Huge Cranefly Question

dflett68

WFF Supporter
i was just called in from the office (the garage since late february), to deal with this guy. we see lots of crane flies every year but i don't think i've ever seen one this big. presume it is a different species from what we usually see, i figure someone here will know. even with the wings swept back, i have the span at almost 3 inches. is that a stinger? looks pretty fearsome.
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dflett68

WFF Supporter
i was just called in from the office (the garage since late february), to deal with this guy. we see lots of crane flies every year but i don't think i've ever seen one this big. presume it is a different species from what we usually see, i figure someone here will know. even with the wings swept back, i have the span at almost 3 inches. is that a stinger? looks pretty fearsome.
View attachment 247730
not a stinger, a little searching revealed. and this is apparently a female. still curious about the size of it.
 

sroffe

Active Member
I had a big one flying around the house last night. I let them fly. Freaks my 22 year old son out. LOL
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
Giant cranefly larvae that big are secret weapons in the rockies and eastern half of the US. Great fly to fish after a hard rain. I'd use them more here, but I just don't see the adults or larvae around my area (oregon).
 

Northern

It's all good.
WFF Supporter
For scale, had one of those in my tying shop a while ago. The board it's on is a standard 2x4.
They're harmless, but I think I'd freak out if one landed on my face at night!

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Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
I’ve had luck with crane fly patterns in sizes 8 and 10 on the Yak and the westside in the fall. Sometimes when it seems nothing else works.
 

tkww

Member
Out fishing this weekend I ran across one I'd never seen before. Instead of being brown and having brown-veined wings, this thing was gray and had very grayish, opaque wings. Body was probably 2 inches long, and about the diameter of a pencil. It flew with all the agility of a C-5 transport jet.
 

chrome/22

For him there whould always be the riddle of steel
Likely the "Holorusia hespera" I see 1 or 2 during a summer, they are the worlds largest crane fly and have a distinctive brite orange body like a mini carrot. They also have a magnificent take off reminds one of a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane getting airborne.

c/22
 
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chrome/22

For him there whould always be the riddle of steel
The giant western crane fly, Holorusia hespera, might look like an enormous mosquito—but, thankfully, this native species has no interest in drinking human blood. In fact, crane flies, though closely related to mosquitoes, gener- ally do not eat as adults. They do all their eating during their larval stage and spend most of their adult life (about two weeks long) looking for a mate. And what do the larvae eat? The grayish- brown grubs are primarily associated with rivers and streams, where they consume leaf and other plant debris.
 

silvercreek

WFF Supporter
i was just called in from the office (the garage since late february), to deal with this guy. we see lots of crane flies every year but i don't think i've ever seen one this big. presume it is a different species from what we usually see, i figure someone here will know. even with the wings swept back, i have the span at almost 3 inches. is that a stinger? looks pretty fearsome.
View attachment 247730



"Brun's Tipula" by Norwegian Andre Brun is a good Cranefly pattern.. It was in FFM in 2002. I haven't been able to find the pattern written down anywhere on the web, but it is on video with English subtitles. It is a relatively easy fly to tie and looks fantastic. I would use the correct brown color of foam rather than coloring the foam.

"The family Tipulidae has some of the largest insects of the Diptera. These insects, better known as crane flies or Daddy LongLegs, constitute hundreds of species in Scandinavia alone and are widespread throughout Europe and across the Atlantic in rivers such as the Bighorn, Beaverhead and Bow.

Crane flies are of great importance to trout in lakes, ponds and some rivers, especially during midsummer when the adults are most abundant. As many fly fishers have experienced, the adult stage of these insects is the most exciting stage to imitate at this time of year.

It's generally most effective to use a crane-fly imitation when naturals such as spent egg-laying females are apparent on the water, but you may also use a crane fly successfully as an attractor pattern. Some anglers even use it as a good hatch breaker, especially in lakes and ponds.

My imitation lies flat on the water, shivering with its long, thin legs. It has no hackle to lift it above the surface, so it imitates a struggling, exhausted, or dying insect rather than an active egg layer. This is also a light fly because of the extended body and 3X-light hook, so it doesn't need hackle to stay afloat.

For legs I use a great rubber material - Micro Livin' Legz - but almost any small diameter, flexible rubber will work. An excellent alternative is Micro round rubber. Because these round rubber strands are so thin, they almost seem to have a built-in action. Just imagine these long legs spread around the fly on the water - they create an aura of movement and make the fly shiver like a struggling insect.

Since the fly imitates a dead or dying crane fly lying flat on the surface, I usually fish it with a normal dead-drift. Occasionally I give it a small twitch, just before the fly enters the trout's window. This way the trout will not see the twitch itself - only the vibrations around the fly and in the legs as the fly comes drifting into view.

This fly uses a quick and simple extended body. I first used this technique on this fly, but with some small adaptions it can also be used as an extension on large dun and spent spinner imitations. The technique produces a flexible and light abdomen, and you can easily switch dubbing material for different colors and texture. The body colors of the Tipulidae are often gray-brown to light brown, but use any color to match particular species or your favorite general body color.

-Andre' Brun"

 

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