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> > Emergence period of green drakes

This topic is about the Mayfly Species Ephemera guttulata

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. Read more...

There are 1 more specimens...

The Discussion

BeardiusAugust 1st, 2008, 11:16 am
Posts: 19Emergence periods for green drakes usually run for 7-10 days in most streams. However, there are streams in the east where emergence periods are prolonged by some of the nymphs being parasitized by Nanocladius and Epoicocladius midge larvae. In these streams, emergence may be prolonged to 21 days. Unparasitized nymphs emerge before parasitized nymphs, with each group showing separate peaks of emergence about a week apart. This is based upon my own research on green drake emergence in streams with these midge species.

My question here is this: does anybody know of streams that have this type of prolonged emergence (2-3 weeks) in NY, PA, MD, or WV?
WbranchAugust 3rd, 2008, 5:05 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Yes, the WB of the Delaware in NY has a prolonged emergence period not only for guttalata but for many mayflies. I will see Ep varia on the lower end of the WB by the third week of April and will see them still emerging near the reservoir by May 15 with a spinner fall the next week.

I often see Green Drakes emerging by my cabin on the lower WB by May 20 - 23 then when the hatch is over on the lower river I will see them in Deposit or the upper East Branch almost to the middle of June.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
BeardiusAugust 15th, 2008, 11:55 am
Posts: 19I'm talking about emergence periods at a specific location. Emergence will vary over the length of a stream depending upon the thermal regime differing over the length of a stream.
WbranchSeptember 30th, 2008, 1:05 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
"My question here is this: does anybody know of streams that have this type of prolonged emergence (2-3 weeks) in NY, PA, MD, or WV?"

The Green Drake emerges on all of the major Catskill rivers. The dun emergence seldom last a full week in a specific section of any of the riverss.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
BeardiusDecember 5th, 2008, 12:16 am
Posts: 19That fits with what I would expect for a stream that does NOT have these parasitic midges. If they were present, the emergence would last at least 2 weeks, with the first week seeing emergence of unparasitized mayflies, and the remainder being mayflies that had been parasitized.

Thanks for your comments.
BeardiusDecember 5th, 2008, 12:21 am
Posts: 19"To many afflicted Eastern fishermen, the 'Green Drake Hatch' is as irresistible and habit-forming as black jack, whiskey, or easy women."

I enjoy the Caucci and Nastasi description of their emergence. I also used it in my dissertation in describing this species. It used to be an exciting time of the year for me for many reasons.

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