Tag Archives: mormon cricket fly

Anabrus Simplex

Anabrus simplex

Anabrus simplex

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Boseman, MT

It’s 1848, in the early days of the settlement of Salt Lake City by the Mormons. Hordes of Anabrus simplex are devastating their first spring crops. In what became known at the “Miracle of the Gulls”, the plague of Anabrus simplex was wiped out and the crops saved. More importantly for the fly angler, Anabrus simplex, a very large insect, gained the name of Mormon Cricket. (It wasn’t actually named taxonomically until 1852). The Mormon Cricket isn’t actually a cricket but instead a flightless shield-back Katydid. As trout or smallmouth food they are a minor terrestrial species, but where they are found in conjunction with Western rivers, imitations of the Mormon Cricket can be very productive. Although not typically found in densities that grasshoppers are found, the Mormon Cricket is found throughout western North America in rangelands dominated by sagebrush and forbs. Medium to large rivers that traverse large expanses of sagebrush are prime opportunities to fish Mormon Cricket imitations. Occasionally, Mormon Crickets will form large swarms of 1000s of insects that are always on the move, up to 2 miles a day. When these swarms occur near rivers, many individuals fall prey to trout. more…