Lenice bugs

#1
I'm curious about some bugs I saw on Lenice over the weekend. I do have some experience with aquatic entomology (2 courses as an undergrad and 1 graduate course), but I'm a little rusty from not actually using that in my professional career. Anyway I witnessed an explosion of small mayflies on Lenice that I would call Callibaetis from the look (with bifocal sunglasses or theyt would just be a fuzzy dot). They started after sundown and went right through when I couldn't see for crap. I scooped one up and it was very pale yellow, with almost opaque yellow/cream wings. Saw lots of spinners first thing in the morning so I assume they did their thing overnight. They were around an 18 as best as I could tell and I did pretty good with a 16 PED. Which wasn't a very good match but the fish didn't seem to care much. Also saw much larger Hexagenia (?) which sporadically hatched all morning and evening that the fish completely ignored (I never did get one in the net), and even a few caddis hatching. And of course a blanket of the usual microscopic chirons.

Also I tried to download Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) of the far western United States. Part 1: Washington from online but it links to Part 2: Oregon. Anybody have a copy of Washington?
 
#3
After 2 days I only saw duns right before dark so that fits. Also the size in one article I found is 22-26. So 18 was probably an overestimate. 20 is probably closer. Still too small for me to tie lol. To think I tied for trade in goodies to an upscale fly shop in the fabled PA spring creeks region when I was in my early 20s. I still have some of those, I wonder how the hell I did it, without a magnifier, light, or any other help.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#4
After 2 days I only saw duns right before dark so that fits. Also the size in one article I found is 22-26. So 18 was probably an overestimate. 20 is probably closer. Still too small for me to tie lol. To think I tied for trade in goodies to an upscale fly shop in the fabled PA spring creeks region when I was in my early 20s. I still have some of those, I wonder how the hell I did it, without a magnifier, light, or any other help.
No wonder your eyes went to hell.:eek::eek:
 

Taxon

Moderator
Staff member
#6
By "Those guys" were you referring to M. D. Meyer and W. P. McCafferty , or were you referring to Caenis?

If it was M. D. Meyer and W. P. McCafferty, their scientific paper was largely a review and validation of work done by other taxonomists, most of which was related to stream water quality.

If it was Caenis, quite surprising (at least to me), based on a biotic survey of 1243 representative lakes and reservoirs throughout the US, coordinated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Caenis constituted by far the largest percentage of mayflies found.
 
#7
Yes the paper. I have 2 of McCafferty's books, the text book which was more or less the bible of aquatic entomology courses in universities at least through the mid 80s. Along with Merrit and Cummins of course. And the Fisherman's guide...etc. which came out my freshman year of undergrad school. I learned the common lotic species in central PA near Penn State more or less by sight both for fishing and my senior thesis on biodiversity of fish and insects in the State College general area. He had a "thing" for Ephemeroptera too lol.
 

jamma

Active Member
#8
Yes the paper. I have 2 of McCafferty's books, the text book which was more or less the bible of aquatic entomology courses in universities at least through the mid 80s. Along with Merrit and Cummins of course. And the Fisherman's guide...etc. which came out my freshman year of undergrad school. I learned the common lotic species in central PA near Penn State more or less by sight both for fishing and my senior thesis on biodiversity of fish and insects in the State College general area. He had a "thing" for Ephemeroptera too lol.
Another superb reference book on the subject is "Mayflies" by Malcolm Knopp & Robert Cormier,one of few angler originated studies to be peer reviewed by a doctor of entomology.In it,he describes the Caenis hatch as difficult to fish,esp. when larger insects are present,but never underestimate what trout will key on.
 
#9
Another superb reference book on the subject is "Mayflies" by Malcolm Knopp & Robert Cormier,one of few angler originated studies to be peer reviewed by a doctor of entomology.In it,he describes the Caenis hatch as difficult to fish,esp. when larger insects are present,but never underestimate what trout will key on.
Will look that one up, thanks. If you saw those big pigs slurping down those mayflies every 3 feet you would have been impressed. I've only seen that a couple times, where they just poke their head out of the water and gulp, and those were brownies. There might not have been enough of the other bugs to interest them.
 

jamma

Active Member
#10
Will look that one up, thanks. If you saw those big pigs slurping down those mayflies every 3 feet you would have been impressed. I've only seen that a couple times, where they just poke their head out of the water and gulp, and those were brownies. There might not have been enough of the other bugs to interest them.
Agreed,a lot of my biggest fish have been caught on tiny flies.I speculate that, esp. in pressured waters,big fish tend to focus on smaller flies as fisherman think big fish like big flies and after a few encounters get wise. On one occasion,I saw a cruising fish doing just that and tossed a small Griffith's Gnat-style imitation about twenty feet in front of it's path and was soon into a rocket ship triploid.My largest RF fish was caught on a size 20 emerger after ignoring my size 16.
 
#11
They did seem to like smaller wet flies, went down to a 12 nymph/bugger cross that I dreamed up and a 10 black leech. I usually fish an 8, a 6 when the big boys are active to discourage the juveniles. I tried an 18 Griffith's Gnat, the closest I had. No dice. I think they had read the book :D
 

jamma

Active Member
#12
They did seem to like smaller wet flies, went down to a 12 nymph/bugger cross that I dreamed up and a 10 black leech. I usually fish an 8, a 6 when the big boys are active to discourage the juveniles. I tried an 18 Griffith's Gnat, the closest I had. No dice. I think they had read the book :D
Another good reference book is "Western Mayfly Hatches" by Rick Hafele and David Hughes.Rick specifically mentions that area of the state as good for that type of hatch and suggests that using a Trico imitation as a good match as color is not important under such low light conditions.I always carry a full mayfly and caddis box along with my stillwater flies because,well,you never know.