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SubmitterjesseMore Photos from jesse   CategoryGeneral Fly Fishing   Last Update2008/1/15 18:55
Hits2475 Comments3   10.000010.00 (9 votes)

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Author Thread
Published: 2008/1/20 17:27  Updated: 2008/1/20 17:27
Joined: 10/18/2006
From: Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Comments: 6547
 Re: fish9.jpg
What fly is this??

I have struggled with trying to identify the naturals in my early stages of fly fishing. I can identify a man made fly but not what the real ones look like. Any help with this problem?
Published: 2008/1/31 16:20  Updated: 2008/1/31 16:20
Joined: 09/09/2006
From: Dallastown, PA
Comments: 7537
 Re: fish9.jpg
March Brown.

Clues: Barred legs, two tails, mottled wings

From a strictly elementary standpoint. There are basically two families of mayflies covering the fishable spring hatches;

Stenonema (heptagenia) and ephermerella. Learn these first and when you cannot identify an insect, move on from there.

Heptagenia/ Steno's have barred legs, mottled wings. Flies include March Brown/grey fox, Cahills (lt, dk, pink, yellow, etc.) If its brown or grey its the march brown/grey fox. If it is light colored, its probably a cahill.

Heptagenia/Epeorus = Quill Gordon dk cream to lt brown body, slate wings, mottled legs and two tails

Ephermerellas = Hendricksons and Sulfurs; Sulfurs have cream to yellow monotone legs, cream to grey colored wings and cream to yellow to orange bodies. These flies come in sizes from 12 down to 20. Hendricksons are darker grey (male) with slate wings and light colored legs. No mottling. Two tails.

The big difference is lack of barred legs and mottled wings and of course color.

From here you move on to other families such as

Baetidae (baetis) or Blue winged olive (BWO) They typically have a non-mottled, slate grey wing (blue-winged) and greenish to grey body (olive). Legs and two tails are usually cream colored.

Isonychia - Slate Drake has a non mottled slate grey wing and darker grey body with two grey tails and light to cream legs.

It goes on and on from here with the Larger drakes and smaller tricos, blue quills and black quills.

For a good site to look at pictures check out

While I find the photography enjoyable, I think the "Effects" do not do the identification process of color justice.

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