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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 Limnephilidae (Giant Sedges) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
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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Female Ephemerella invaria (Ephemerellidae) (Sulphur) Mayfly Dun from unknown in Wisconsin
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Aug 17, 2007August 17th, 2007, 5:43 am EDT
And this one, also from the midwest, is more green than the sulphurs I recall seeing this season. My limited experience in PA streams suggests that many, if not most, of the sulphurs here are best imitated by pale yellow, bright yellow, or orange bodies. Gene, and others, am I far off?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Posts: 107
Gene on Aug 21, 2007August 21st, 2007, 7:26 pm EDT
Yes, I believe that the mayfly may be more greenish because of the reflection of green from the leaf during the flash. Sometimes depending upon the angle of the flash the insect will pick up certain colors. You can prove this to yourself by simply get a piece of green paper and reflecting the light onto your hand or face with it. This is what some fly fisherman use to call the "light sulfur." Remember that the pH of the water has a lot to do with color of insects especially mayflies. You are correct that most of the sulfur female bodies are some shade of the colors you suggested. This color will vary with time of year, stream, ph, and a host of other things. That's why I have to laugh sometimes when someone declares in a book that a certain species of insect is this exact color. It's the clearest sign that this person hasn't fished much and is another armchair outdoors man. I would like to know which stream this mayfly was collected from, just for the heck of it.

tight lines and big rising trout


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