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Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Mayfly Species Heptagenia elegantula (Pale Evening Dun)

The spinner falls of this elegant species can be quite important to anglers across the West. Recent revisions have synonymized the Midwestern species Heptagenia diabasia that may be of some local importance.

Where & when

Time of year : June and Juuly

Preferred waters: Large rivers

Altitude: Below 6,000 feet

The hatch dates given for Heptagenia elegantula in Selective Trout are August 5th to September 25th. This conflicts with the June and July dates claimed by two other authors.

Hatching behavior

Time of day : Late morning for less than an hour

Water temperature: Above 50°F

According to Fred Arbona in Mayflies, the Angler, and the Trout, the duns of this species emerge and fly off the water so quickly that they aren't important to imitate.

Spinner behavior

Spinner falls give the best fishing offered by elegantla. They follow the typical Heptagenia spinner behavior.

Nymph biology

Current speed: Slow to moderate

Substrate: Fine gravel, maybe sand or silt

Specimens of the Mayfly Species Heptagenia elegantula

1 Nymph

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