|Arkansas River, 2017
The photo above was taken this summer on the Arkansas River. I had been fishing lots of caddis larva during that time and had been doing quite well. I didn't know that the large, dark green bugs were water snipes. I assumed that they were cranefly larva, although they didn't look like what I knew were cranefly larva, I didn't argue with the fish. They were eating my cranefly larva patterns so I kept using them and they kept eating them. If you look for water snipe patterns at your local fly shop, I am going to bet that they don't have a specific fly pattern, much less even know what you are looking for. I had no clue as to what a water snipe was before this summer. Now, even knowing this, I still use a smaller cranefly larva pattern to imitate these bugs. You can even upsize your caddis larva patterns and have things covered if you know they are in the water you are fishing. If I were fishing this water again the same or next day, I'd make sure to cover all my bases and fish a cranefly larva, a caddis larva and a baetis nymph. And I bet I would have great day.