Big Mayfly on the Yakima

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#1
I fished the Yakima low in the canyon yesterday. I showed up at 10:00 with a nymph tied on, but the PMDs were already flying. What time does that hatch get started? It was a pretty good hatch and lasted to 2:00 PM, but the fish were pretty much ignoring them and my copies. Later in the afternoon, the action picked up on caddis dries.

Every now and then midday, I'd see a great big mayfly flutter by. They were bigger than a March Brown at a size 10 at least, probably a #8. A little smaller than a Hexagenia and not as yellow. More slender than a green drake. Brown and tan with a little cream rather than that dark olive body with a little yellow on a GD. The birds were very interested in them. Are they brown drakes?
 
#2
A week or so ago I had the chance to fish the Upper Yak around Cle Elum. We didn't catch anything except this little guy. I think it is a yellow stonefly but I am not quite sure. It was really amazing to watch it emerge on my leg. I think he latched on while I was wading in an eddy.
Is there any chance these bugs could be the same?
Cheers.
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#4
Not the same bug. I heard on the river bank that there were yellow sallies about, but I didn't believe the guy. I thought it was way too early for YSs. I thought he was calling all the PMDs yellow sallies.

The Yellow Sally hatch is real important in the upper canyon in the summer.
 
#5
I'd bet on Green Drake, but I'm no entomologist. In my limited experience, they aren't always so green, especially if they were spinners, which I think are more brown and more slender in the body.
 

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
#6
I would guess it is a slate drake. They hatch sporadically across the country from may until october and are the size/color you described.
 

Yakfish

Dad, Angler, Guide
#8
Paul,
We too have been hitting PMD hatches. Last Friday it was epic with fish up for mayflies from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm. That was fun! The hatch has been the heaviest at around 1 or 2 pm.

I've been seeing the large yellow mayflies too. I've always called them yellow mays. A size 10 or 12 imitates them. I snapped a picture of one the other day. The other picture is of a pmd that wanted a bite of my lunch. They're usually around in June. June is also when we see our first appearances of the yellow sally's. It's not a major hatch, but an imitation will get hit. Let's go fishin, David
 
#10
No Brown Drakes in the Yakima, they are a burrower and prefer mud or fine sand. My guess is Epeorus(Yellow Quill), a clinger May that has pretty good numbers in the Yakima and looks pretty big when surrounded by PMDs and BWOs.
....ummm to clarify this is regarding the big yellow may, not the yellow sally.
 
#11
A week or so ago I had the chance to fish the Upper Yak around Cle Elum. We didn't catch anything except this little guy. I think it is a yellow stonefly but I am not quite sure. It was really amazing to watch it emerge on my leg. I think he latched on while I was wading in an eddy.
Is there any chance these bugs could be the same?
Cheers.
100% Yellow Sally Stone !!!!!:ray1:
 

Toney

My other car is a fly rod.
#12
i'm guessing a stone fly, too. They are more likely to emerge out of the water, on someone's leg, for example. Flies are weird this year. The timing seems way off. But then again, I could be all wrong. I'm no entomologist.

Cheers,
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#13
There's this other site which will remain unmentioned that has pictures on Green Drakes and they look too dark and fat. But this other site doesn't have a picture of brown drakes. I've read they are burrowers but I was pretty close to the Roza Reservoir. Epeorus is what that guy across the river said they were, but those have such a bright yellow wing and body. It wasn't like either of Dreamer's pictures. Hey, I have a "Hatch Guide for Western Streams" right here. I still think they were Brown Drakes.
 

Taxon

Moderator
Staff member
#14
Paul-

I believe the greatest likelihood is Brown Dun (Ameletus). A good photo of an Ameletus dun appears on page 74 of Western Mayfly Hatches by Rick Hafele and Dave Hughes, which in my opinion, is a the best reference for western mayflies.
 
#15
The only reason any of us respond to these threads about insect identification is to give Roger time to see the thread and inform us before it cycles off the front page! Thanks again, Roger.
Dick
 

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