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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 Neoleptophlebia (Leptophlebiidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Some characteristics from the microscope images for the tentative species id: The postero-lateral projections are found only on segment 9, not segment 8. Based on the key in Jacobus et al. (2014), it appears to key to Neoleptophlebia adoptiva or Neoleptophlebia heteronea, same as this specimen with pretty different abdominal markings. However, distinguishing between those calls for comparing the lengths of the second and third segment of the labial palp, and this one (like the other one) only seems to have two segments. So I'm stuck on them both. It's likely that the fact that they're immature nymphs stymies identification in some important way.
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.

Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 17, 2010September 17th, 2010, 4:26 am EDT
I have been thinking about something that Tony was hinting at in another post...Maybe the Trout Nut Train has come a little off track! Now I will take some responsibility for my rambling, off topic, esoteric posts that have not helped, but we maybe need to "right this ship" and get back to what we use to do so well...Talk Bugs...(I know that the mixed metaphor above will make our editor Gonzo cringe...but you all get the point).

We are morphing in to somewhat of a brag site with miles and miles of smiling faces holding big fish...I didn't want to bring Sigmund in to this web site but sometimes a cigar isn't just a cigar...

Now I have taken my hits and am apologising here for my part in all this, but I want to send a shout out to Jason as well...Fella! When you going to get that honeymoon/alaskan thing over with and get back down here to our favorite bug laden streams and start giving us some new stuff to look at?!

One of you four listed in this title must have something laying around that us bug-nuts would find interesting...Please! Post an insecta pic!

How about this for a starter...I mentioned I had been up on the South Branch of the Au Sable last weekend and I had seen some mayflies that I speculated about as "Light Cahills" of some sort...This didn't even elicit a scolding response...Didn't it even raise an eyebrow somewhere out there? Spence is out there making extremely generalized insect calls without even putting one in his hand and snapping a picture of the critter!

Ok...I would be inclined to say it wasn't an Ephoron since the South isn't known for them and especially where I was standing, one of the colder sections of the river..."Light Cahill"??? What might it have been, this mystery bug?

Anyway! It was about a size 14...From a distance.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Sep 17, 2010September 17th, 2010, 5:30 am EDT
spence - it is because nobody reads your posts past the first paragraph!
tony
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Sep 17, 2010September 17th, 2010, 7:17 am EDT
Spence,

My guess would be Epeorus vitreus, as that's the only MI mayfly (of which I'm aware) that fits your description and would still be around in September.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 17, 2010September 17th, 2010, 8:16 am EDT
Roger,

I'm upset with myself for not nabbing one, but that's an interesting choice...I was thinking Stenacron interpunctatum...But I usually only get up there this time of year for the cleanup and just a little fishing and I'm not all that sure what may be lingering still this time of year.

We actually got a close up, a couple times, of the caddis I mentioned as the Cinnamon Sedge...It was 14/12...I was a bit pre-occupied with the nephew and not getting my homework done! I don't know how to describe the color but lets just say dark-reddish tan/fall leaf for the wing and the abdomen was the same but a little lighter. Orange/amber/honey-colored mix...A real nice looking bug!

Thanks!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Sep 17, 2010September 17th, 2010, 9:23 am EDT
Spence,

The usual suspects for your "Light Cahill" would probably be something in Heptageniidae (like Roger's suggestion of Epeorus vitreus). I wouldn't rule out Stenacron, Stenonema, Heptagenia, or perhaps even Maccaffertium as possibilities. Many genera/species in this family have extended emergences, and a few can be bivoltine in some streams. For example, Flowers and Hilsenhoff (1978) report that Stenacron interpunctatum and Stenonema tripunctatum (now a synonym of S. femoratum) are probably bivoltine in some Wisconsin streams, and Heptagenia diabasia (now a synonym of H. elegantula) emerges into early September in Wisconsin. Leucrocuta might also be found into September (they can be found into October here in PA), but they are usually in the #16-18 range.

Sorry to throw so many additional possibilities at you, but that's often what the "Light Cahill" description will get you. Next time, take some pictures of the bug. It won't necessarily get you any closer, but it might help.
Konchu
Konchu's profile picture
Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 498
Konchu on Sep 21, 2010September 21st, 2010, 11:57 am EDT
color, late summer emergence & my collecting experience up there says Epeorus, but I'd have to see a pic or the critter to say for sure
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 22, 2010September 22nd, 2010, 10:54 am EDT
Thanks guys! I was trying to get us back on track here and talking bugs...I actually hooked a couple small fish with a Borcher's parachute tied with Sandhill Crane primary feather fibers for the body...It appeared like a light gray body,,,Unfortunately they got off before I could land them...Oh well!

