Never one to waste an opportunity I thought it might be a good way to present the life cycle of an insect so important to us fly anglers.
Starting life as a nymph, the mayfly can live under water for as little as a few weeks on up to a year or more depending on the species. Some species (BWO for example) are apt to swim during this stage, while others such as the PMD or the the nymph illustrated to the right, are clingers or crawlers, and a few others - the Hex being the prime example - are burrowers. Regardless of this, the one thing they all have in common is that during this stage they all form a hard exoskeleton that protects them from the harsh underwater environment. What it doesn't protect them from is the hungry trout that readily feed on them.
As a full grown adult the Mayfly's life is a relatively short lived experience. It is fare to say that the life blood of the Mayfly is the water system in which it has grown up and they tend to stay fairly near that source. It is during this stage that they need to find a mate as quickly as possible before they die. Some species such as the Hexagenia - or Hex - fly of the Midwest often does not live longer than a single night while others can linger on for a week or so. Simple put, these flies live out their short lives like a Monty Brewster (Classic 80's movie reference there!). They have only a short time to spend all they got or they will have nothing.
So for this Fly Friday take the time to appreciate the lowly mayfly who provides us with an endless supply of inspiration for fantastic fly patterns to catch trout.
Have a GREAT WEEKEND!