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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.
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This topic is about the Mayfly Species Ephemera guttulata

Ephemera guttulata's size, numbers, and hatching characteristics have made it a favorite of fly fishermen since the sport first came to North American waters.

It is on par with the Midwest's Hexagenia limbata hatch for its ability to lure huge piscivorous brown trout to eat insects at the surface once a year. The special charm of the Green Drake hatch is that it often takes place during pleasant spring afternoons. It can be challenging because the large flies are easy for trout to inspect in the daylight and they feed very selectively, especially late in the hatch. The huge difference in appearance between green drake duns and the spinners, white-bodied "coffin flies," makes them a peculiarity among major hatches.

The Green Drakes are on the decline due to environmental degradation.

Example specimens

Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 29, 2013May 29th, 2013, 7:03 am EDT
Jason's photo of a GD shuck suggests that at hatch time the backs of the nymphs may be a greyish or grey olive color. Possibly useful information, if this is an accurate surmise.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on May 29, 2013May 29th, 2013, 8:28 am EDT
Louis, profanities are prohibited on this site. Couldn't you just write shuck?
Bruce, Goose, Lastchance, Feathers5, etc.
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on May 29, 2013May 29th, 2013, 8:59 am EDT
I have always been in a quandary when it comes to the color of my trailing shuck. The one shuck that I have visibly seen a lot of are Chironomid empty shucks on the lake's water surface. They appear clear, and much like cellophane. When I have brought up that question to one of the "expert" speakers, they seem to be not very positive themselves, and appear as if that question was never asked. I often use an "amber" Zelon shuck, and don't worry about it.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 29, 2013May 29th, 2013, 11:23 am EDT
Sorry, Bruce, I know I should restrain myself. But that Gosh Darn Green Drake hatch is so frustrating, it's hard not to use a little blue language at times. By the way, your new favorite stream is fishing pretty good with the nymphs right now.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Konchu
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Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 498
Konchu on May 30, 2013May 30th, 2013, 2:36 pm EDT
I'm rearing a lot of mayflies right now, and the shuck almost always appears to be a grey or amber color. Most of the Ephemeridae I've seen are amber.
DayTripper
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Northern MI

Posts: 70
DayTripper on May 30, 2013May 30th, 2013, 5:13 pm EDT
Here is a green drake shuck I collected on the upper Delaware on 6/7/08. I remember it being greyer than the pic shows. I also remember a greenish hue on the top side of the abdomen near the thorax. Doesn't show up very well in the photo, though.



There were quite a few of these floating along the south bank. Lots of duns flopping around on the water trying to dry their wings, and all the fish would touch were sulphurs.
Konchu
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Indiana

Posts: 498
Konchu on May 30, 2013May 30th, 2013, 7:08 pm EDT
Well, there you go! A picture is worth a thousand words.
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 1, 2013June 1st, 2013, 7:50 am EDT
and all the fish would touch were sulphurs.


Eric (Crepuscular) sent me a text message that claimed that sulphurs taste better to the trout and Ephemera taste like the mud they live in...Not sure if he speaks from experience or is just being silly. He knows a great deal about mud since he hangs around that slippery damn muddy Letort...I'm still trying to free my wading boots and waders of the stuff! ;)

Spence

I related a story from last Brown Drake time (2012) where I became fixated on the Brown Drakes...It was an evening float where I caught a 22", and a 20" Browns, and a 17" Bow...I had two rods strung up...My Winston sat there with a sulpher spinner in the hook keeper and it never dawned on me that the fish I missed were eating invaria spinners until I turned the mag-lite on the surface to find Brown Drakes and way more sulpher spinners...

Never under estimate the power of sulpher spinners...There is a stretch of the Holy Water known to friends as "Spencer's Hole of Shame"...It became such on a May evening in 1991 where the whole river seemed to be feeding and there were stoneflies everywhere by the trillions...I thought Stones and tossed every damn one I had in my box and never got a look...I was being eaten alive by every biting bug on the river and it was pitch black out...I waded downstream to my fishing buddy to see him landing a 16-18" Brown..."Spence...Did you catch the sulpher spinner fall? I told you to watch for the spinners!"

Our PED's and the western PMD's are cousins and the same applies out there unless there is a Baetis about...I figured that out in 2004 on the Gallatin before I almost created another "Hole of Shame"...

There just may be something to Erics theory that sulphers are tastier...Do you think I'd mess with my vegetarian karma too much if I ate a sulpher and a BD later this week when I'm back in Grayling? I have been in invaria hatches so thick I've had a couple in my mouth, but I spit them out. :)
"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 Jun 2, 2013June 2nd, 2013, 12:04 pm EDT
Not sure if he speaks from experience or is just being silly


Who me? How else do you explain it?

I almost created another "Hole of Shame"...


Man, you are gonna have those all over the country ;)
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 2, 2013June 2nd, 2013, 2:41 pm EDT
Oh yeah! There was the missed fish on the Letort. Damn! And I was doing so good. :)
"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 Jun 2, 2013June 2nd, 2013, 3:05 pm EDT
Oh yeah! There was the missed fish on the Letort. Damn! And I was doing so good. :)


Ah, you're doing better than good.

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