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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

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.

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.
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Mayfly Species Cinygmula reticulata (Western Ginger Quills)

Cinygmula reticulata is probably the second most important species of Cinygmula behind Cinygmula ramaleyi, perhaps because the waters where it can be found in good numbers are often more remote. They have been reported as abundant in many high country streams of the Southern Rockies as well as the High Sierra's Eastern slope. An obvious difference in their coloration may be the easiest way to tell them apart. Cinygmula ramaleyi is more somber with a brownish body and dark gray wings and is often confused with the similar sized and colored Ephemerella tibialis, in spite of the difference in tail counts. Cinygmula reticulata on the other hand is a bright cinnamon dorsally with pale creamy legs and pale wings that are often a brilliant canary yellow. This is one of North America's most beautiful mayflies.

Where & when

Time of year : May through early September, location dependant

Preferred waters: Cold moving water over shallow gravel or stones

Altitude: Variable

This taxon's preference for shallow cold water seems to be a limiting factor on distribution. Timing is dependant on elevation and seasonal weather. High country hatches often peak in late July.

In 7 records from GBIF, adults of this species have been collected during June (43%), May (29%), April (14%), and July (14%).

In 1 record from GBIF, this species has been collected at elevation of 1700 ft.

Species Range

Hatching behavior

Time of day : Midday

Habitat: Smooth flowing water over shallow gravel or stones, meadow streams

Water temperature: Seem to thrive best in water that remains cold even in mid Summer

There is scant reporting on this species in angling literature, so behavior that runs the gamut for Heptagenids is possible. Due to the environs where it is most often found, "selective" feeding is rarely at issue.

Nymph biology

Current speed: Slow to medium

Substrate: Gravel to small cobble.

Physical description

Most physical descriptions on Troutnut are direct or slightly edited quotes from the original scientific sources describing or updating the species, although there may be errors in copying them to this website. Such descriptions aren't always definitive, because species often turn out to be more variable than the original describers observed. In some cases, only a single specimen was described! However, they are useful starting points.

Male Spinner

Body length: 8 mm
Wing length: 9 mm

Very similar to Cinygmula mimus, differing principally in the maculation of the wings. Head and thorax brown, the latter with the usual lighter brown shading in the region anterior to scutellum and with the pleura streaked with light ochreous; a faint ruddy patch anterior to base of forewing. Abdomen dorsally with the anterior half of segments II-VII hyaline, the posterior halt irregularly, purple-brown (deeper in color than in mimus), segments VIII-X opaque, largely purple-brown, with lighter brown shades along lateral edges, and also on posterior margin of X. Ventrally with much the same coloration, but considerably paler, genital plate light ochre-brown; traces of ganglionic marks. Forceps and setae light smoky. Legs pale brown, the femora with faint ruddy tinges. Wings entirely suffused with pale amber, veins and crossveins brown, the latter broadly but rather faintly bordered with pale smoky, giving a very characteristic checkered appearance to the entire wings, a feature not at all present in mimus. The male genitalia are so very similar to those of mimus that no definite character for separation can be given, unless it be that the stimuli are somewhat larger.

Female Spinner

Body length: 8 mm
Wing length: 9 mm

Female. Quite similar to male but crossveins on wings less distinctly bordered with smoky. Head rather light ochre-brown, slightly reticulate with smoky and with a darker shading posterior to the mid-ocellus.

Specimens of the Mayfly Species Cinygmula reticulata

1 Female Dun
1 Male Spinner
1 Nymph

Start a Discussion of Cinygmula reticulata


Mayfly Species Cinygmula reticulata (Western Ginger Quills)

Species Range
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