The Fly Fisherman’s Best Friend
When it comes to talking about insects, some people will scrunch their nose and look a bit disgusted (while searching quickly around the area with the thought that some type of arachnid or perhaps cockroach is near them ready to attack). But others will light up when insects are spoken about, and not just the ones who are interested in that area of science. Fly fisherman actually devote time and energy to following an insect; one that has a truly sad story.
The mayfly does not bite, nor does it sting. They are not the ones that ever cause people to jump in their seats. When it comes to defending themselves, they literally can’t. The Mayfly has no mouth…so they aren’t even able to eat. How on earth can that be a fact? Well…that answer goes back to the somewhat sad life they live. You see, a mayfly (AKA: shadfly), literally has not much more than a day in this world after they become adults and rise from water to air. Once winged, they usually find themselves heading into the great beyond pretty fast.
Mayflies are truly an ancient insect. Their evolution, say scientists, put them as a creature that has been frequenting rivers and streams for well over 250 million years…not bad for a little guy whose own lifespan is merely hours or days.
The mayfly is an aquatic insect first. Referred to as a nymph, the creature usually lasts one year in fresh water. The adult, however, can count on enjoying a few minutes up to a few days…if they’re part of a luckier species of mayfly. And when it comes to species, there are a great many. 2,500 have been cited across the globe, with over 600 being Americans.
The nymphs fill fresh water, living under everything from rocks to sediment attempting to avoid their own archenemies – and there is one species known to the planet who truly devote their time and energy to tracking the mayfly. That species is: the anglers (AKA: Mankind). It is a fact that fly fishers are drawn to areas that the mayfly inhabits, considering that mayflies are the most important insect when it comes to being ‘dinner’ for the prey anglers are searching for. 50% of the trout’s meal plan come in the form of mayfly-rich waters. Which makes specific streams and lakes the ‘must-see’ places for the fly fishing expert.
Henry’s Fork is a well-known area in the western U.S., the Green Drakes there are literally filled aplenty with nymphs, making a rich, plentiful buffet of trout for all who wish to catch them. Not to mention, lures created in the ‘mayfly mold’ are also best-sellers in the angler world; it is perfect for luring in dinner because the trout always fall for the ‘fake-out’.
Mayflies also aren’t choosy when it comes to the structure of the water they choose. In other words, from rough and ready streams to calm, peaceful ponds, the mayfly can be found anywhere. They thrive in fact. When the eggs are laid on the surface, the eggs sink down to the depths of the water and end up hatching anywhere from a few minutes to a few months later, depending on the weather outside. Once they hatch, the nymph begin to hunt for their own food and begin to grow. The creatures are a bit odd looking considering they have 3 tails, external abdominal gills, and a single claw located at the end of each leg. And when they get close to maturity, wing pads spring forth – ready to take them into the air and…basically, into death.
It is this complete metamorphosis – much like the caterpillar into the butterfly – that create the adult mayflies. Unfortunately, if they were perhaps just a tad bit brighter and decided to call the water home, their lifespan could be a little longer.
…Of course, add the trout into the mix, and mayflies may just be the most unlucky species on the planet. But most definitely a fly fisherman’s best friend!
Original Source: Visit Trekin Gear Today