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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.

Lateral view of a Male Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This dun emerged from a mature nymph on my desk. Unfortunately its wings didn't perfectly dry out.
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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Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 12, 2021March 12th, 2021, 3:53 am EST
Three different looking stoneflies that have all recently emerged.

This first one is about 3/8" long.


This stonefly I believe maybe the Early Brown Stonefly, which has a wing length of about 5/8" long.


This one caught me by surprise. It is about 5/8" long but had dark orangish spots at the top of it wing and at the first joint of its legs.


Can anyone help ID these three Spring stoneflies? I find it difficult to find good reliable inforamtion on stonefly adults.


Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Mar 12, 2021March 12th, 2021, 11:09 pm EST
Wiflyfisher, looking at my copy of Hatch Guide of For Upper Midwest Streams it would appear that the last stone fly could be Pteronarcys dorsata - Gaint Stonefly.
Mike.
Taxon
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Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Mar 13, 2021March 13th, 2021, 3:05 am EST
Hi John-

I believe these adult stoneflies to be of family Nemouridae, and to be commonly referred to as Forestflies. The members of this family known to be present in Wisconsin include:

Scientific Name (Common Name)
Amphinemura delosa (Eastern Forestfly)
Amphinemura linda (Lovely Forestfly)
Amphinemura varshava (Warsaw Forestfly)
Nemoura trispinosa (Three-spined Forestfly)
Prostoia completa (Central Forestfly)
Prostoia similis (Longhorn Forestfly)
Shipsa rotunda (Intrepid Forestfly)
Soyedina vallicularia (Valley Forestfly)

Hope this is useful. :-)
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 13, 2021March 13th, 2021, 10:09 am EST
Hi Roger,

Thanks for the homework. :-)

Mike, I do not believe it is Pteronarcys dorsata. Although it does have some similarities the size and wing design is different. I have seen the Giant Stonefly on this river in mid-June, so has Jason N.

Thank you both.

Today, there were a lot of stoneflies (like my middle photo) ovipositing on the river. The wind seemed to blow them out of the brush. I definitely saw closeup one stonefly with the egg sack attached. It appeared pale tellowish/olive and she dropped it when I picked her up off of the water.

Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 14, 2021March 14th, 2021, 4:30 am EDT
Here is a good macro photo that I took of a couple of stoneflies I captured yesterday. I resized the original photo before uploading. I do like the macro photo stacking feature on the Olympus TG-6 camera.



I did see a stonefly with a pale yellowish/olive egg sack. When I picked up the stonefly she dropped the egg sack before I could get a good look at it.

Jason emailed me it might be Strophopteryx fasciata. i think he is spot on, especially since he has specimens of this stonefly on the same river I am fishing... http://www.troutnut.com/specimen/349

John

Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Mar 14, 2021March 14th, 2021, 7:30 am EDT
Awesome pics Wiflyfisher, I was on a north Michigan stream last week. No stoneflies yet, a few bwo’s.
Mike.
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 14, 2021March 14th, 2021, 9:48 am EDT
Having limited materials with me and fluttering Willowfly stoneflies teasing the trout to rise, I designed this dry fly that has been super effective. Even a couple of 16-17" trout sucked the fly in which is nice on a dry fly this time of year.





The body is peacock herl with a Collin's dark dun hen feather wrapped palmer still and a deer hair wing, size #12. I hit it with some Frog's Fanny to help it float when I cast it upstream and across. I think the soft hen barbules keep it in the film and the trout definitely approved. I would never use hen feathers for the palmer but I have no rooster capes with me right now. The softer hen feather with peacock herl seems to work better in this situation, which I discovered by accident based on the few materials I have with me.

Ironically, I don't have my magnifying glasses with me to help tie flies. I am finding I am okay tying size #12 flies without them. :-)

Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 14, 2021March 14th, 2021, 1:53 pm EDT
Well done! Glad to see a fish in the net, and a beauty at that! Thanks for sharing.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 17, 2021March 17th, 2021, 6:21 am EDT
Nice! Beautiful fish! I never did anything on those early black stones, though one April I had early brown stones in the Rifle & had rises & hits (but no hookups). Well done!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 17, 2021March 17th, 2021, 6:29 am EDT
Jonathon, that brings up a question? Is the "Early Brown Stonefly" really the "Mottled Willowfly" (Strophopteryx fasciata)?

I believe they are one and the same.
Taxon
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Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Mar 26, 2021March 26th, 2021, 4:13 am EDT
Jonathon, that brings up a question? Is the "Early Brown Stonefly" really the "Mottled Willowfly" (Strophopteryx fasciata)?

I believe they are one and the same.


Hi John-

I believe the answer to your question is that all Mottled Willowflies are Early Brown Stoneflies, but not all Early Brown Stoneflies are Mottled Willowflies. :-)
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 26, 2021March 26th, 2021, 6:08 am EDT
Jonathon, that brings up a question? Is the "Early Brown Stonefly" really the "Mottled Willowfly" (Strophopteryx fasciata)?

I believe they are one and the same.


Hi John-

I believe the answer to your question is that all Mottled Willowflies are Early Brown Stoneflies, but not all Early Brown Stoneflies are Mottled Willowflies. :-)


Hi Roger,

Since when did you start using "common names" to ID aquatic insects? LOL!!

I hope all is well.

Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 30, 2021March 30th, 2021, 3:32 am EDT
I'm hoping to get a crack at them whatever they are called! All depends on rainfall, the Rifle gets scary for wading when the water goes up...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Taxon
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Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Mar 30, 2021March 30th, 2021, 12:36 pm EDT

Hi Roger,

Since when did you start using "common names" to ID aquatic insects?

Good one, that, John.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com

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