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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

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

Dorsal view of a Epeorus albertae (Heptageniidae) (Pink Lady) Mayfly Nymph from the East Fork Issaquah Creek in Washington
This specimen keys to the Epeorus albertae group of species. Of the five species in that group, the two known in Washington state are Epeorus albertae and Epeorus dulciana. Of the two, albertae has been collected in vastly more locations in Washington than dulciana, suggesting it is far more common. On that basis alone I'm tentatively putting this nymph in albertae, with the large caveat that there's no real information to rule out dulciana.
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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Black Drakes

Like most common names,"Black Drake" can refer to more than one taxon. They're previewed below, along with 5 specimens. For more detail click through to the scientific names.

Mayfly Genus Siphlonurus

These are very rarely called Black Drakes.
The important Eastern species are Siphlonurus quebecensis, Siphlonurus alternatus, and to a lesser extent Siphlonurus rapidus. All may produce fishable spinner falls, often with more than one species in the same swarm, but these are generally localized and minor events compared to the classic superhatches.

The main Western species, Siphlonurus occidentalis, is much more valuable. Its importance in the West is often compared to that of Isonychia in the East.
Female Siphlonurus quebecensis (Siphlonuridae) (Gray Drake) Mayfly Dun from unknown in Wisconsin
This one hatched in my house after I brought some nymphs home to photograph.
Lateral view of a Male Siphlonurus quebecensis (Siphlonuridae) (Gray Drake) Mayfly Spinner from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Siphlonurus mayfly nymph. These mayflies are known as strong swimmers that maneuver like minnows across the stream bottom

Artistic view of a Siphlonurus quebecensis (Siphlonuridae) (Gray Drake) Mayfly Nymph from the Delaware River in New York

Mayfly Species Ephemera guttulata

These are very rarely called Black Drakes.
Ephemera guttulata's size, numbers, and hatching characteristics have made it a favorite of fly fishermen since the sport first came to North American waters.

It is on par with the Midwest's Hexagenia limbata hatch for its ability to lure huge piscivorous brown trout to eat insects at the surface once a year. The special charm of the Green Drake hatch is that it often takes place during pleasant spring afternoons. It can be challenging because the large flies are easy for trout to inspect in the daylight and they feed very selectively, especially late in the hatch. The huge difference in appearance between green drake duns and the spinners, white-bodied "coffin flies," makes them a peculiarity among major hatches.

The Green Drakes are on the decline due to environmental degradation.
Artistic view of a Female Ephemera guttulata (Ephemeridae) (Green Drake) Mayfly Dun from the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
For years after I started this website, I was eagerly hoping to find a green drake to add to the collection, but I was never in the right part of the world at the right time. It finally happened on June 1st, 2007.
Lateral view of a Male Ephemera guttulata (Ephemeridae) (Green Drake) Mayfly Spinner from Penn's Creek in Pennsylvania
This spinner was the only member of its species I saw all night during an incredibly thick and tricky mixed hatch on Penn's Creek a few days before the real start of its famous green drake hatch.

Black Drakes

Scientific Names
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