This very common name can also be spelled "sulfur," as can the metal and color after which the mayflies are named. Fishermen use both spellings frequently, and according to the dictionary both are correct.
Like most common names,"Sulphur" can refer to more than one taxon. They're previewed below, along with 6 specimens. For more detail click through to the scientific names.
These are pretty much always called Sulphurs.
This species, the primary "Sulphur" hatch, stirs many feelings in the angler. There is nostalgia for days when everything clicked and large, selective trout were brought to hand. There is the bewildering memory of towering clouds of spinners which promise great fishing and then vanish back into the aspens as night falls. There is frustration from the maddening selectivity with which trout approach the emerging duns--a vexing challenge that, for some of us, is the source of our excitement when Sulphur time rolls around.
is one of the two species frequently known as Sulphurs (the other is Ephemerella
dorothea). There used to be a third, Ephemerella rotunda
, but entomologists recently discovered that invaria
are a single species with an incredible range of individual variation. This variation and the similarity to the also variable dorothea
make telling them apart exceptionally tricky.
As the combination of two already prolific species, this has become the most abundant of all mayfly species in Eastern and Midwestern trout streams.
These are often called Sulphurs.
This is the second most common Epeorus
species in the East and Midwest. Most anglers will encounter sporadic hatches of Epeorus vitreus
once in a while, and sometimes a more concentrated emergence causes a good rise of fish.
This is my favorite mayfly from 2004, and it appears on my popular Be the Trout: Eat Mayflies
products. Check them out!
Its identification is really up in the air. It might be a late-season vitreus
dun but it may very well be one of the more obscure species in that genus.