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Black Drakes

Like most common names, "Black Drake" can refer to more than one taxon. They're previewed below, along with 6 specimens. For more detail click through to the scientific names.

Mayfly Genus Siphlonurus

These are very rarely called Black Drakes.
The important Eastern species are Siphlonurus quebecensis, Siphlonurus alternatus, and to a lesser extent Siphlonurus rapidus. All may produce fishable spinner falls, often with more than one species in the same swarm, but these are generally localized and minor events compared to the classic superhatches.

The main Western species, Siphlonurus occidentalis, is much more valuable. Its importance in the West is often compared to that of Isonychia in the East.
Siphlonurus quebecensis (Gray Drake) Mayfly NymphSiphlonurus quebecensis (Gray Drake) Mayfly Nymph View 9 Pictures
Collected May 13, 2007 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on May 18, 2007
Female Siphlonurus quebecensis (Gray Drake) Mayfly DunFemale Siphlonurus quebecensis (Gray Drake) Mayfly Dun View 3 PicturesThis one hatched in my house after I brought some nymphs home to photograph.
Collected May 18, 2004 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on January 25, 2006
Male Siphlonurus quebecensis (Gray Drake) Mayfly SpinnerMale Siphlonurus quebecensis (Gray Drake) Mayfly Spinner View 10 Pictures
Collected June 2, 2005 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on May 24, 2006
Siphlonurus occidentalis (Gray Drake) Mayfly AdultSiphlonurus occidentalis (Gray Drake) Mayfly Adult View 2 PicturesThis species emerges very late in the fall often along with Siphlonurus autumnalis just before ice forms on edges of streams.
Collected November 30, 2006 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on June 28, 2011

Mayfly Species Ephemera guttulata

These are very rarely called Black Drakes.
Ephemera guttulata's size, numbers, and hatching characteristics have made it a favorite of fly fishermen since the sport first came to our waters. Caucci and Nastasi described the addiction in Hatches II:

"To many afflicted Eastern fishermen, the 'Green Drake Hatch' is as irresistable and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women."

It is on par with the Midwest's Hexagenia limbata hatch for its ability to lure huge piscivorous (Piscivorous: Anything which eats primarily fish is a piscivore.) brown trout to eat insects at the surface once a year. The special charm of the Green Drake hatch is that it often takes place during pleasant Spring afternoons. It can be challenging because the large flies are easy for trout to inspect in the daylight and they feed very selectively, especially late in the hatch.

The Green Drakes are on the decline due to environmental degradation.
Female Ephemera guttulata (Green Drake) Mayfly DunFemale Ephemera guttulata (Green Drake) Mayfly Dun View 16 PicturesIt's about time I got a green drake on this site!
Collected June 1, 2007 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on June 4, 2007
Male Ephemera guttulata (Green Drake) Mayfly SpinnerMale Ephemera guttulata (Green Drake) Mayfly Spinner View 12 PicturesThis spinner was the only member of its species I saw all night during an incredibly thick and tricky mixed hatch on Penn's Creek a few days before the real start of its famous green drake hatch.
Collected May 26, 2007 from in
Added to Troutnut.com by on June 4, 2007
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