Damsels and Dragons

whether they’re screwing around whilst flying, planking on a blade of grass or sunbathing while shaking their butts, these gorgeous creatures not only bring out fantastic visions of fishing terrestrial imitations and their oft explosive takes but maybe more importantly, they’re reminders of nice summer days by the water and these memories are something to cherish and keep with us throughout the colder months.

thanks to great videographer Tbfxtcxzo for allowing us to relive these warm buggy moments all year.

biblical hexes

mayfly satelite July202014“A massive mayfly hatch on the Mississippi River in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area July 20, 2014, was described as a insect infestation of “biblical proportions” so intense that it made driving in the region difficult and even dangerous. Poor visibility and slippery roads (due to mayflies) were blamed for a three-vehicle accident on the Hwy. 63 bridge linking Red Wing and Hager City, Wisconsin, that left one person hospitalised.”

sure, this info has gone a bit viral lately. some have seen it and this is for those who haven’t. apart from the poor people hurt in the accident this is a magical moment to say the least.
click the gif for the full story by Ross Purnell at FlyFisherman

Sea Monkeys

ok, not really but this video sure reminds me of them.

“Most mayflies lay their eggs immediately after mating; the eggs then take anywhere from 10 days to many months to hatch. Cloeon cognatum is an exception. This species is ovoviviparous, which means that a mated female holds her eggs internally until embryonic development is complete (about 18 days), after which she lays them in water and they hatch immediately. This female was dropped onto the water surface moments before the video started.”
Video credit: David H. Funk

the magic starts to happen after a minute. enjoy !

should you not remember Sea Monkeys, you can find out about them here.

“Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky– So this winged hour is dropped to us from above. Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower, This close-companioned inarticulate hour When twofold silence was the song of love. “

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

more eye candy treats for us today, this time in the form of an exquisite documentary on our large-winged stillwater wonders: Dragonfly  by Andy Holt

‘cheese-eating midge

cheese-eating midge 4-3-13

at an estimated 4mm body length it wasn’t the easiest thing to get so close to the beast without it flying off and away but some encouraging words followed with promises of some fresher Gouda kept it a bay long enough to get a somewhat decent shot to be able observe this fish-food’s key elements to be later transposed to imitations of adult chironomids.
apart from getting proportionally slimmer, it’s interesting to note that the adult’s body stays basically the same as in it’s pupal stage.  the breathers, antennae and other leggy-wingy goodies are quite delicate and beautiful, transforming it from the Alieny thing below into a mini fairy. Midge Pupa - google images

related articles

pupa image via Google Images

StoneMonsters

Stonefly exoskeletons  (order: Plecoptera) found near a french Pyrenean river. it’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly but i believe them to be of the Leuctra ariega species even if they seem to be a bit too big for that particular bug.
whatever they are they’re beautiful and i know the trouts like them too…

stonemonsters

caddis art…

yet another display of an ‘artiste’s’ deviation of what is more than beautiful in it’s natural form, here destroyed by mindlessly adding ‘precious’ items in a fit of irresponsible ‘cleverness’ all the while further continuing the worship created around objects that, once the glitter is washed away are based on slavery, death and keeping poor people poorer.

this is not clever, pretty or interesting. this is worthless, tacky, conceptual trash and nothing more.

nature in it’s very uncalculated  manner produces beauty very well on it’s own and it is not a toy for the selfish to play with.
i’ll take my caddis cases ‘au naturel’, thank you…

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the images in the slideshow are from The Biofresh Cabinet of Freshwater Curiosities. click the link to learn more about (natural) caddis larvae cases and how they are produced. enjoy !

one for the hard-core realists

” Turbonate eyes of male mayfly “

by Laurie Knight via Nikon Microscopy

go on chaps, do your best…

click the pic for more not-necessarilly fly fishing related yet groovy close-up images.

Mayfly chit-chat

here’s an amusing little extract from Terry Pratchett’s ‘Reaper Man‘, enjoy !

