Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Westside rivers might not have "trout" (under 12" that is) but resident fish have been witness to some hatches the past weeks. While salmon fry may offer the most bang for the buck, those elusive resident westsiders also made hay on the local insects. For trout, spending time in the salt doesn't make em dumb, just real big. Just for kicks- here's a photo of an early season westside mayfly, can anyone ID?: http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=393

(pending approval of photo upload)
 

· Just an Old Man
Joined
·
35,201 Posts
I used to know it all---but now I forgot it all.

American March Brown. That looks like the fly that I was asking about and got a answer from crockett. It is coming off all the local lakes whenever the sun comes out. I did wonders on Lake 16 last friday with a fly that looked like that. Except my fly has a gray body. And now that the sun is shining I think I will go back to Lake 16.

Jim
 

· Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I never have professed to be any expert but it looks like Blue-winged Olive to me.


Greg

"In our family, there is no clear
line between religion and fly
fishing" Norman Maclean
 

· Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
Since in the key words it says March Brown.... I'm going with March Brown! Is that cheating?? :p
 

· Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
I think Greg is right...the bug in the picture is probably some bwo, given the wing color and small size.

I have witnessed a large (12-14) light tan midge hatch in a westside lake recently. The bugs are orange immediately after escaping from their pupal shuck, but quickly turn to tan when exposed to air. I wonder if that is what Jim's fly was taken as?? Haven't seen any mayflies on my lake.

-Crock
 

· Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
I am pretty confident that is not a march brown (small size and light wing color are the clues for me) but in fact a baetis/bwo of some kind. The time of day and weather would be additional clues if you have them.

Circlespey
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Photo was mid-April, but these same may's had been hatching for 3/4 weeks on the Skagit and Sauk. Weather: 45, overcast and rain. Hatch started around 11:00 and was still going strong at 4:00. Emerged flies seemed to sit quite still on the surface film.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Most certainly a BWO, looks nothing like a March Brown.

The March Brown's that we have on the west coast are very different than the East coast bugs. They are considered the Western March Brown. The easiest identification feature of a March Brown is the mottled wing, similar to a Calibaetis wing. Most Western March Browns are larger, in a size 12 or 14, and are a darker brown than the eastern version. If you check out http://www.worleybuggerflyco.com/ under Aquatic Insects you'll see an excellent photo of a March Brown.

Shane Stalcup has an excellent book entitled Mayflies: From Top to Bottom. Check it out...

worldanglr
http://www.worldanglr.com/

Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Actually I believe our western march brown is smaller than the american march brown. The two aren't even closely related if memory serves (different genus?). I don't see much mottling on the wings here, that's for sure.

To confuse the matter further: I see two tails in the photo (mb), not three (bwo)... Hmmm...

http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/data/514/100349westside_may.jpg
 

· Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
I can't profess to the exact size of the eastern March Brown, as I've only fished it a few times, but the Western March Brown is generally a size 12-14. It's irrelevant anyway, as you pointed out, they are two different species. The Western March Brown, Latin name Rhithrogena (Morrissoni is the subspecies found on the Yakima River), has three tails according to the sources I could find. "Rhithrogena Western March Browns have 3 tails. Gills on belly side shaped into suction disc. Slight notch on front of head. Body length 5-12mm." (http://home.earthlink.net/~troutbugs/html/insect_identification.html)

The term BWO or Blue Wing Olive, encompasses a massive variance of subspecies of Baetis all lumped together. I'm not sure what it's like here in Washington, but the state of Wisconsin has 17 identified subspecies lumped under the term BWO, ranging from a size 24 to a 18. I've fished the BWO hatch across the US, and have seen many different types, I've even seen two different subspecies hatching at once. On the South Platte River one day it took me four hours to figure out that the fish were keying on the size 22 Baetis with a black head, not the size 18 Baetis I saw most prevelent on the water. By then, of course, the hatch was over.

To quote Al Caucci, a recognized expert on Mayflies, "The tiny blue-winged olive duns of Pseudo-cloeon are easy to recognize in spite of their small sizes. They have no hind wings and only two tails..." Also, to quote another website, "Baetis - Blue-Winged Olive. Antennae long, 2 or more times longer than width of head. Some species have 2 tails. Plate-like gills on abdominal segments 1-7. Body length 3-12mm." (citing, http://home.earthlink.net/~troutbugs/html/insect_identification.html)

This bug has none of the identifying features of a Western March Brown, three tails and a mottled wing, and has all of the indentifying features of Baetis, two tails, blueish-green body, no hind wing, and a dun colored fore-wing.

worldanglr
http://www.worldanglr.com/

Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,911 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dang bugs! At least we're not the only people confused. The Worley Bugger site ID's BWO's as having three tails: "Blue Wing Olives are a three-tailed mayfly with a brownish-olive body and light dun wings, hence the name Blue Wing Olive." and March Brown as two tailed (I'm pretty sure of the two tailed march brown, at least the western version as I also read this in some recent fly mag). I can't vouch for the purity of color in the photo, my recollection is of a grey/brown color on the body. Didn't note any wing mottling.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Bloody et-o-no-mology! The Worley Bugger has a good ID site, but I think the key is that there are hundreds of subspecies of Baetis, some have two tails and some have three. The subspecies Psuedo-cleon, as Al Caucci said, has two tails. I'd tend to trust his opinion, seeing as he is a published author of a book on mayfly etonomology, over the Worley Bugger website. However, you might note that all the photos on the Worley Bugger website of March Browns have mottled wings. There is a similar bug, the Brown Drake, that does not have mottled wings, but the mottled wings are the easiest identification of the March Brown bug.

http://www.worleybuggerflyco.com/insectidentifa/march_browns.htm

worldanglr
http://www.worldanglr.com/

Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top