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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 Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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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Brian314
Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jan 1, 2019January 1st, 2019, 8:12 am EST
Hi all,
Does anyone know if the sulphurs in the Holy Waters are Ep. dorothea infrequens or Ep. dorothea dorothea ?????
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Jan 1, 2019January 1st, 2019, 9:14 am EST
Hi Bryan-

It would be Ephemerella dorothea dorothea, as Ephemerella dorothea infrequens is only found in western states.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Brian314
Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jan 4, 2019January 4th, 2019, 10:27 pm EST
Aaaahh Thanks Taxon !! :-)
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jan 6, 2019January 6th, 2019, 10:23 am EST
Brian, I would suggest Ann Millers book, Hatch Guide for upper Midwest Streams, very good resource for here in Michigan.

Mike
Konchu
Konchu's profile picture
Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 498
Konchu on Jan 13, 2019January 13th, 2019, 6:26 am EST
Based on several years of looking at specimens from Michigan, I'm not sure the E. dorthea occurs in Michigan. I'll be the first to admit, however, that this part of the genus Ephemerella needs more research work. In my opinion, it's more likely that the individuals being called E. dorothea are really part of the E. excrucians group. I think most of the past reports of dorothea from Michigan are misidentifications. While the nymphs of dorothea and excrucians can be difficult to tell apart, the adults are much easier to identify. All Michigan adults that I've ever seen or read about match excrucians and not dorothea. However, all that being said, very little would surprise me. It is remotely possible that true E. dorothea are present in Michigan, but I'd need to see details of the male adults to be sure.
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 13, 2019January 13th, 2019, 8:12 am EST
This is an interesting thread, I'm following the spp. ID's closely because of my ofttimes confusion over 'local/regional' names for flies. E Invaria and E Dorothea D. (if E Dorothea does indeed occur in MI) can both be called Sulphurs in my part of MI, with E Dorothea as 'late' or 'small' Sulphur.

I've also seen Sulphurs onstream over several weeks that were 16's early on and later in the month they're 18's. I'll be the first to admit that this is anecdotal at best and I'm no Entomologist. Same species with smaller individuals later in the hatch?

Adding to this E Invaria females can also be called Light Hendricksons...and the smaller, reddish males Dark Hendricksons. Or Red Quills...

Anyway, GOOD thread and I look forward to further informed discussion and opinions from more experienced Trout Nuts.

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Konchu
Konchu's profile picture
Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 498
Konchu on Jan 13, 2019January 13th, 2019, 8:24 am EST
In some places, it seems there is a progression of different Ephemerella species through the year, and sometimes these may overlap. Sometimes, too, the sizes and colors may (seem to?) change withing a single species as the season advances.

On top of these biology issues is the issue of what name we put on things. Common names can be troublesome, because some single species have multiple common names, and a single common name might refer to multiple species. And then there's the issue of scientific names being used in a "common" way, so they may or may not refer to what a scientist thinks of when using that name. Last of all, we also have to consider when the original (and only true) scientific meaning of the name has been lost of confused over time.
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Jan 21, 2019January 21st, 2019, 2:14 am EST
very interesting discussion... good thing 'matching the hatch' has somewhere between very little and nothing to do with knowing a foreign language...
"observe for yourself; react accordingly"...
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jan 22, 2019January 22nd, 2019, 12:17 pm EST
I kind of admire people who can keep the latin straight, my son is really into plants, especially Michigan wild flowers and he knows everything by its latin name. Me, I struggle with English, but it keeps me learning. By the way Tim Im loving your video right now at the vise on tying the para brown drake! Thank you so much for the help in tying a pretty cool looking and hopefully successful fly.

Mike.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jan 24, 2019January 24th, 2019, 7:42 am EST
"Common names can be troublesome, because some single species have multiple common names"...

Y'all ever caught a "calico bass"? Or a "strawberry bass?" How about a "stumpknocker", or a "shellcracker?" A "speck", "Mackinaw", "brim", "bee-liner"...once had a fisherman say to me, here in Michigan, "That's not a Chinook, that's a king." Okay buddy, if you say so...

How about tying on a "Michigan caddis"? It's a HEX imitation!!!

I agree with Senior Konchu: "Common names can be troublesome, because some single species have multiple common names..." And sometimes, VERY wrong ones!

