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> > Really cool mayfly nymph

Shawnny3May 21st, 2012, 3:02 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I collected a really cool mayfly nymph last night that I would have loved to have photographed. Alas, I had no camera and fumbled it into the stream while trying to find something to keep it in. It was black on its dorsal side except for a bright green stripe going from head to tail right down its back. It had bright green mottling on its legs and tail. I've never seen such a dramatic, colorful nymph in my life. Any ideas? I'll certainly post pics if I find another one like it.

Coincidentally, it was my first time out with my 9-year-old son on a decent sized stream. He was really excited, but we couldn't manage a fish for 2 hours in spite of obvious bug and fish activity. He showed great patience, thought, and he was rewarded when we hooked into and landed 4 nice browns just before leaving. He didn't hook any by himself because the water in that spot was too tough for him to wade, but it was fun to see him fighting a good fish in moving water. He did it like a champ, landing 4 out of 5. He also accomplished a pretty impressive feat when a 12-incher flipped out of his hands before he was ready to release it. He saw where it lay, slowly reached into the water, and barehanded the thing. After flashing me a big smile, he put it back into the water on his own terms.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
EntomanMay 21st, 2012, 3:33 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2416
Great story with your son, Shawn. Thanks for sharing. Such memories are the only things of lasting value.

As to the bug, there are a few ephemerellids (spiny crawlers), stoneflies, and isonychids (brush-legged swimmers) that are striped. Can you share anything regarding size and general confirmation of the critter? Stoneflies have double wincases, and generally slender abdomens always w/out gills and wiggle side to side. Ephemerellids are usually stockier with pronounced (thicker) thoraxes and single wingcases and wiggle up and down. The isonychiids will look torpedo or cigar shaped looking down at them and have short, fuzzy, banded (usually) tails and less substantial legs. They also wiggle up and down and swim very fast.
"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
Jmd123May 21st, 2012, 9:28 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 1653
Great story Shawn! Way to encourage catch and release. Wait until he hooks one all by himself, his smile will REALLY be big.

Sounds like an intriguing nymph. Lesson learned: ALWAYS bring your camera!!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Shawnny3May 21st, 2012, 11:18 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Funny you should say that, Jonathon, because my son begged me to bring his camera, and I told him not to because I was sure he'd soak it. As it was, he dropped his watch and flashlight in the water in two separate incidents (both recovered). We'll never know who was right about bringing it, but at least it is not right now destroyed.

I apologize for only being able to give a novice's description of the fly. It was clearly a mayfly. Of the photos on this site, its proportions looked most to me like an invaria nymph. The stream has pronounced sulfur, baetis, and trico hatches, but not much else in the way of mayflies. It was about a size 14. I have a mind to go back there and do some more substantial seining. Where there's one, there are probably more. If I find another, I'll definitely share some pics.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
MartinlfMay 21st, 2012, 11:20 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2236
Good work, Shawn. I'm sure he will never forget that day! Send my congratulations along.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EntomanMay 21st, 2012, 11:59 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2416
Shawn -

Sounds like you are describing Ephemerella needhami (Little Dark Hendrickson), though they are usually a little smaller than a 14.

Notice the nymph at 12 o'clock in the photo. The picture doesn't show it well, but it was described as having a fairly bright olive green stripe running down the middle... Could that be it?

"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
Shawnny3May 22nd, 2012, 6:58 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I'm very impressed, Kurt. I didn't even have to tell you how many flanges it had on its fourth distal wingpad, and I think you may have nailed it. The proportions, shape, and striping on the nymph in the photo are spot-on. Very cool.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
EntomanMay 22nd, 2012, 4:05 pm
Site Editor
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2416
I didn't even have to tell you how many flanges it had on its fourth distal wingpad...

Well, that level of detail does often make it easier for me... To be totally wrong! :)LOL
"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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