The sun was near the horizon.
The shortest-lived creatures on the Disc were mayflies, which barely make it through twenty-four hours. Two of the oldest zigzagged aimlessly over the waters of a trout stream, discussing history with some younger members of the evening hatch.
“You don’t get the kind of sun new that you used to get,” said one of them.
“You’re right there. We had proper sun in the good old hours. It were all yellow. None of this red stuff.”
“It were higher, too,”
“It was. You’re right.”
“And nymphs and larvae showed you a bit of respect.”
“They did. They did,” said the other mayfly vehemently.
“I reckon, if mayflies these hours behaved a bit better, we‘d still be having proper sun.”
The younger mayflies listened politely.
“I remember,” said one of the oldest mayflies, “when all this was fields, as far as you could see.”
The younger mayflies looked around.
“It’s still fields,” one of them ventured, after a polite interval,
“I remember when it was better fields,” said the old mayfly sharply.
“Yeah,” said his colleague. “And there was a cow.”
“’That’s right! You’re right! I remember that cow! Stood right over there for, oh, forty, fifty minutes. It was brown, as I recall.”
“You don’t get cows like that these hours.”
“You don’t get cows at all.”
“What’s a cow?” said one of the hatchlings.
“See‘?” said the oldest mayfly triumphantly. “That’s modern Ephemeroptera for you.” It paused. “What were we doing before we were talking about the sun‘?”
“Zigzagging aimlessly over the water,” said one of the young flies. This was a fair bet in any case.
“No, before that.”
“Er ….you were telling us about the Great Trout.”
“Ah. yes, Right. The Trout. Well, you see, if you’ve been a good mayfly, zigzagging up and down properly – ”
“ – taking heed of your elders and betters – “
“ – yes, and taking heed of your elders and betters, then eventually the Great Trout – ”
Clop
Clop 
“Yes?” said one of the younger mayflies.
There was no reply.
“The Great Trout what?” said another mayfly, nervously,
They looked down at a series of expanding concentric rings on the water.
“The holy sign!” said a mayfly. “I remember being told about that! A Great Circle in the water! Thus shall be the sign of the Great Trout!”
The oldest of the young mayflies watched the water thoughtfully. It was beginning to realise that, as the most senior fly present, it now had the privilege of hovering closest to the surface.
“They say,” said the mayfly at the top of the zigzagging crowd, “that when the Great Trout comes for you, you go to a land flowing with…., Flowing with…..” Mayflies don’t eat. It was at a loss.
“Flowing with water,” it finished lamely.
“I wonder,” said the oldest mayfly.
“It must be really good there,” said the youngest,
“Oh‘? Why?”
“’Cos no one ever wants to come back.”

not imitations

photos by Mårten Lindhé

what i’m noticing more and more are fly tiers focussing on imitating other fly tier’s imitations rather than the naturals. true, very effective fishing flies don’t necessarily have to have a lot of detail and many, many of these effective flies don’t really look at all like their model… but i kind of see this situation similar to when a story gets passed on from word of mouth: it always gets transformed at each telling and often to the point where the end has little to do with the beginning. anyhow, here’s not only some eye candy but hopefully a little food for thought.

Baetidae from above and below –

Rhyacophila larva from the top –

and from the side –

Hydropsyche-larva side view and from above –

Leptophlebia marginata –

Leptophlebia marginata spent –

be sure to visit Mårten’s site XtremeFlyFishing.se for more awesome images. enjoy !

real pseudos

Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Blue-Winged Olives by Al Caucci

often confused with Tricorythodes (trichos) because of their similar teeny size and often simultaneous hatching, here’s some nice reading on a very real and important food source for trout-type fishes.

Pseudo Nymph

“It is impractical to fish a Pseudo nymph imitation effectively on the bottom, due to the size and the quick and evasive manner of the natural. Pseudo nymphs are, however, very sluggish and clumsy during actual emergence, and a tiny nymph that floats in or on the surface film can be quite effective right through the hatch, even though the water may be covered with floating duns. This is mainly due to the nymph’s slow, drifting ascent, and the difficulty they experience escaping their nymphal shucks.”

Pseudo Dun

how to tie them

and here’s what they sound like !

Funky flies offer model for surgical adhesive.

“Despite its resemblance to Hollywood’s fictional “Alien,” the critter shown here is a caddisfly larva known to western U.S. fly fishermen as a “rock roller.” The larva builds and carries its own underwater shelter case, using ribbons of natural sticky silk to stitch together grains of sand and rock.”

nice to see the small world of modern science catch up with what every fly fisher’s known for centuries…

the things one finds when googling ‘funky flies’ !  but wait, it’s not all bad funk !
check out my mate Toby Merigan’s online shop for some nifty tying goodies.