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> > Epic Mayfly emergence



WbranchJune 14th, 2015, 9:52 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2661
A friend of mine sent these pictures to me this morning of the phenomenal nocturnal mayfly emergence on the old Rte 30 bridge that goes from Wrightsville to Columbia, PA. To those from other areas this bridge crosses the Susquehanna River. About two years ago Columbia installed halogen light bulbs and retro black lantern shape lights about every 100 feet along the bridge.

It appears these larger mayflies are attracted to the bridge lights. I think they are either a Hexagenia or Ep simulans but I don't know for sure as I've never actually seen a live bug and to tell you the truth I wouldn't really know what they are anyway. I bet every fish in the river must be rising to these bugs.

Are these freshly emerged duns that died from the heat of the light before they could molt into spinners? Or are they spinners? I imagine that would be impossible to know unless you saw a couple of the bugs.



Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123June 14th, 2015, 10:46 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2492
Wow, that's INSANE!!! Looks like snow especially in the second photo but also a little bit in the first...oh yeah, fish ate well that night!

Well, that's a positive statement for water quality on that reach of the Susquehanna, a river I have heard has had it's share of problems with water quality, to the point of sexually deformed fish and visible lesions and dropping populations of once prolific smallies and etc...

Of course, now this begs the question of, are too many of these mayflies attracted to the lights, and so are dying on the roads and bridge and NOT successfully reproducing the RIVER?? But if it's that way all up and down the river, well I guess sometimes Mother Nature provides...

I've been in Hex hatches where you could hear the buzzing of the wings, there were so many of them in the air. And I've seen them silhouetted by the moon, with their gossamer wings light up like crystal...oh yeah, the Hex hatch is magic! Closest place for me is Cooke Pond for big fat smallies, and I'm told the occasional walleye...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchJune 14th, 2015, 10:54 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2661
I'm assuming that other areas of the river are getting similar emergences but are staying over the river. There is a new highway bridge no more than one half mile upriver with no lights on it. I drove across it this morning and there were no apparent dead mayflies to be seen.

I might go over there tomorrow night with a 3X leader and a couple big drakes and throw for awhile and see what happens.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnJune 15th, 2015, 1:48 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Eric sent me these pics over the weekend, Matt, and he has a couple close up pics and believes that they are, Hexagenia bilineata...Maybe he'll post them here.

I was up north in an area without a connection for my iphone so I just watched the vid today. Insane!

We here in Michigan seem to think we have a monopoly on Hex...Not so, eh?! I bet the smallies in the Susquehanna are stuffed and grinning ear-to-ear!

Our version is just around the corner here...I expect the Hex sirens to go off any minute!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TNEALJune 17th, 2015, 9:14 am
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
Spence,

They came off the pond behind the jail in Grayling on the night of the 14th.
OldredbarnJune 17th, 2015, 1:52 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Spence,

They came off the pond behind the jail in Grayling on the night of the 14th.


Tim...You weren't watching from inside were you...;)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123June 17th, 2015, 6:56 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2492
Guys, I was in Tawas City and East Tawas today, and didn't see any big flies on the buildings yet. But, it's any day now - the Bay is still cold though, surface temp maps of Lake Huron were showing mostly 40s and low 50s F today (http://www.coastwatch.msu.edu/huron/h2.html). Damned cold winter and cool spring haven't let things warm up much around here, though our flora and mosquitoes are right on time. The big flies also come off of Cooke Pond, that could happen any day now too.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
KennyBruinJune 17th, 2015, 11:59 pm
Posts: 3
You can see a close up of the PA mayflies in the "On 6/15 these mayflies" tread.
Jmd123June 20th, 2015, 5:12 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2492
Saw a few cast nymphal skins on Foote Pond yesterday...coming on soon around here!!!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RogueratJune 20th, 2015, 7:09 pm
Posts: 457
I found a Hex spinner on the steps to my office yesterday, crazy but this happens pretty much every year around this time. The closest thing to water is about 3 miles south, and that's more of a cesspool of a 'creek' and on the EPA and DNR hit-list as a severely polluted stream. Plaster Creek DOES have mud banks for most of its flow so I guess the flies call it home.

Sidebar, I'm hoping to head back to the Big Manistee Monday morning- I did some research on the Hodenpyle stretch and BIG streamers are the recommended means to tie into the big boys there. A dozen freshly whipped-up Zoo Cougars, a bunch of Heifer Groomers, and some generic sculpin patterns might get their attention.

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe

TKBJune 23rd, 2015, 1:16 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24
Just saw a smaller version of this tonight in the same area. Looked like ISO to me. Swarming around lightpoles at the Rest stop on the turnpike just east of the Susquehanna and just west of swatara creek.....
KonchuJune 23rd, 2015, 10:19 pm
Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 498
I was on the east side of Saginaw Bay last week, and we had decent numbers of Ephemera varia.
CrepuscularJune 24th, 2015, 9:57 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
I was on the east side of Saginaw Bay last week, and we had decent numbers of Ephemera varia.


Cool, I expect to see them here soon as well. if the creeks ever go down, we've had storms and everything is brown and raging. Ephemera varia has been a really heavy emergence here the last couple years, and no one is fishing it! I suppose I should post a photo of the Hexagenia bilineata from the bridge:

TKBJune 24th, 2015, 1:09 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24

MartinlfJune 24th, 2015, 9:33 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3075
Thanks, Eric. I've been wondering what they were. Great photo, as usual.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CrepuscularJune 25th, 2015, 9:23 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Thanks, Eric. I've been wondering what they were. Great photo, as usual.


Thanks Louis. It was killing me, I had to know what they were so I took a ride down there to check it out.pretty impressive, even a couple days later from when they closed the bridge.
CoreyJuly 7th, 2015, 7:55 pm
Tampa, Florida

Posts: 6
Thats amazing, like the first poster said, it looks like a snowy night!
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