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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Lateral view of a Clostoeca disjuncta (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one was surprisingly straightforward to identify. The lack of a sclerite at the base of the lateral hump narrows the field quite a bit, and the other options followed fairly obvious characteristics to Clostoeca, which only has one species, Clostoeca disjuncta.
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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Dark Olive Spinners

Like most common names,"Dark Olive Spinner" can refer to more than one taxon. They're previewed below, along with 4 specimens. For more detail click through to the scientific names.

Mayfly Species Drunella lata

These are sometimes called Dark Olive Spinners.
When Selective Trout was first published in 1971, Swisher and Richards included Drunella lata (Small Blue-Winged Olive, Slate-Winged Olive) as a Midwestern "superhatch." Although it can also be found in many Eastern trout streams, it is probably more important to Midwestern anglers. Typically a morning emerger, this species often competes for the attention of trout with more abundant Tricorythodes and small baetids during parts of July and August. For this reason, the authors of Selective Trout considered the concentrated evening spinner falls to be more important than the somewhat sporadic morning emergence. From an angling standpoint, this situation is nearly the opposite of the earlier Drunella cornuta emergence in the East, where the morning emergence is usually the main event and spinner falls are often of little consequence.

Currently, Drunella lata shares its name with another mayfly, the former D. longicornis. That mayfly can be important in mountainous areas in the Southeast, but they are larger and the nymphs lack the distinctive pale markings mentioned in the Juvenile Characteristics section. (The information on this page does not describe D. longicornis)

Mayfly Species Attenella attenuata

These are very rarely called Dark Olive Spinners.
This intriguing species has received a lot of attention in past angling books. Recent authors suspect that much of this credit was a case of mistaken identity, with Attenella attenuata receiving praise for the hatches of Drunella lata and Dannella simplex. Much of the credit was legitimate and accurate, but this species is no longer thought to be on par with its most popular cousins in Ephemerella and Drunella.

I have several specimens listed under this species, but I'm not positive the identification is correct.
Lateral view of a Female Attenella attenuata (Ephemerellidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
This specimen came from the same hatch as a male.

Mayfly Species Drunella flavilinea

These are very rarely called Dark Olive Spinners.
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 Dannella simplex

These are very rarely called Dark Olive Spinners.
Although by no means a superhatch, this species can be important. Authors who discuss it lament the general lack of credit it receives for the fine hatches it produces on some streams.

References

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