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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.

Dorsal view of a Limnephilidae (Giant Sedges) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
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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Gutcutter has attached these 5 pictures to aid in identification. The message is below.
Gutcutter
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Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Apr 30, 2012April 30th, 2012, 11:11 am EDT
I caught this olive lady hanging out with these March Browns.
Any Ideas?
Sorry about the photo quality
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
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Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Apr 30, 2012April 30th, 2012, 11:30 am EDT
Hi Tony,

Looks to be a Maccaffertium vicarium male subimago.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 30, 2012April 30th, 2012, 2:14 pm EDT
Is the first picture Ep. invaria?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Apr 30, 2012April 30th, 2012, 3:19 pm EDT
Tony -

The top one looks to be an Epeorus pleuralis (Quill Gordon) female sub.
The second one (which Roger is referring to) is M. vicarium (March Brown). I also agree with Roger that it's a male sub.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Gutcutter
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Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Apr 30, 2012April 30th, 2012, 4:06 pm EDT
I was curious as to the first mayfly. It was a solid size 14 when measured against one of my frauds.
I noted the two tails and slate wings and thought "QG" but the color was a bit off, and they're not "supposed to be" in this watershed.
Definitely only two tails. I picked it off of the water by the wings as is.
It had a dull olive hue.
I only saw a few of these presumably Epeorus pleuralis among the several thousand MB/GF, some E. invaria, a very few E. subvaria and one P. adoptiva (I only caught one). Also the usual small Baetis, tan, black and olive caddis (no light nor dark grannoms), yellow Sallies and two other stoneflies that I couldn't capture.

Thanks
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
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Apr 30, 2012April 30th, 2012, 8:21 pm EDT
Tony -

I noted the two tails and slate wings and thought "QG" but the color was a bit off, and they're not "supposed to be" in this watershed.

There was another olivaceous GQ posted here for an ID recently. If I remember right it was Canadian? Anyway here's more evidence they can be pretty olive, depending on locale.

As far as the vicarium specimen - Yeah, the synonymy kinda blew up the whole traditional common name nomenclature that had been worked out for this specie(s). I don't think that the desired one common name per species is practical in practice (especially a species this variable). Since the big dark ones have been traditionally called MB's and the small lighter ones called GF's, what do we call small dark ones? Small March Brown? Dark Grey Fox? The latter works pretty good I suppose. Nice ring to it, anyway... :)

BTW - That's a cool pose the whatchamacallit struck for you. Don't think I've seen that before...
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on May 1, 2012May 1st, 2012, 5:21 am EDT
hey antonio! those pixes came out real nice.
bruce
Gutcutter
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Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on May 1, 2012May 1st, 2012, 7:55 am EDT
Bruce
I'm sure you're disappointed that the photo of the size 12 Parachute March Brown going through the hook keeper and into your thumb, past the barb, while still attached to your tippet didn't come out too well. I would never embarrass you by showing that picture.
Besides, there was too much blood on the lens...
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
PaulRoberts
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Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on May 1, 2012May 1st, 2012, 8:13 am EDT
It may be that really freshly emerged QG's are bright like that.
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 1, 2012May 1st, 2012, 3:01 pm EDT
Good point, Paul. I have fished over the hatch a few times back East and noticed the olive cast to their dark hues as well. Ernest Schwiebert frequently mentioned in his writings tying Quill Gordons with olive thread, not the black or gray you usually see in commercial ties. I assume that was the reason?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on May 1, 2012May 1st, 2012, 5:00 pm EDT
Bruce
I'm sure you're disappointed that the photo of the size 12 Parachute March Brown going through the hook keeper and into your thumb, past the barb, while still attached to your tippet didn't come out too well. I would never embarrass you by showing that picture.
Besides, there was too much blood on the lens...


That's a true friend :)
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on May 2, 2012May 2nd, 2012, 5:30 am EDT
I'm lucky I had a surgeon with me that abides by the laws of conidentiality. Oops, on him! Ha! Ha!

