This small and slightly noteworthy mayfly appears during the finest hours of the year. Ernest Schwiebert describes an Ephemerella needhami day in Matching the Hatch:
» Species needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson)
"It was a wonderul morning, with a sky of indescribable blue and big, clean-looking cumulus clouds, and the water was sparkling and alive. You have seen the water with that lively look; you have also seen it dead and uninviting in a way that dampens the enthusiasm the moment you wade out into the current."
I have not fished a needhami emergence, but the exquisite nymphs show up often (though never abundantly) in my samples. Where & When
Regions:There are reports of this species producing fishable hatches in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
East, MidwestTime Of Year (?):
Most authors say this hatch begins and peaks in late June and dwindles through most of July. However, in Mayflies: An Angler's Study of Trout Water Ephemeroptera , Knopp & Cormier list a different emergence date than other authors, stating that the hatch can begin in late May. I suspect this refers to the warmer climate of southern Pennsylvania, while others gave dates for the Catskills and Michigan.Hatching Behavior
Time Of Day (?):Knopp & Cormier report that the male and female duns are different colors and vary from stream to stream. Ernest Schwiebert in Nymphs Volume I: The Mayflies: The Major Species reports that they take off from the water quickly after emerging, meaning nymph and emerger patterns might be more appropriate than dun imitations.Spinner BehaviorTime Of Day: Evening
Habitat: Riffles and runs
Current Speed: Medium to FastThis species has an unusually strong affinity for aquatic vegetation. Many authors have noted this and it is consistent with my samples as well.
Substrate: Usually vegetation, occasionally elsewhere.
Pictures of 9 Mayfly Specimens in the Species Ephemerella needhami:
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