Species of the Perlidae family are called Golden Stoneflies. There are numerous
genera and species of these large stoneflies. As I have said in my other articles on
stoneflies, the good part about stoneflies is the fact that most all of the different
species behave very similarly. There is little difference in the appearance or behavior
of the various species of the Golden Stoneflies.
The nymphs and adults of these stoneflies are from one to two inches long. They live
for two or three years depending on the species, habitat and other factors. They got
their name from the golden brown color of the adult.
The Golden stoneflies exist throughout the United States. Even when they are mixed in
with the huge Salmonflies with both hatching at the same time, in some cases the trout
will take the smaller Golden Stoneflies even more readily than the Salmonflies.
It's easy to tell the difference in the Pteronarcyidae species, or large eastern Giant
Black Stoneflies and the Golden Stoneflies. They are much lighter in color, have longer
tails and antennae and heads that are shaped in a triangle configuration. One thing
few anglers are aware of is the fact the males are much smaller than the females. They
can even appear to be two different stonefly species. In the adult stage of life, it's the
females anglers should be interested in. The males never get in the water. Both the
male and females emerge out of the water and of course, only the female returns to
the water to deposit eggs. ,
In the Eastern United States, there are over fifty species in the Perlidae family. It is
almost impossible to tell the difference in some of them. The Peridae family can be
broken down into two subfamilies - the Perlinae and the Acroneuriinae subfamilies.
Now, I'm only mentioning these two names because you will sometimes see them in
addition to the Perlidae family name and it can create some confusion. It shouldn't
because the difference in these two sub-families is only important to scientist. Anglers
may refer to Golden Stoneflies as being any one of these three different family names.
That's like having to remember a woman that's been divorced twice by three different
names, or on second thought, maybe that isn't such a good example.
If you think that's confusing, read further. Eastern species of this family have been
called not only Golden Stoneflies, but Willowflies, Common Stoneflies, Stone Creepers,
American Stoneflies, Embossed Stoneflies, Beautiful Stoneflies, Yellow Legged
Stoneflies and Common Stoneflies.
There's one big difference in the Golden Stoneflies of the West and those of the East.
In the West, they are usually active during the day. In the East, they are not very active
during the day and some species are only active during the night. I've never figured
out why this is true and neither has anyone else. Whereas you can catch trout on
imitations of the Golden Stoneflies almost all day long on some western streams, that
isn't the case on eastern streams or at least, we have never encountered that
situation. We will get into this later in the series.
In the upcoming articles, we will cover the tactics and techniques used to imitate
the nymphs and the egg laying activity of the adult female.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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