Bruce
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 2, 2012May 2nd, 2012, 6:43 pm EDT
Bruce,

Over the last couple seasons I have been reading you "humorous" though painful posts...It sounds like you suffer from the same malady as me "buck fever"...When we are so excited about being "out there" we can be dangerous to ourselves and our fishing partners. :) Oh and the occasional cow, or electric fence etc, etc...

You are a very smart man to have Tony tagging a long with you...Having a doctor as a fishing pal can relax men like you and I...At least you know, painful or not, he's probably not going to let you die out there...;)

Tightlines! I'd love to tell you to keep the posts coming but I really don't want you to hurt yourself just to entertain us here. :)

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
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on May 3, 2012May 3rd, 2012, 5:07 am EDT
Ok, Spence. So I hooked a cow trico fishing, bumped into electric fences so much I've built up a tolerance to them, had a hook embedded in my hand, etc. etc. What are you saying? Ha! Ha! Antonio and I have an agreement. If I find him face down in a stream our etiquette dictates that I will first rummage through his vest, and then call help. He will do the same.
Bruce
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 3, 2012May 3rd, 2012, 11:43 am EDT
Ok, Spence. So I hooked a cow trico fishing, bumped into electric fences so much I've built up a tolerance to them, had a hook embedded in my hand, etc. etc. What are you saying? Ha! Ha! Antonio and I have an agreement. If I find him face down in a stream our etiquette dictates that I will first rummage through his vest, and then call help. He will do the same.
Bruce


Knowing Tony I bet that would be an interesting and productive "rummage"...:)

I have probably reported this here before, but I once was sitting along the stream with my fly fishing mentor...I told him that my wife and I had recently had our wills done, and I had added an addendum where he was to inherit all my fishing related "stuff".

He was quiet for quite some time after and then looked at me with a wicked grin and asked, "Hey Spence. Have you and I ever fished by the Whirlpool hole or Black Bend?" Both places where if one wasn't careful one could end up floating his cap. :)Fishing buddies!? What are good fishing friends for save a chance to snag some quality fishing gear for a song sometime in the future...;)

Tony is the perfect angling buddy for you. He used to play hockey and knows to always keep his head up...:)

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
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 7:23 pm EDT
Gee, I thought this mayfly looked familiar when I picked it up yesterday evening...


What about these two?


Oh and if anyone was wondering if M. vicarium migrates to the edges before emerging...Every rock and stick looked like this



Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 7:30 pm EDT
Great series of photos, Eric!! One feature you captured very well is how long and spidery looking the legs of Epeorus are. Another easy way to tell them apart from other heptageniids. Your photo evidence is proof that March Browns hatch terrestrially more often then was thought in the old days. This is a behavioral trait shared with the large swimming isonychiids that are more closely related to the heptageniids than they are to the baetids we used to associate them with.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRoberts
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Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 9:20 pm EDT
Might the first dun be vitreus?

Yeah, I've seen vicarium, and Stenacron, piled up along the banks like that too.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 6, 2012May 6th, 2012, 10:11 pm EDT
You may be right, Paul. The orangish coloration is descriptive of vitreus and the size sure looks right. Awfully early, but this year for back East, who knows?

Eric - I'm trying to remember, but didn't you post some fairly mature looking nymphs from your waters we thought might be vitreus a few weeks back?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on May 7, 2012May 7th, 2012, 6:18 am EDT
You may be right, Paul. The orangish coloration is descriptive of vitreus and the size sure looks right. Awfully early, but this year for back East, who knows?

Eric - I'm trying to remember, but didn't you post some fairly mature looking nymphs from your waters we thought might be vitreus a few weeks back?

So do you think that the one that Tony posted is the same as these? They sure look similar to me. They are 9.5 mm. I pickled them and when I get some time, which will not be today I'll try and run them through the keys...Yes some of the E. vitreus that I found a couple weeks ago were fairly mature but those were from southern PA. These came from up north but they are ahead this year as well.

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