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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Dorsal view of a Limnephilidae (Giant Sedges) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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Flavs

Like most common names,"Flav" can refer to more than one taxon. They're previewed below, along with 6 specimens. For more detail click through to the scientific names.

Mayfly Species Drunella flavilinea

These are pretty much always called Flavs.
The Flavs pick up about a week after the closely related but larger Western Green Drakes (Drunella grandis and Drunella doddsii) finish hatching on most Western waters.

Their hatches may be complemented by simultaneous hatches of two less prolific species, Drunella coloradensis and Drunella spinifera.
Artistic view of a Male Drunella flavilinea (Ephemerellidae) (Flav) Mayfly Dun from the Cedar River in Washington
This dun is smaller than would normally be expected for Drunella flavilinea, but it seems to fit the physical description of that species fairly well. I wasn't sure from the dun pictures alone, so I was hoping it would molt into a spinner. It never made it out of the dun's shuck, but it did begin the process, which allowed me with great care to tease out the last couple abdominal segments of the spinner from the still tightly attached dun shuck, enabling a more confident ID based on the shape of the spinner's penes and sub-genital plate. I also collected a nymph of flavilinea in the same river on the same evening, as well as a shed exuvium that looked large enough to belong to an emerging dun.

The other possibility I considered for a while based on the dun was Drunella pelosa, which would be the right size, but the other characteristics don't fit.
Male Drunella flavilinea (Ephemerellidae) (Flav) Mayfly Spinner from the Flathead River-lower in Montana
Dorsal view of a Drunella flavilinea (Ephemerellidae) (Flav) Mayfly Nymph from the Cedar River in Washington

Mayfly Species Drunella coloradensis

These are sometimes called Flavs.
This species is very similar to Drunella flavilinea. In areas where their ranges overlap, they can sometimes be found in the same streams. They are similar enough that anglers sometimes refer to either or both species as "Flavs." Allen and Edmunds (1962) say that Drunella coloradensis tends to favor colder water than Drunella flavilinea and that it may emerge as much as a month later.
Lateral view of a Male Drunella coloradensis (Ephemerellidae) (Small Western Green Drake) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
The positive species ID on this dun comes from both the spinner that it (or possibly one other dun just like it) molted into and the overwhelming abundance of nymphs of this species in my kicknet samples from the same site.
Lateral view of a Male Drunella coloradensis (Ephemerellidae) (Small Western Green Drake) Mayfly Spinner from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
This spinner molted from this dun, or possibly one other dun I had in the same container that looked just like it.
Dorsal view of a Drunella coloradensis (Ephemerellidae) (Small Western Green Drake) Mayfly Nymph from Mystery Creek #249 in Washington
This one nicely illustrates the variation in coloration within an single Ephemerellid species in a single stream, when compared to its lighter, banded counterpart.
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