Grannoms- Brachycentrus Caddis fly
often neglected in favor of the various ‘mythic‘ mayfly species, the Grannom is an early season and widely distributed caddis who’s imitation in different sizes and colors is well worth having in your fly box. Grannom hatches can be massive and will usually have the fish in a debilitating frenzy, excluding every other bug that might be around. i’ve been in the middle of one of these hatches on a Scottish river and was literally covered from head to water level and had to quickly pull up my buff to be able to breathe without eating at the same time…
“This prolific genus includes the popular eastern US early-season Apple Caddis and Grannom hatches. Their life cycles are ideal for the fly angler, and every stage is frequent trout prey. This species changes color dramatically after it emerges, and imitations of egg-laying adults should be a different color from imitations of emergers. Emergers have pale blonde, almost off-white wings and bright green bodies, while the egg-laying adults have light brownish gray wings and medium green bodies.”
these two aren’t grannomses, they’re Mark and Terry.
Mark is a super friend, Terry is some guy Mark and i found in the parking lot while we where gearing up for some fishing on a lovely little river in northern England. don’t get the wrong impression, Terry doesn’t just hang out in parking lots, he’s a passionate entomologist and charming man full of stories and a great enthusiasm for sharing his buggy knowledge.
when we all got to the water, Terry did a quick scan of the river-bed rocks, turned towards us and proudly announced: “That one”.
he quickly waded in, picked up the “That one” rock and showed us a gelatinous mass stuck to it’s bottom. at first i thought it was just some yucky slime hidden under the rock by some alien with a nasty head cold but after further explanation it turned out to be a ‘nest’ of Grannom eggs. weird and geeky entomologists would probably have some way of counting them on a square cm average or something but my little mind quickly realized that i was looking at thousands and thousands of future caddis all under just this one rock. and there where countless rocks everywhere one looked…
every little dot on this out of focus image is an egg. (sorry for the out of focus image, this was an exciting moment)
here’s an adult Grannom courtesy of Jim Williams.
judging by the size of the finger holding it we’ll notice that it’s very small, my guess between a size 16 and 18.
in the two videos below the flies are tied in 16 and 14 and a little research will tell you of the size to expect and tie for your area.
here are two fly variations of the same egg-laying female. as noted in Matt ‘s video, for the male version, tie the same fly but without the eggs !
by their construction and materials they both seem to be great floaters but my experience tells me Matt’s will probably be the better choice in slower waters and Davie’s in faster.
- Egg-Laying Grannom tied by Matt Grovert
- CDC Bubble Grannom by Davie McPhail