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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.

Artistic view of a Perlodidae (Springflies and Yellow Stones) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to lead to Couplet 35 of the Key to Genera of Perlodidae Nymphs and the genus Isoperla, but I'm skeptical that's correct based on the general look. I need to get it under the microscope to review several choices in the key, and it'll probably end up a different Perlodidae.
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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Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Jocko River in Montana
Gillybilly
Gillybilly's profile picture
Whitefish, Montana

Posts: 2
Gillybilly on Mar 3, 2013March 3rd, 2013, 8:18 am EST
I wonder if anybody out there has identified and/or photographed the Skwala on the Flathead river(s) in NW Montana?
Bnewell
Bnewell's profile picture
Site Editor
Kennewick, Washington

Posts: 115
Bnewell on Mar 3, 2013March 3rd, 2013, 10:48 am EST
There are only two Skwala species in NW Montana. Check out the Ph. D. dissertation of Jack Stanford who worked on the Flathead River for several years driving over 100,000 miles. Also check the following: "The Stoneflies of the Rocky Mountains" by Baumann, Gaufin and Surdick, 1977. The Stoneflies of Montana, 1972, Gaufin et al. "The stoneflies of Glacier National Park and Flathead River Basin, Montana, Newell, Baumann and Stanford, 2008, IN, International Advances in Ecology, Zoogeography, and Systematics of Mayflies and Stoneflies, Univ. of California Publ, Entomology, Vol. 128, pages 173-186.
I have many photos of Skwala but don't think any of them are from the Flathead River, Montana.If you want to see specimens visit the Flathead Lake Biological Station at Yellow Bay and see their reference collection and talk to the Director Jack Stanford.

Bob Newell
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Mar 3, 2013March 3rd, 2013, 12:09 pm EST
There is a good article in the new FlyFisherman Mag. The Bitterroot gets a good Skwala hatch. My Yakima that I use to guide on in Eastern WA is really featured in the article. What was interesting to me is in the lower elevations like my Yakima they can come off earlier (late Feb./Mar. and in the higher elevations like the Bitterroot going East they come off somewhat later because of water temps. AND...the higher elevation later arriving Skwalas will appear darker than the lower elevation Skwallas. The Yakima bugs are a dirty yellow body, and the Bitterroot dark green to almost black in appearance.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 3, 2013March 3rd, 2013, 1:38 pm EST
...the higher elevation later arriving Skwalas will appear darker than the lower elevation Skwalas.

Yes, I've noticed this myself, and they are smaller as well. I have written what I know about this genus in the hatch page that you may find interesting to review. We have the same big pale ones on the Lower Yuba. It is a very significant hatch on this water and it's happening right now.

There are only three species in North America, curvata, compacta and americana. They don't occur together that I'm aware of. Could the color and size contrasts be ascribed to the differences between the species or are they due to thermal/elevation/latitude influences causing variation? I've yet to read or hear an explanation.
"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
Gillybilly
Gillybilly's profile picture
Whitefish, Montana

Posts: 2
Gillybilly on Mar 4, 2013March 4th, 2013, 5:19 am EST
Awesome! We're having a warm winter here in NW Montana this year and the river temp's are already approaching 40 degrees. I've fished the skwalas here on the North Fork but usually later in March, early April. I wonder if you know if their hatch moves from down stream up as does Salmon Flies? Thanks!
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Apr 20, 2013April 20th, 2013, 6:13 pm EDT
Welcome to the forum, Gillybilly.

I apologize for the late reply. As to your question, in my experience the answer is no. They seem to prefer certain stretches and will continue their activity there quite awhile. That and being the first big bug of the year is why this is such a great hatch in up cycles of their populations...
"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
Leskorcala
Posts: 16
Leskorcala on Feb 20, 2020February 20th, 2020, 5:12 pm EST
I do have many images of Skwala from Bitterrot river in Montana if you would like to see it.
les

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