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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

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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TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Mar 27, 2016March 27th, 2016, 7:48 pm EDT
So recently I watched "The Educated Trout" documentary, based off a book John Goddard and Brian Clarke wrote. The whole thing was pretty neat and had a lot of cool research shown. There was a part where they would look for lighter, triangular sections on the river bottom as an indicator for spotting trout. This was due to the trout holding in a particularly prime spot for long periods of time, constantly swimming against the current and brushing away sediments on the bottom. I would guess these spots are somewhere nice for both lighter currents and being a good lane for where food floats through. Brushing away the darker and larger rocks and pebbles revealed the finer, lighter sandy/chalky deposits beneath it, creating the lighter colored area on the bottom of the stream.

I thought this was a nice tip for spotting trout and a good thing to think about in general: indicators for where our friends are hanging out.

The chalk streams of britain may be the only areas where this applies(?), I'm new to this. I think michigan's sandier rivers might provide for a good habitat for this tip. Any other folks notice this working? Any other tips for knowing where to look would be appreciated too
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 28, 2016March 28th, 2016, 5:07 am EDT
That technique for spotting trout in freestone rivers might not work very well since the material on the bottom of many freestone rivers isn't fine gravel, pebbles, or sand but much larger rocks and boulders. However there are many spring creeks and tailwaters in the US where the bottom material is sand, smaller pebbles and grass so it those waters it may very well work. I would think though one's success in locating those triangular sections would be dependent on how deep the river or stream is and/or how much higher you might be able to get so the angle at which you are looking into the water is much steeper to aid in peering into the water column. There are rivers I fish where there are high banks and if I sneak along those banks I can peer into the water and see many trout. But if I was already in the water, or at the waters edge, I would see far fewer trout holding in place.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Mar 28, 2016March 28th, 2016, 5:31 pm EDT
Good point about the angle Wbranch. That is a huge factor for vision through the water.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless

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