These are huge mayflies. Hexagenia limbata, by far the most important species, is the second largest mayfly in the United States. The largest is its close relative, Litobrancha recurvata, which until recently was also in the genus Hexagenia.
This species is very abundant in Flathead and Whitefish Lakes with a smaller population in lakes of the Swan River Drainage, and a few in Lake McDonald in Glacier Park. This species usually emerges along with Ephemera simulans.
This female Hex dun emerged around 11 pm, one of relatively few on the water as I rushed back to the truck to beat an approaching thunderstorm. Her tails in reality were longer than shown in the picture, but they broke off.
I found this lone Hexagenia atrocaudata dun fluttering by herself on the surface of a small, still stretch of river one evening as I paddled home from fishing for smallmouths in the warm August weather.
I am a fly fisherman but not a "purist". A friend of mine has a place on the UP of Michigan. He just called me and said a guy told him there is a way to preserve "wigglers." They use them alot up north, those that are not fly fishermen or ladies. They are fishing perch, bluegill and crappie. He heard there is a way to "blanch" them.Drop them in hot water for a few minutes and they turn rubbery. They then will keep indefinitely. Has anyone heard of this? If so, how close to correct is the procedure I mentioned??
Thanks for anyone's help.
Forget the end of the world. The Hex Hatch is just about on again. For more than 7 years now, I have been making the journey north and have encountered one of the most prolific hex hatches I have ever seen (in the West that is). We all know that there are very specific conditions that must exist in order for this amazing event to occur. There are a few notable locations though I have found Henderson Springs in Big Bend, CA to be the most exciting from the perspective of a flyfisherman.
I am constantly keeping an eye out for when the hatch starts in this region. I will do my best to keep my post current as I get further updates. Make it a great season!