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Drake 07-22-2003 09:18 AM

Mass Mayfly ID
Wasn't sure where to post this...

The Charles River runs 30 feet wide about 1/8 mile through the woods behind my house. At about this spot, the river makes its final decision to transition from intermittent freestone and ponded water to the slower bass water that we normally associate with the river. Over the course of a season I get to marvel at the prolific hatches of caddis and mayflies of many species that congregate around my outdoor lights and back deck.
This year, a particular mayfly has shown for the first time - at least the first time I've noticed it although it's somewhat hard to miss. When I first spied one from a distance about a week ago, I though "golden drake." This morning, I got a good look at one up close... only 2 tails. Now, I'm thinking "Hex." Somewhat lighter than normal, but there is usually some variation in coloring from water to water and it has clearly started the molting process.

Up until Bill Tapply's column in a recent issue of American Angler, I never considered the possibility of a Hex hatch in Massachusetts. Now I'm not so sure. Does anyone else have any experience with this?


BigDave 07-22-2003 09:35 AM

Bob - was it a big fly? We do have hex hatches here in MA. Mostly from muddy-bottomed waters. Now you just need to find the trout rising to them and you'll be in business :D

John Desjardins 07-22-2003 09:35 AM

Some stretches of the Squannacook are rumored to have a Hex hatch. I've never seen it though.

Drake 07-22-2003 10:06 AM

BigDave, it was a good size. As I look at the ruler in front of me, I'd say about 2 1/2" head to tips of tails. If I can find another one I'll get a more accurate measurement.

Drake 07-22-2003 09:37 PM

Not a bad guess on my part... just measured one at 2 3/8 " not accounting for the curvature of the tails. Fore and hind wings are the same color of yellow, almost with a flourescent or neon quality. Body and legs are pale yellow, light brown/olive back markings. I'm guessing it's a Hex.

FishHawk 07-23-2003 05:28 AM

Yes that is a Yellow Drake it is also found in the nearby river that runs through Upton. I have forgotten the name of the river but I want to say the West River. Boy do I have to get back to trout fishing. Focusing too much on the salt. FishHawk:D

jcc_00 07-23-2003 11:57 AM

possible Hex

I'm on the Charles too, near Franklin. Can you get a picture up on your post so I can see what you are talking about? Can't believe I 've missed something that big after fishing locally for several decades

Drake 07-24-2003 06:57 AM

re: possible hex
JCC, we grow our bugs a lot bigger over here in Medfield :) Don't have much photo capability for a close up of a mayfly, but if I find another, I'll give it a try. If you have access to the book "Mayflies" by Knopp and Cormier, there is a picture of one on the front just jacket. It's the twin sister of the female Hex on the right of the photo, but a bit lighter in color which I'm guessing may be due to regional differences and the fact that the duns I've seen are clearly starting to molt into spinners. Not exactly what I'd call a "superhatch"... I've seen 3 of them to date. With all this rain and humidity, they may be down. If it clears, I may head down to the Forest Street bridge (the Medfield/Millis line) to get a good look and see if any bass are up and chasing them....


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