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Pale Morning Duns
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Pale Morning Duns

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This name used to refer to two now defunct species, Ephemerella inermis and Ephemerella infrequens. The inermis mayflies were discovered to be the same species as Ephemerella excrucians and now they bear that scientific name. The infrequens species was recently reclassified as a subspecies (Subspecies: Entomologists sometimes further divide a species into distinct groups called subspecies, which have two lower-case words on the end of their scientific name instead of one. The latter is the sub-species name. For example, Maccaffertium mexicanum mexicanum and Maccaffertium mexicanum integrum are two different subspecies of Maccaffertium mexicanum.) of Ephemerella dorothea.

Anglers usually shorten the Pale Morning Dun hatch to the PMD hatch. The PMD is one of the top mayflies referenced in fly shops and hatch charts across the West, although they occur in the Midwest as well. Given this popularity, it is surprising that so many fly patterns meant to imitate PMDs, and so many fly tying materials (especially body materials) designed around them, are the wrong color: yellow. Every Ephemerella excrucians specimen I've sampled has been a pale green that couldn't even slightly be mistaken for yellow. The only place I've seen this reflected in imitations was in dubbing sold under René Harrop's name for the PMDs on the Henry's Fork, which has a proper greenish tint.

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