Western May Flies by Hughes and Hafele

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Entomology' started by zen leecher aka bill w, May 3, 2016.

  1. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    I fished a mountain stream that had Gray Drakes in it. Nice big fly and easy to tie for the dexteriously impaired. For a while I thought I was fishing emerging duns but later switched that thought to egg laying spinners.

    Swim... crawl.... what's the difference if it's on the bottom of the stream.
     
  2. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I've never really done all that well with a Green Drake pattern. The Met is known for the Green Drake hatches but for some reason, neither the GD nymph or dry have worked for me on the Met.

    However, I have done quite well with a Grey Drake dry on the Lamar in YNP.
     
  3. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Unlike the gray drake, the green drake (Drunella grandis) does not swim ashore to emerge, it does however move from the fast waters where it normally lives (the nymph is a crawler, well-adapted to clinging to smooth rocks in fast water) to slower waters (usually closer to the shoreline) before swimming or floating to the surface. Many of our coastal streams have good populations of lesser green drakes mostly represented by Drunella flavilinia ("flav"). As large as 14 or even 12, these mayflies can emerge in moderately fast, deep water from August into October.

    DSCF0094.JPG

    I imitate it with a parachute dun or a Quigley-style cripple, using an olive-dyed biot for the body, which I think gives a pretty good impression of the olive and yellow segmentation of the natural.

    IMG_0675.JPG
     

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    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  4. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    Hmmm...wonder if they "swim" on dry rocks too???
    Of course they "crawl". :p:D
    I was on the NU last Sept. and seen Grey Drakes shucks all over the rocks...they are a "big" morsel for a trout!!
     
  5. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Yes, gray drakes (Siphlonurus sp.) do crawl ashore to emerge (although some may emerge in extremely shallow water, usually only inches deep). For emergence they favor such shallow water with an abundance of grass, reeds and rocks which enable them to easily crawl out of the water prior to emerging from the nymphal shuck. Green drakes (Drunella sp.), on the other hand, can emerge either below or on the water's surface, swimming or floating to the surface to emerge. Although green drakes can spend most of their lives in relatively fast water (they are crawlers, well-adapted to moving across the smooth surface of stones) they also occur in quieter waters and they do crawl to quieter, nearshore waters, usually a foot or so deep, in order to begin the emergence process. This is true of the greater (D. grandis, D, doddsi) and the lesser (D. flavilinia, D. coloradensis, etc,) green drakes. All of the green drakes tend to float a long distance before being able to leave the surface; there also seem to be a large number of stillborn or crippled emergers, making emerger (like the Quigley Cripple) patterns very effective.
     
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  6. James St. Clair

    James St. Clair 509flies

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    Ameletus sp. (another mayfly) also crawls out of the water and emerge just above the water line. During a hatch you can see their shucks on rocks a few inches above the water line, similar to seeing stonefly shucks. Apparently, though, and I believe as noted in Hughes' and Hafele's book, they are rarely found near the water in the dun stage. I think they gave this hatch a low score because of this, as they seem to be mostly available as nymph's, less as spinners, and rarely as duns. We have a decent hatch on the Upper Yakima of these in late March and early April, and quite a few of our mountain creeks on the east side have them as well, although they usually hatch in May and June, when the water is high, the creeks are closed, or a combination of those two.
     
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