I'll have them pose next time for the camera and we won't be guessing.

Take Care! Thanks Again!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Sep 23, 2010September 23rd, 2010, 5:27 am EDT
What about Ephoron? Or late (and smaller) Ephemera?

Are you suggesting a site name change to Bugnut? :)
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 23, 2010September 23rd, 2010, 5:40 am EDT
Paul,

My suggestion would be, "freshwater macro-invertebrates-nuts"...What do you guys think? :) Rolls right off the tongue there, don't you think?

The original post of mine mentions why I eliminated the bugs you are suggesting...I had my camera with me, but I also had the newbie nephew as well so I was more concerned about not having him float his hat on his first trip to the middle of a river.

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Sep 23, 2010September 23rd, 2010, 6:42 am EDT
What about Ephoron? Or late (and smaller) Ephemera?


Hi Paul,

It would be difficult to completely rule out Ephoron based on a long-distance observation, though it is a very distinctive genus up close. E. simulans and E. varia are the upper Midwestern Ephemera species. I'm sure that Spence is quite familiar with the compact and much earlier emergence of E. simulans on the Au Sable. E. varia is a much better match for the Light Cahill description, though they are typically larger than #14. I'd be a bit surprised if they were emerging in early September on the South Branch of the Au Sable, but I suppose it's possible.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Sep 23, 2010September 23rd, 2010, 10:28 am EDT
Could you tell me please what family Ephoron belongs to? That is a genus name right? Is it Ephemerillidae w/ the hendricksond PMD's etc.?
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Sep 23, 2010September 23rd, 2010, 10:35 am EDT
Polymitarcyidae--the nymphs and adults are very different from Ephemerellidae.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 24, 2010September 24th, 2010, 5:30 am EDT
Gonzo,

In all the years I've fished the Au Sable I never remember seeing E. varia. When it comes to E. simulans...Well you don't want to get me started. Most of the local "hatch charts", for what they are worth, show the E varia finishing up around the beginning of August. (6/15-8/7) here.

I think we anglers are locked in to the so-called "super-hatches" and even when we see other bugs we tend to lump them in with what we expect to be seeing at that time. That's probably how we ended up with things like BWO's or Sulpher's...Anything that's small and not a Trico ends up as some sort of Baetis.

I have often day dreamed of being a much younger man with some time on my hands and spending a whole season on the river with maybe a half-doz different stream habitats and just collect at these sites and see what really shows up.

I have run in to situations where the oldtimers may dismiss some of the hatches I've discribed to them as simply unimportant. I have been on the river with respected guides under large spinner flights only to hear the guide curse them and say that they never fall...Well you and I know this isn't correct or this crowd of spinners wouldn't be there otherwise...They fall at some time and somewhere and if you are there it's probably a fishable moment to remember.

I think that there are so many mayflies in that 12-18 size range and that size & shape are primary enough that it saves these guys. They really don't know what the fly was and will probably mis-identify it because what they used worked well enough. Look at what I did...I didn't know what I was looking at, but after watching it in the air I tied on a Borchers with a light body on it and caught a couple fish even without seeing any rises.

I fish a parachute Borchers like some guys fish a parachute Adams...I think it covers a great many spinners without really keying on any particular bug.

I use to get up around Father's Day for several years in a row...Most folks were Hex crazy and missed some nice daytime hatches simply because they were fixated on the big bugs... I use to run in to Stenonema heterotarsale (insert new name here maybe interpunctatum?)...

What a beautiful bug! The night that Dr Hofmann helped me off the North Branch he claimed he was seeing Sulpher's...I had seen the fly you and I would probably of called a Light Cahill all night and then the following day...a good couple sizes bigger than the E dorothea he thought he was seeing...The hatch charts never mention it. Not a "fishable" hatch...I caught fish all night right up to the moment the old man put me in his car and drove me down to the bridge to mine.

I have also mentioned here before a night on the South Branch of the Au Sable where I looked up from the stream to think a fog had moved in only to see one of the largest spinner flights I've ever seen. Everyone said Sulpher's (invaria or dorothea) when I related the story, but I would bet the farm that they were Heptagenia of some sort...They were different and I was in too much of a rush to tie on an appropriate sized spinner and pratically run to a spot I wanted to be once they decided to fall.

They didn't fall and some guy that had followed me downstream never saw them. I had to get home the next day and still kick myself for not showing up there early the next morning right at dawn!

Anyway...

Spence











"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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