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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.

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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Barbaube's profile picture

Posts: 9
Barbaube on Jan 27, 2020January 27th, 2020, 7:26 am EST

I live and fish in France in an area where intensive agriculture is practiced heavily, as in most places in Western Europe. A recent study from Radboud University in the Netherlands has shown that in only 10 years, insect numbers have declined in Western Europe as far as 80% in some cases. According to them, the biggest culprits are pesticides, which makes sense since pesticides are made to kill insects.

I agree with their observations. I haven't seen a real hatch in my local river, ever. Just a few bugs flying around. But every old fisherman I meet that fished the same spot 40 years ago tell me how great the hatches were and how insects slowly disappeared. Some pesticides have already been banned in the European Union. I think it is a smart thing to do. I believe all synthetic pesticides should be prohibited, and organic agriculture encouraged.

Do you have similar problems in the US? Have you noticed a drop in insect activity in your streams? What's your view on Organic agriculture, pesticides, etc. Let me know, I am curious!


Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 2, 2020February 2nd, 2020, 1:12 am EST
I fully agree, but doubt there will be complete bans on pesticides. Right now I am very troubled that Trump is getting rid of all the protections on streams he can, promoting pollution that threatens not only insects, but fish, and humans. It will take a change in administration to put my fears about this to rest. Many factors seem to affect hatches, including temperature. Climate change is yet another threat. I've seen declines in some hatches, and in fish populations on one of my favorite streams. Others don't seem to be as affected, and on one a favorite caddis hatch seems to be increasing, or at least moving upstream. There are too many variables for me to be able to make any claims with certainty, but I believe we need to reduce synthetic chemicals of all types, if possible. We know some are harmful, and others we don't understand as well may be even worse in the long run. Better safe than sorry the old saying goes. I agree.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Barbaube's profile picture

Posts: 9
Barbaube on Feb 18, 2020February 18th, 2020, 4:56 am EST
Better safe than sorry, you said it @Martinlf! I had the chance to fish Colorado, Oregon, and Washington 3 years ago. The landscapes and the quality of the fishing left me in awe. American nature is a real treasure. That's a shame some politicians don't realize it. Anyway, let's stay positive and good luck!

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