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Please help me identify this weird lake nymph.

2920 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  aaron j
I picked this thing up yesterday at a lake in Western Washington that I fish. I can not find it on the internet and I can not find out what in the heck it is.
I picked up a nymph off the surface of a lake yesterday and I can not figure out what in the hell it is. Suggestions.
It is really weird. I actually have it in a small vile. It is 2 inches long and about 1/2 in wide. The head and body are perfectly tapered with what look like segments (No real major definition between head and tail. It looks like a Caddis larva. But it did not have a case and I didn't think they got that big (unless maybe it was a Sledge?) (No wing case that I can see It is very smooth with it seems not to have gills. 6 legs and 2 large pichers in front and small fork tail (2). It has small black eyes on each side of its head and I don't think it is a Dragonfly Nymph anymore because the there really are not any major sections just segments like a big earth worm? I don't know how to use the digital camera or else I would post this thing. I will ask my wife about the camera tomorrow. Any suggestions would help me keep my sanity.
Tight Lines
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That has to be it. Although it does not have any leg's down the side of its body it is just smooth. The 6 legs are up front. It also has what looks like 6 very small wiskers near its large red pinchers. The body is a light green color.

So if it is a dobson nymph, how do I fish it after I tie some. Slow on the bottom or fast or what?

The nymph of the Dobson fly is often called a Hellgramite.
As a kid back east we bought them by the dozen at the local bait shop. They were one of the deadliest of baits for all kinds of fish.
Use your Google finger for more in depth information.
Sounds to me like a nasty ol' dragon fly nymph. There are various species, some slender, some stocky.
Get a picture on the thread, my curiosity is up! It could be a larval stage of a giant water bug. They are huge when adults, have black eyes spaced apart, and some strange, claw-like appendages under their head to hold prey; but the adults have wings, so there should be some kind of wingcase. There are also several species of water scorpions in stillwaters around here. Whatever it is, sounds pretty cool.
A hellgrammite would have a single tail, and 7-8 long segmented gill filaments, one on each abdominal segment. It would be hard to miss those. They look like legs on a centipede but not functional legs. Hellgrammites are pretty much all dark brown. Now something grub-like, with big pincers up front, little black eyes (actually a cluster of 4 to 5 eyes), and a forked tail: that's a beetle larva, probably from the Dytiscidae family, the predaceous diving beetles. There's no wing pads because they go through a complete metamorphosis, with a pupation. Don't let him get a bite of you with those pincers! That can sting!
I was going to say bettle larva too, but I really want to see the picture, to make sure. Usually the beetle larvae that are grub-like tend to be cream or white, and the ones that are more sort of "nymphy" (that is they have heads, legs, and separate body parts) are dark and tend to be smaller than you're describing. A water bug has an undershot, piercing mouth, not pinchers, though maybe the front legs that look and act like pinchers could fool you. Waterbugs don't have complete metamorphosis. The nymph would tend to look like a small adult without wings, but I imagine the wingpads would be pretty noticeable on an instar as large as you describe.

I'm going with beetle, but I do hope you wind up posting the picture. My curiosity has been piqued too.

That is it. Looking closer the eyes are in a cluster of 4-5. I didn't notice that. I just searched for dytiscidae and found it. Damn I knew that I was not crazy and that I had no idea what this was. This came from MSN Groups [email protected]

My next question is: If I found one, how many of these Water Tigers could be present? I will have to reseach it. This might just be the key to my puzzle of this lake. I must have caught it when it came to the surface for air. Damn that is one weird bug.

This larva is a T-bone steak to a big fish that measures 11/2" inch long and white-cream colour under it's belly and brown on the top. It swims with a wiggle motion from side to side and will come up for air from time to time. Water tigers will attack prey much bigger than themselves, sucking the body contents of their victims. There are three larval stages, pupation takes place in wet soil, under stones, logs, and debris close to the water.

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Very cool. Looks like a full meal deal for a troutski. It probably hatches into some water beetle. There are several different species of diving or water beetles in Northwest lakes, and some are quite large. Most have two legs they use as oars like water boatmen. Some kind of segmented nymph pattern would work well, I bet to imitate that bugger.

Happiness is a large nymph and a tight line
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