caddis imitation. if you saw his realistic impressions of other insects you'd be able to identify them.;)
  8. Roger,
    Another Limnephillid which hatches in the late summer and fall is Onocosmoecus, sometimes called (surprise) Late Summer Sedge. Until 1955 all species of Onocomoecus were considered to be members of the genus Dicosmoecus and were so listed. Two species are O. frontalis and O. unicolor, the latter described by Gary La Fontaine as "... an even cinnamon shade all over, with virtually no patterning on the antennae, wings, body, or legs. It is a common caddisfly in small to large rivers as well as lakes throughout the Northwest. Adults are on the wing from mid-August to late October."

    I've seen these on the Stillaguamish in the fall as well as somewhat earlier in the year at Lake Chopaka.
  9. Hi Preston,

    Yes, Onocosmoecus unicolor is likely the caddisfly that Pat Lat was describing. Incidentally, it appears as a late-summer to early-fall ememger on my WA Aquatic Insect Emergence Chart. Here is a photo of one, which was taken by (professional entomologist) Bob Newell from the Touchet River in SE WA in early October of 2011:

  10. that looks like it, thanks for the positive ID
  11. The real October caddis look much larger than those first pics. Man, when those things start smacking down on the water(to lay eggs?), everything on the river can't help but take notice.
  12. Here's a picture of Dicosmoecus gilvipes the true October Caddis (adult and pupae)
  13. ya thats what I always called october caddis, but I often see pics of the other one being refered to as october caddis online.
  14. Colloquial name, so applies to both. The cinnamon model is common in California rivers, where it is reffered to as 'october caddis'.
  15. I see said the blindman
  16. now for another question, Are they both the type of caddis that you see cased larvae, or periwinkles during the summer?
  17. They are both case-building caddis and build mobile cases which they carry around with them. Onocosmoecus normally builds its case from vegetable matter, bits of waterlogged wood, hemlock needles and such, while Dicosmoecus builds its case of large sand/small gravel.

    An interesting and unusual characteristic of the Dicosmoecus larva is its habit of abandoning its case in late June to drift downstream during the afternoon before settling down to build a new one. It seems unlikely that many fish could ignore the sight of such a good-sized chunk of protien floating, unprotected, downstream in the middle of the day.

    Here's a picture of an October Caddis larva which has been pulled from its case. When I was a kid we used to pull them out like this and skewer them on a single-egg hook. They were very popular with whitefish and trout. October caddis cased larvae-1.jpg
    Patrick Gould likes this.

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