Hatches Made Easy:

Green Sedges (Rhyacophila sp) - Larvae


The Green Sedges or Rhyacophila species of caddisflies can be an important
insect to imitate. This is one of the free living types of caddis. The larvae do not
build cases that they carry with them. All species of them like fast moving water.
The riffles and runs of the freestone streams of the Smoky Mountains are the
ideal habitat. The largest concentration we have found is in Abrams Creek
downstream of the bridge at the parking lot in Cades Cove. Cataloochee Creek
and Hazel Creeks also have large populations. However, most all of the streams
in the park have some.

Just for those that are interested, here are the species listed for the park.
Rhyacophila accola
Rhyacophila acutiloba
Rhyacophila amicis  
Rhyacophila appalachia
Rhyacophila atrata
Rhyacophila carolina  
Rhyacophila carpenteri  
Rhyacophila fuscula
Rhyacophila glaberrima  
Rhyacophila minor
Rhyacophila montana
Rhyacophila mycta  
Rhyacophila nigrita  
Rhyacophila teddyi  
Rhyacophila torva

By far the most important stage of life is the larva stage. The Green Sedge larva
known to anglers as the Green Rock Worm. There is very little difference
in these species as far as anglers are concerned. One imitation each of the
larva, pupa and adult will cover them all.
The green rock worm larvae are available for trout to eat most anytime. They
don't even build shelters to house themselves on a temporary basis. These
larvae move around on the bottom much like an inchworm does on the ground.
They try to get down in between rocks and gravel but they cannot do that very
well. Like the net spinners, they can also suspend themselves from rocks with a
silk line. They are poor swimmers but move about searching for food much of
the time. My guess is the trout eat a lot of these insects.
They look very similar to some of the net spinning caddis larvae but one simple
thing will quickly distinguish the two types. The Rock Worm is the only one with
just one hard plate behind its head. They have to have fast, cool water to
survive. You will find them in the riffles and runs.

Imitations should be fished right on or barely above the bottom using a weighted
leader or fly. They can be presented either on the swing or using a strike
indicator. I personally prefer fishing without an indicator but you can get by with it
most of the time. If you are fishing the runs, you may find that the "high stickin"
method works best.

Coming Up Next:
The Green Sedge Pupae

Copyright 2008 James Marsh
This is a larger
Rock Worm that
came from Little
River. It was placed
in a white pan of
water and
That is a small stick
or twig next to it,
not a part of the
rock worm.