TLC headquarters is within spitting distance of a canal in the south of France: Le Canal du Midi. as scenic and tourist-drawing as this little waterway may be, and even though its commercial use of shipment barges is long gone, it nevertheless runs through a valley where agriculture borders it from the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea. in other words, its a gutter for pesticides and whatever else crap that comes from both sides of the surrounding hills. not the kind of place one wants to go for a swim and its pretty rare to see anyone doing this.
aquatic insect life is what you might expect, mostly chironomids (in great quantities !) and a few dragonfly species just to name the more prominent flutterers. however, in the last few years their have been a few visits at night to my desk from small and lovely caddis adults. a little research and explanations from amateur entomologist friends have countered my idea that these lovely bugs could actually live and develop in the thick sticky silt that beds this canal but yesterday’s surprise was a real slap in the face, at least this guy’s “any kind of mayfly must come from a lovely, clean, bubbling, cool temped, stone-bottomed stream” face. i like to be slapped like this and hope it happens frequently.
caught in a puddle of this disgustingly sweet anis-flavoured apéritif, little did our little midge know that it would be the death of her, specially when drank pure instead of the more traditional preparation consisting of four parts cold water and maybe an ice cube or two. live and learn.
a gorgeous moment from Ben Pierce. enjoy !
an excerpt from Mayfly – a life story by FishOnProductions, enjoy !
or enlarged views of the ‘angler’s curse‘.
just that common name alone should get our attention even if it sounds a bit masochistic fishing-wise, even for those of us who love a challenge !
“When the important hatches of Tricorythodes were first discovered by anglers, Caenis was given the credit. We now know that the Caenis mayflies are a different group, smaller and less common in trout streams, and they hatch in the evening instead of the morning.
They very rarely elicit selective feeding, but when they do they’re very tough to match because they’re often much smaller than size 28. This difficulty has earned them the nickname “Angler’s Curse.”
simple enough to say, even if these early observers didn’t have a watch or map… what comes out in the end in practical terms for us fly anglers is these thingies are very-very small and their proportions are completely off from the larger mayfly species as they have stout bodies, specially the thorax and long tails and antennae and the wings tend to sit out on the sides ‘spent-like’ instead of the usual top: basically the trigger points we’ll want to recreate when tying these flies.
here’s some reference vintage plates of our beautiful little friends to use while we’re at the tying bench. enjoy !
and just because its so cool to see details millions of times bigger than life size,
angler’s curse quote via TroutNut.com
vintage plates via Google Images
i couldn’t help but grunt and shout PUSH ! PUSH ! PUSH ! 😆
it’s cool-weird, interesting in general and fly tiers might learn a thing or two. enjoy !
a couple of what where probably happy chironomids encased in amber while doing the do several zillion years ago.
let this be a reminder to be sure to be our best at all times should this sort of thing happen to us, you never know if someone might reblog your frozen acts in the distant future…
“Entombed in amber the tiny springtail can be seen resting in a v-shaped depression at the base of one of the mayfly’s wings. It appears to have secured itself for transport using its prehensile antennae.”
as if anyone really cared about a 1mm long hitch-hiker that no fish in it’s right mind would even consider eating and much less, any self-respecting fly angler would try to imitate…
as geek as the article’s intention may be, at least we get to admire the image of a beautiful sixteen million year old bug worthy of all worthies: a mayfly with some nice bubbles to boot !
even though he didn’t do it on purpose, big thanks to Dr Dave Penney, University of Manchester for bringing this lovely creature back to life. (sort of)
if you want to know more on the boring hitch-hiker click the pic.
- Anal Hooks
- “I look into … my fly box, and think about all the elements I should consider in choosing the perfect fly: water temperature, what stage of development the bugs are in, what the fish are eating right now. Then I remember what a guide told me: ‘Ninety percent of what a trout eats is brown and fuzzy and about five-eighths of an inch long.’”