Jonathon

P.S. Common names decoded:

Calico bass = crappie (Poxomis spp.);
Strawberry bass = a type of grouper (Epinephalus? sp.);
Stumpknocker & shellcracker refer to redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) and/or related species;
Speck = brook trout (you know the name!)
Mackinaw = lake trout (know this one?)
Brim = ANY sunfish down south (Lepomis spp.)
Bee-liner = vermillion snapper ("they make a bee-line for the bait!")
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 25, 2019January 25th, 2019, 4:50 am EST
Jonathon-

And I've heard- and used, as well- 'Specks' for Black Crappies (maybe they are sort of calico?) and just plain ol' 'Brookie' for Salvelinus Fontinalis...if I were to call a Brook Trout a Speck in front of some of my fishing buddies I just might get a funny look or told to get corrective lenses.

This whole moniker thing gives an interesting slant on the saying 'What's in a name', doesn't it!

Cold, cold, and colder for the next week or so- NWS is shooting for single-digit highs (and a high of 0 degrees next Wednesday) before things might bottom out and head for Spring?

Crippled Emergers are coming off the vise these past few weeks, that old 'what if' cranked up again.

tight lines if you head out on the ice, and stay warm!

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe



RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Jan 25, 2019January 25th, 2019, 7:18 am EST
I think the calico bass vs. crappie thing is the least of the issues surrounding this tasty fish. They really need to establish a committee of anglers to settle the "crappie" vs. "croppie" pronunciation matter. Over here in NW Pa., we say it correctly, that is, "crappie". But bear in mind that we also say "pop" for soft drinks and a "soda" is something you make with pop and ice cream. So, I can't really say we are anywhere near being the final, authoritative source on common names and pronunciations. The committee should of course, be denied access to beer until they reach a decision and have voted on it. Otherwise, it'll never get done...

I've never fished the sulfur on the Au Sable, but I fished it once on the Boardman and the same #16 80% pale yellow/20% medium tan blend bodied comparadun that worked in the Wisconsin Driftless and throughout most of Pennsylvania seemed to do ok on the Michigan fish. It's probably heresy, but in moving water in PA, I've probably caught as many sulfur feeding trout on #16 yellow Humpies as anything..:)
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jan 25, 2019January 25th, 2019, 1:51 pm EST
Yes, Lee. I grew up in Tennessee, and we called them "croppie." I'm sorry, but "crappie" sounds anything but appetizing to my Southern ear. I grew up calling all soft drinks "coke" which does potentially create some confusion as well. As for the yellow Humpies, I just may have to give that a try. Hope you're staying warm and dry. Or catching some steelhead.

P.S. I'd second Mike's recommendation about Ann Miller's book. Spence brought some copies to the PA boys (as he likes to call us) one spring, and I treasure my copy.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jan 26, 2019January 26th, 2019, 3:49 am EST
"...we also say "pop" for soft drinks..." Like Faygo RedPop!

In Germany, "lemonade" = soft drinks (not pronounced the same!), and in many other parts of the world a "coke" can be any soft drink.

"You say tomato, I say tom-AH-to..."

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Jan 26, 2019January 26th, 2019, 4:07 am EST
Very good, fellas...

When I was living off and on in Charlotte for work in the 80's, the wait staff in restaurants were always wandering around with these pitchers of amber liquid and going up to each table and saying something that sounded like "Mo-Tee?". With my hearing issues and having never spent much time in the South and having never lived in an iced tea dominant culture, it took me a while to figure out what they were up to. There couldn't be that many regular customers named "Morty".


Sometimes I'm not all that quick on the uptake... Oh well, vive le difference!

Only 6 weeks or so until the pike will be in and spawning in a foot of water in Presque Isle Bay. Time to tie some more 4/0 Red/White Seaducers!
Brian314
Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jul 7, 2019July 7th, 2019, 3:04 am EDT
Yea, I finally got that book on my birthday - what a treasure !!! Would love to meet her on the stream sometime and chat :-)
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jul 18, 2019July 18th, 2019, 1:20 pm EDT
Louis. Nice! And here I thought Ann’s book was gathering dust on your bookshelf.

Seems like yesterday you gracious Pennsylvania Boys showed me around some of your historic streams. I’ll never forget it! Thank you!

Sulphers. Don’t get me started. 😉 we do have “yellow” bugs here in Michigan. Mr Neal hardly notices anything smaller than a size 10 since he’s a Grayling Boy through and through. Size 10 Roberts Yellow Drake and call it a day. 😉

It’s good to be remembered.

Spence

"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

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