Tying a Hellgrammite with Rich DiStanislao

The hellgrammite is the larval stage of the dobsonfly. They will hatch from egg masses in trees, above ground level where the larva then crawl into water. Once there they will spend 2–3 years underwater, usually inhabiting the swiftest sections of larger streams and rivers. Hellgrammites are voracious predators of smaller aquatic invertebrates and sometimes small fish.

Here is a list of materials to tie my hellgrammite:

  • Hook: Streamer, 4x – 6x long, sizes 4–12
  • Thread: Black 6/0 unithread
  • Tail: Black closed-cell foam, cut to shape afterwards
  • Body: Black, dark brown, or tan
  • Legs: Black/purple polar chenille
  • Wing case: Black closed-cell foam
  • Front pincers: Continuation of wing case, cut to shape afterwards
Rich DiStanislao’s Hellgrammite