Most anglers encounter these large mayflies every Spring in the East and Midwest. They are omnipresent in small portions, providing filler action in the days or hours between the prolific hatches of the early season Ephemerella flies.
See the main Leptophlebia page for details about their nymphs, hatching, and egg-laying behavior. This is by far the most important species of that genus.
Where & When
Regions: East, Midwest, West
Time Of Year (?): Late April through May in the East; late May through June in the West
Preferred Waters: Both rivers and lakes
Leptophlebia cupida is most important in the East and Midwest. Its range was expanded into the West when a Western species called Leptophlebia gravastella was discovered to be a synonym (Synonym: A former name of a taxon, usually a species. Entomologists frequently discover that two insects originally described as different species are one in the same, and they drop one of the names. The dropped name is said to be a synonym of the remaining name. These changes take a while to trickle into the common knowledge of anglers; for example, Baetis vagans is now a synonym of Baetis tricaudatus.) of cupida. There are fishable hatches on select rivers in both the East and the Midwest.
Very sporadic stragglers may emerge throughout the rest of the summer, but they are not important to trout.
Pictures of 17 Mayfly Specimens in the Species Leptophlebia cupida:
This is one of the species that seem to be prevalent in our area of southwest NC. It emerges in March as I recall and again in October on certain streams. I would like to confirm that this next season.
You must log in at the top of the page to post. If you haven't registered yet, it's this easy:
Dun: Mayflies have two adult stages. They first emerge from the water as duns (scientifically known as the subimago stage). They then molt into the spinner (imago) stage, in which they mate and die. Sometimes the word "dun" is confusingly used to refer to a brownish gray color in fly tying materials.
Molting: When aquatic insects with hard exoskeletons (like mayfly and stonefly nymphs) grow bigger, their exoskeleton does not grow with them. Instead they grow a new, larger one underneath and shed the old one when it's too small. This process is called molting.
Nymphs: The juvenile, underwater stages of mayflies, stoneflies, dragonflies, and damselflies and other aquatic insects whose juvenile stages are covered by hard exoskeletons. The word can also refer to the fishing flies which imitate these creatures, in which case it is used as a blanket term for flies imitating any underwater stage of an invertebrate (except for crayfish and leeches).
Spinner: There are two winged stages of adult mayflies. They emerge from the water as duns, molt on land (usually) into their fully mature stage, spinners. As spinners, they mate, lay eggs, and die.
Synonym: A former name of a taxon, usually a species. Entomologists frequently discover that two insects originally described as different species are one in the same, and they drop one of the names. The dropped name is said to be a synonym of the remaining name. These changes take a while to trickle into the common knowledge of anglers; for example, Baetis vagans is now a synonym of Baetis tricaudatus.