.......................  ....................  ...Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
New KISS Bug Series - Part 34

Speckled Peter

I tried to start early with a daily posting that covers the "Keep It Simple Stupid" series ahead of the aquatic
insect hatches in Yellowstone National Park but that didn't work out. I just can't complete with Mother
Nature. If you read yesterday's article, you noticed the weather in the Madison drainage, or the western
side of the park is going to be in the seventies during the day for the next few days. Although I have
covered some of the major hatches that will take place early, I haven't been able to keep up or get ahead
of those on the Firehole River. It will be too warm to fish before I get to all the possible hatches.

I may as well cover another caddisfly that is already showing up in the Firehole, Madison and lower Gibbon
Rivers - the Speckled Peter.

The Speckled Peter, or
helicopsyche borealis, is one of those caddisflies that receives little attention from
anglers. They are tiny brown caddisflies that hatch in large numbers. The females are usually only about a
hook size 20 and the males even smaller, averaging a hook size 22.

You wouldn't think such a small caddisfly would be worth imitating in streams where there are numerous
other hatches of much larger insects, but that's not the case with the Speckled Peter. Believe it or not, we
have seen the little brown caddis outperform the larger bugs many times. Trout eat them about like humans
eat popcorn.

The Speckled Peter caddisflies prefer moderate currents as opposed to fast moving water. There's plenty
of that in the streams of Yellowstone National Park and there's plenty of Speckled Peter caddisflies that live

Our imitation matches the females which are on the water far more often than the males because they
deposit their eggs on the water whereas the adult males usually die on land without every getting into the
water after emerging. Don't think the Speckled Peter caddisfly isn't important because It is a fact that it can
cause the trout to feed just as well as many larger insects.

These caddisflies emerge mostly in the evenings. They also deposit their eggs in the evenings. Like most
of the other caddisflies, your best opportunity using either the pupa or adult imitation usually comes just
very late in the day or before dark.

The Speckled Peters are case makers that build their shelter type cases with sand. Although the trout
probably eat the larvae at times, we have not tried to imitate them because we don't think they represent a
major part of the trout's diet. That's the reason we don't have a larva imitation of the Speckled Peter.
Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Spotted Sedges:
Availability to trout:             
Hook Size:                          
Type of water:                    
Emergence time:                
Duration of hatch period:

helicopsyche borealis species
Shelter Case Makers
Many Streams
Moderate to slow - smooth and broken surface
Late Afternoons, mostly evenings