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Blog > Fly Fishing > Getting Started > Fly Fishing Getting Started - Mayfly Sex Identification 102

Fly Fishing Getting Started - Mayfly Sex Identification 102

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 06/01/2021 (71926 reads)
Green Drake

Recently going through my mayfly photographs I found a nice set of pictures from the Paflyfish Spring Jam in 2010. The Green Drake (Ephemera guttulata ) hatch was in full swing that year and photographs of these mayflies were easy and plentiful. Most of the weekend was overcast and rain as normally forecasted for the Spring Jam. Emergers (subimago) and spinners (imago) were not so much active during the day but lined the sides of the streams in the hundreds of thousands. I am always torn between fishing and photography on days like this but glad to put down my fly rod for a while and captured a lot of great shots.

With so many mayflies and photos, it was easy to get so nice shots of the Green Drake spinners, which are referred to as Coffin Flies because of their white extended body. I wanted to demonstrate the differences between spinner (imago) male and female. These two Coffin Flies attached show these differences. Most notably the male has longer extended forelegs and claspers at the rear of the body. Females as seen do not have these body characteristics.

Male (left photo)
Long forelegs
Rear claspers or forceps at the rear of the body
Eyes on a male tend to be larger

Female (right photo)
Short foreleg
Forceps do not exist
Smaller flatter eyes

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Author Thread
Published: 2012/4/23 10:29  Updated: 2012/4/23 11:12
Joined: 09/21/2006
From: Pittsburgh
Comments: 1911
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - The Mayfly Sex Identifi...
I'll also add that the males are overall, noticeably smaller than the females.
Often, when the hatch is just beginning - the males are the first to emerge. And a smaller pattern is required to match the hatch then

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