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> > Ameletus?

RedactedFebruary 14th, 2011, 9:07 am
Posts: 5Bitterroot River near Missoula, Montana. Late March emergence.
PaulRobertsFebruary 14th, 2011, 11:21 am

Posts: 1776
That early? Very cool.
RedactedFebruary 15th, 2011, 11:14 am
Posts: 5Paul,
Ment to put up a photo for people to ID, but for some reason can't get it to work before the post floats away.

Anyway, yes, this early mayfly provides some of the very best fishing of the season. It is big enough (well matched with a #14 although it looks larger floating on the surface) and numerous enough to move the fish to a frenzy sometimes.It generally follows the famous Skwalla emergence, although there is considerable overlap. Once runoff starts in ernest, though, the fun is over.

An article I wrote for Tom Chandler's blog last spring has pictures of Skwallas copulating (note the atrophied wings of the male) and a really nifty picture of the mayfly in question.

Just do a search for "Sully" and look for that post to see those pictures since I'm too stupid to figure out how to do it directly.

PaulRobertsFebruary 15th, 2011, 12:02 pm

Posts: 1776
Put your images in a host site, like Photobucket, and then copy it in.

Use the
(User tried to post an image here without an source.)
format, but for this site you need to change the IMG to lower case -img.

changes to:

Why do you think it's Ameletus? It looks like a bright Rhithrogena morrisoni. Have you keyed it? Hind wing is large like Rhithro. And the abdomen appears pretty short, for Ameletus. Not certain of course, just wondering.

I do have an Ameletus dun photo in my collection, but it's a transparency. I tried to take a point-n-shoot of it, but the result was just lousy. It's an eastern species (ludens I think) and the stamp on the slide is April(!). They do have a long emergence period -like all summer. I guess I forgot how early they can start. It is a leaden gray throughout, including wing. Looks a lot like a slim Siphlonurus, and a lot like an Isonychia.

At least some western Ameletus have marked wings from what I've read, and I tried to photo one last summer, with marked wings -and almost succeeded! I was keeping my eyes open for them and had one land on my hat brim. Did look like a slim Rhithro. Will keep my eyes open in the future.
RedactedFebruary 16th, 2011, 9:44 am
Posts: 5Thanks Paul.
PaulRobertsFebruary 16th, 2011, 11:27 am

Posts: 1776
Another thing: Look at the width of the femur. That's Rhithrogena.
EntomanFebruary 16th, 2011, 12:11 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi Redacted,

Paul is right. They usually appear darker, but lighting in the photo could be the reason for that. Ameletus is a large swimmer whereas Rhithrogena is a clinger. Keys aside,the body and wing conformation is very different between the two (as are the fishing methods and flies required). Both share similar coloration and mottling (or lack of) and can be easily confused depending on the angle and quality of the photograph. But even without a photograph, the real clue is your mention of hatching in the early Spring. Skwalas and W. March Browns are two favorite hatches on one of my local rivers (mid FE through MA). The lack of precip. in JA and early FE was setting up a banner year! I was just getting geared up and now its starting to rain... Much higher levels and off color to flat out muddy if it goes on much longer! Supposed to be socked in all week which is dimming my hopes for this years Skwala/M. Brown tag team. Once the storm window opens out here it can last for weeks....(sigh) Check out my comments on Skwala, you might find them enteresting... BTW, great photo of the March Brown! Can you share some photos of the Skwala Adult/Nymphs from your river if you have them?

Best regards,

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman

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