Speckled Peter:
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

The Speckled Peter (
Helicopsyche borealis) is one of those caddisflies that receives
little attention from anglers fishing Yellowstone National Park. They are tiny (females
hook size 20 and males 22) brown caddisflies that hatch in large numbers. You would
think such a small caddisfly would not be worth imitating in streams where there are
numerous other hatches of much larger insects, but that is not the case with the
Speckled Peter. It can cause the trout to feed just as well as many larger insects.
We show the hatch occurs starting about the third week of June in the Firehole River
where it is probably most plentiful. It prefers moderate currents as opposed to fast
moving water. The Madison River also has this caddisfly. I just discovered that I do not
have it shown on our Madison hatch chart and I will be correcting that soon.
These caddisflies emerge in the evenings. They also deposit their eggs in the
These are case makers that build their shelter type cases with sand. Although the trout
probably eat the larvae, we have not tried to imitate them.

We feel certain the trout eat the pupae during the hatch. According to the
entomologist, these caddisflies hatch in the water on the surface. It may be possible to
catch trout on emerger patterns just before dark but we have not tried it.

The egg laying activity is the part of the hatch cycle that we think is most important to
imitate. You can easily see these caddisflies appear late in the afternoons near the
banks in large numbers. The females deposit their eggs both on the surface and on
the bottom. We have not tried a wet imitation of them although we think it may well be
effective. We have been able to catch trout late in the afternoons and early evenings
on a dry imitation of them.
Normally we fish in an upstream direction placing the fly close to the banks. We would
be interested in any experience or additional information any of you may have
regarding the Speckled Peter hatch at Yellowstone.

Coming Up Next:
Speckled Peter (Helicopsyche borealis) - Fly Pattern Colors

Copyright 2008 James Marsh