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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 Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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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Falsifly has attached these 4 pictures to aid in identification. The message is below.
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 11:21 am EDT
I had a little visitor show up at work and managed a few quick shots. I rushed in to grab my 6 in. scale, from the shop, but it took flight before I could get a measurement. My guess is approximately 25 mm OA.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 11:45 am EDT
Al -
That's a Callibaetis female dun, probably ferrugineus ferrugineus (Speckled Quill). What's funny is that I literally just finished posting about them a little on the "Pine creek" thread that's still up on the roster below this one (for now).:)

BTW - are you sure about this critter being an inch long? Perhaps you are including tails? We have a species out here, C. californicus that can get pretty big (measuring up to 12mm) but it's the largest baetid I'm aware of.
"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
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 12:04 pm EDT
Ah, thanks for the rest of the pictures. I believe it's definitely C. f. ferrugineus. Sounds like you may have an outsized specimen, though.
"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
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 12:40 pm EDT
Kurt, it seems that when I was posting it was coming up one picture at a time. Don't know what I was doing wrong. Yes the 25mm OA (overall) includes the tails.

Thanks.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 12:44 pm EDT
Your welcome. Ah... So that's what OA meant! I was thinking you meant "on average". Sorry, my bad.:) You must have a lake nearby? Maybe worth checking out? Great photos for off the cuff, BTW.
"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
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 1:24 pm EDT
You must have a lake nearby?

BINGO
I was going to mention that I'm only a short walk off of the Chippewa Flowage and several miles from any moving water.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 1:59 pm EDT
Ya, that definitely looks like Callibaetis, but I didn't know we had them in our backyard. I have seen them on the Hebgen Lake, etc. out West but not here before.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 29, 2012May 29th, 2012, 4:02 pm EDT
Hi John,

Your experience doesn't surprise me. Though widely distributed their populations are usually pretty sparse east of the Rockies. I used to think it was the lack of alkalinity, but now I'm thinking it also has a lot to do with the presence of sunfish. Some of the lakes out here that provided tremendous populations of Speckled Quills in the past are now mere shadows of their former selves since the introduction of Blue Ears and other varieties of those little devils. I don't know what the thinking was behind it (if any) but it's been an unmitigated disaster for lovers of mayfly hatches and free rising trout. The way the little guys like to swim around and perch on plant stems makes them perfect targets for those hovering predators. They harvest them like cherry pickers. The poor bugs don't stand a chance.

One of my favorite little lakes in the Sierra's, Martis Valley, was ruined by their introduction. It used to teem with large wild browns rising to abundant hatches of Speckled Quills and Damselflies. The last time I was there the weed beds were reduced to hotels for stunted sunfish with very little insect life. The browns were gone, replaced by rainbows feeding mostly on midge larvae beyond the littoral zone out in open water. I haven't been 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
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on May 30, 2012May 30th, 2012, 12:40 pm EDT
Kurt, insteresting observation about sunfish. I would think they could devour a ton of bugs.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on May 30, 2012May 30th, 2012, 4:11 pm EDT
Yes, especially species not particularly well adapted for hiding from them... Like Callibaetis.
"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

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