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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 Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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.

This topic is about the Mayfly Genus Epeorus

There is remarkable variety of form and color within this prolific genus of fast-water mayflies. Different species are found across the country, and several cause good hatches. Fly anglers are likely to encounter the lesser species on occasion, too.

The best Epeorus hatch in the East is Epeorus pleuralis, the famous Quill Gordon, the first abundant large mayfly hatch of the year. Epeorus vitreus comes a little later and is important in both the East and Midwest.

In the West, Epeorus longimanus dominates in fast, high-altitude streams, while Epeorus albertae inhabits slower and lower waters.

Example specimens

Troutnut
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Troutnut on May 3, 2007May 3rd, 2007, 6:39 am EDT
There has been some discussion here before about Epeorus identification, especially the distance between the eyes of the adult males, which is one identifying characteristic. The keys say that the distance should be "less than the width of the median ocellus," but I have collected a few male duns that didn't quite fit that requirement.

We figured they were Epeorus anyway, so it's not a big deal, but a new specimen I collected sheds a bit of light on the question.

I collected a dun whose eyes were also a bit far apart, which you can see here:

http://www.troutnut.com/specimen/681

Then it molted into a spinner:

http://www.troutnut.com/specimen/682

The spinner's eyes were really almost touching, well within the description of the genus. So that answers our question: the duns may have a little wider spread and the gap will close up in the spinners.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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