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Western Gordon Quills

Like most common names, "Western Gordon Quill" can refer to more than one taxon. They're previewed below, along with 7 specimens. For more detail click through to the scientific names.

Mayfly Genus Epeorus

These are sometimes called Western Gordon Quills.
There is remarkable variety of form and color within this prolific genus of fast-water mayflies. Different species are found across the country, and several cause good hatches. Fly anglers are likely to encounter the lesser species on occasion, too.

The best Epeorus hatch in the East is Epeorus pleuralis, the famous Quill Gordon, the first abundant large mayfly hatch of the year. Epeorus vitreus comes a little later and is important in both the East and Midwest.

In the West, Epeorus longimanus dominates in fast, high-altitude streams, while Epeorus albertae inhabits slower and lower waters.
Epeorus (Little Maryatts) Mayfly NymphEpeorus (Little Maryatts) Mayfly Nymph View 9 Pictures
Collected May 6, 2007 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on May 18, 2007
Male Epeorus pleuralis (Quill Gordon) Mayfly DunMale Epeorus pleuralis (Quill Gordon) Mayfly Dun View 9 PicturesI kept this specimen after photographing it and it molted into a spinner in perfect condition, which I photographed here.
Collected April 30, 2007 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on May 3, 2007
Male Epeorus pleuralis (Quill Gordon) Mayfly SpinnerMale Epeorus pleuralis (Quill Gordon) Mayfly Spinner View 10 PicturesI spent (Spent: The wing position of many aquatic insects when they fall on the water after mating. The wings of both sides lay flat on the water. The word may be used to describe insects with their wings in that position, as well as the position itself.) most of the day looking for Epeorus pluralis duns or spinners without any luck on the major Catskill rivers. Finally in the evening I arrived at a small stream somebody had recommended, and when I got out of the car I was happy to find that I had parked in the middle of a cloud of male spinners.
Collected April 19, 2006 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on April 22, 2006

Mayfly Species Rhithrogena futilis

These are sometimes called Western Gordon Quills.
This uncommon and slightly larger species hatches earlier than Rhithrogena hageni, but otherwise is virtually indistinguishable.

Mayfly Species Epeorus albertae

These are very rarely called Western Gordon Quills.
This is one of the two most common Western species of Epeorus, and its spinner falls can be important.
Female Epeorus albertae (Pink Lady) Mayfly DunFemale Epeorus albertae (Pink Lady) Mayfly Dun View 7 Pictures
Collected July 11, 2017 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on July 12, 2017
Male Epeorus albertae (Pink Lady) Mayfly SpinnerMale Epeorus albertae (Pink Lady) Mayfly Spinner View 14 Pictures
Collected July 11, 2017 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on July 12, 2017

Mayfly Species Epeorus longimanus

These are very rarely called Western Gordon Quills.
Epeorus longimanus and Epeorus albertae are the two most common Epeorus species in the West.
Epeorus longimanus (Slate Brown Dun) Mayfly NymphEpeorus longimanus (Slate Brown Dun) Mayfly Nymph View 2 Pictures
Collected June 24, 2005 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on June 27, 2011
Female Epeorus longimanus (Slate Brown Dun) Mayfly SpinnerFemale Epeorus longimanus (Slate Brown Dun) Mayfly Spinner View 1 PicturesI associated this female with a male I collected one night later. For a great and informative discussion of all Epeorus species and other mayflies be sure and read, WESTERN MAYFLY HATCHES by R. Hafele and D. Hughes. They rate all of the western mayflies and they rate the hatch of this genus a 25 out of a possible 45 points based on several rating criterion. They provide insect photos, possible fly patterns and fly presentations. This is a great book.
Collected July 24, 2011 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on July 25, 2011
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