8/10/2012

Tying The Little Green Tree Cricket

One of the more interesting of the fall terrestrials is the tree cricket. This amazing insect will appear in the bushes or trees bordering fields or meadows during the last weeks of summer or early weeks of fall. Along trout streams this insect is on the main menu for most trout especially big ones. The tree cricket is usually no larger than one inch in length and has a pale green or whitish colored body depending on the species. Found in the Gryllidae family in the Orthoptera order of crickets, roaches, mantids and grasshoppers, the tree cricket is part of the Oecanthinae subfamily. They are nocturnal insects and often hard to spot since they easily camouflage their presence among the leaves of their chosen habitat. I run across them all the time in August and through the fall in my yard. Because I live on a road that quickly dead ends into my home trout stream the insects I find in my yard are generally accessible to the trout down the street. The last several years I have become quite the insect scavenger and readily capture and keep insects throughout the trout season in my house much to the chagrin of my wife Jenny.

 above: The slender legs and abdomen of the Tree cricket is quite 
delicate in comparison to the Black Cricket and common Field Cricket.

I tie the Tree Cricket somewhat similarly to the Black Cricket pattern. The differences are the smaller hook sizes, thicknesses of foam, leg girths, color ways, and hackle turns. This cricket again is quite small but evokes rises from big trout that will leave you shaking.

Hook: TMC 5212 #14
Thread: Uni 8/0 Lt green
Body: Razor Foam 1mm Green
Tail: Biot dyed Kelly Green (Ritt Dye)
Legs: Natural Pheasant Tail (x1) per leg
Antennae: Natural Pheasant Tail
Hackle: Ginger
Wing Case (sim): 2mm Razor Foam 2mm Green
Dubbing: Beaver Belly Green

Tie these up small and they are sure to turn some heads under the surface. Three turns of hackle is all you need for a sufficient hackle collar, the four legs in the rear and the biots do the rest of the work as far as stability. The naturals profile is very delicate and gossamer so cut and wind your materials with this in mind. The tendency is to overdress and use heavy foam, keep it simple and sparse.
Clint Joseph Bova