Monster Mayfly Hatch on Local Lake! Hex Limbata?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by Coho, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. My kids and I were tubing behind our boat on a local lake when we noticed a flock of birds in a feeding frenzy! We motored over for a closer look and saw them feeding on rather large yellowish flies. I assumed they were craneflies, but when I caught one was quite surprised to see it was the biggest mayfly I had ever seen.
    (There is a #16 Adams next to the fly for perspective sake.)

    It lived on our kitchen counter for the next week - and even moulted once to the kid's delight. They named it "Hexie" and were quite sad when it finally perished.

    Next year I will remember to take my flyrod when we are out tubing - there were a few huge takes on the big bugs when they were trying to lift off...

    Attached Files:

  2. That's a Hex!

    That looks to me to be the "Big Yellow" that results in feeding frenzies at dusk. Any hints on the location of this sighting?
  3. Coho-

    Looks to me like your house guest was indeed a Hexagenia limbata of the female persuasion, which (our course) would account for her good house manners.

  4. OK - I am quite curious and my taxonomy is a little rusty. How could you tell that Hexie was a female? (besides her impeccable table manners of course?)

    By the way, I need to give some glory to my wife. She indulged my kids and mine scientific curiousity and let us keep Hexie on our kitchen counter for a week. How many women do you know would allow a large yellow bug to live in the middle of their beautifully designed kitchen... :)
  5. So are you going to give us the name of this lake, or are you going to make us suffer? I thought Merril lake was the only wet side lake to have Hex's, and that can't be the one because you can't go tubing there.
  6. Coho-

    The major (easily visible without microscope) clues as to sex of a mayfly are lack of claspers on the posterior end of the abdomen and lack of enlarged compound eyes, which gives the head a somewhat flatter look.

    If you get a chance, take a look at the color plates in Hatches II, as they give you a chance to see male and female of the same species and life stage (subimago or imago) side-by-side.

  7. I'm really sorry to hear of the passing of Hexie and send my best to you and your family. While the death of a mayfly is always imminent, it is never easy to lose a best friend.

    Take care Hexie...and may your kin provide breakfast, lunch, or maybe dinner for my friend, the trout.

    bawling: bawling: bawling: bawling: bawling:

    XOXO - 1WT

    PS - Your wife is pretty cool to allow a mayfly to stay in the kitchen!
  8. Taken from Designing with Insects, Chapter 12, The Mayflies, pg 87

    "An insect of such ephemoral elegance can only enhance the most well chosen decor".

    And to think that some people just call em bugs. :rofl:

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