Commonly known as the "Black Caddis" on Wisconsin trout streams, they include the any of the following; Family: Brachycentridae, Genus: Brachycentrus, Species: lateralis, numerosus, appalachia, solomoni.
These flies emerge in April through mid May peaking in late April, at midday, from cold-water trout streams. Their characteristics are:
Hook: #16- #18 (size varies by species and some species malesARE one size smaller).
Body: Black or Dark gray with green or tan lateral lines.
Wings: Gray & dark Gray
Emergence: Late morning thru midday, midstream. The pupae often drift many feet attached to the surface film before emerging Adult life span up to 1 month.
Egg laying: Midday and afternoon, midstream, riffles can attract more egg laying caddis.
Habitat: Cold trout streams.
Note: Brachycentrus americanus has a brownish cast and is larger than Brachycentrus lateralis
The case of the black caddis is known as a chimney case. It has a square cross section and is tapered. The cases can be found clinging to stones and wood, and they are numerous before the hatch. When checking cases, be sure to squeeze the case to see whether they contain larvae or not, because empty cases last quite a while and their presence can be misleading.
Dry flies: CDC & Elk, Elk Hair Caddis, Ross Mueller’s: Brachycentrus Adult
Ross Mueller’s: Brachycentrus Pupa & Olive Larva , Gary Lafontaine Deep Sparkle Pupa :
Don't over look the emergers, watch the rise forms of the trout, sometimes they key in on the emergers. Fishing a two fly rig and be the key catching more trout.
This is the year's first heavy emergence of caddis flies in Wisconsin, and trout feed heavily on it. The hatch usually occurs on undammed trout streams. The flies begin emerging around late morning through midday, sometime it starts just as the Hendrickson hatch is waning. Egg laying is in the afternoon and can coincide with the emergence. Peak emergence occurs from the last half of April to May, on balmy days. A early or late spring will shift the hatch forward or back on the calendar. Cold wet spring days will shut down the hatch entirely and summer like temperatures (upper 70's and higher) can trigger a huge hatches that will start even early in the day. The adult drift up to 30 feet struggling from their pupal shucks. Once out, they may drift on the surface or fly away quickly. They oviposit much like may¬flies, dipping their bodies onto the sur¬face, although some individuals may crawl or dive underwater.
Also watch for the "Tiny Black Caddis" which can hatch at a similar time but in fewer numbers, but in hook Sizes #20 -22.
Black Caddis on the wing and laying eggs on the water.
Empty shucks from a heavy emergence: