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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 Epeorus albertae (Heptageniidae) (Pink Lady) Mayfly Nymph from the East Fork Issaquah Creek in Washington
This specimen keys to the Epeorus albertae group of species. Of the five species in that group, the two known in Washington state are Epeorus albertae and Epeorus dulciana. Of the two, albertae has been collected in vastly more locations in Washington than dulciana, suggesting it is far more common. On that basis alone I'm tentatively putting this nymph in albertae, with the large caveat that there's no real information to rule out dulciana.
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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ADKbrookie has attached these 2 pictures to aid in identification. The message is below.
ADKbrookie
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Lake George, NY

Posts: 2
ADKbrookie on Apr 22, 2018April 22nd, 2018, 3:28 am EDT
The local lake has a healthy population of both lake trout and landlocked salmon. During the spring smelt run I target both by casting streamers from shore or trolling from a canoe. While lake trout often have smelt in their bellies all the salmon I’ve caught are filled with some caddisfly looking critter. It’s early, mid April in upstate NY and the water temp is between 42-50 degrees. I apologize here there is no scale to the image but I would estimate that each is between 1.5 - 3 cm in length.
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Apr 22, 2018April 22nd, 2018, 4:55 am EDT
Howdy, ADK. I don't think they are caddisflies, as I am seeing some tails on several individuals, also some big heads and jaws. Some might be neuropterans? Perhaps alderfly larvae? I could be wrong, not easy to see details, but the individual closest to the camera has a big head and mandibles.

I'll let the bug nuts on here try to get you a little closer to ID.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Millcreek
Healdsburg, CA

Posts: 344
Millcreek on Apr 22, 2018April 22nd, 2018, 7:19 am EDT
Kevin - I'm pretty sure they're a Sialis species. Here are a couple of links.

http://www.troutnut.com/topic/9246/Sialis-sp

https://www.uoguelph.ca/debu/STEVEweb/html/Sialis_larva_NA_lg.htm

They're also known as alderflys, so Jonathan got it right.
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
-Albert Einstein
ADKbrookie
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Lake George, NY

Posts: 2
ADKbrookie on Apr 23, 2018April 23rd, 2018, 12:58 am EDT
Thank you, gentlemen! I would agree, they do look like alderfly larvae. I'm just perplexed how the salmon are feeding on them. I would think they would be picking them off as the larva swims to the surface to emerge but I've never seen much of any insect activity on the lake this early in the year. Do the larvae regularly swim throughout the water column?
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Apr 23, 2018April 23rd, 2018, 2:38 am EDT
Glad to be of help. I'm not highly familiar with the life cycle of the alderflies, though I do know that they lay their eggs on overhanging structures like bridges, the larvae dropping into the water upon hatching. I've seen the egg masses and they're pretty cool looking, like a little black patch of tiny ovoids clinging to the cement.

BTW, pretty fish! I would say tie a big-headed nymph of some sort and perhaps slowly lift it through the water column and see what happens! Good luck and send us more pics of your fishies.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Millcreek
Healdsburg, CA

Posts: 344
Millcreek on Apr 23, 2018April 23rd, 2018, 4:39 am EDT
You're unlikely to find Sialis larvae in the water column as it is primarily a bottom feeder. They wouldn't be picking them off as emergers since the larvae crawl onto land and make a chamber under a log or in the soil and pupate there. You can find some info here: http://tolweb.org/Megaloptera
And a photo of an alderfly pupae here:http://joycegross.com/images.php?img=2222_1745
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
-Albert Einstein

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