Posts Tagged With: mayfly

That’s All?

As if surviving at the bottom of a lake or stream, passing through two dozen or more life stages (instars), shedding their skin each time wasn’t enough, mayfly nymphs eventually rise to the surface and shed their skin one last time, emerging as winged adults. Having dodged all manner of fishes on the way, they breathe air for the first time and then fly off into it, also for the first time. Bypassing the traditional insect pupal stage, one morning a nymph is eating algae off a sunken log and that evening it’s flying for its life, trying to get to a bush or a tree before the birds and the bats can get it.

I wonder if mayfly nymphs realize what’s coming and how their lives will change. Would they do anything different?

Mayflies rest and get their bearings after their initial, panicky flight. One might think they’d be hungry after all they’ve been through, but it just doesn’t matter; they have no working mouth parts and couldn’t eat if they wanted to.

Everything's Different Now

Everything’s Different Now

Even after a complete change of form and relocation to another world, mayflies are still not mature. They shed their skin one more time, trading their dull, lightly fringed wings for shiny ones that sparkle like crystal, sometimes changing the color of their bodies, even to the point of becoming nearly transparent. Plus, their sex organs function! All grown up and decked out in new duds, now it’s time to get it on. Continue reading

Categories: Humor, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Mayfly, Up Close and Personal

I took a bunch of pictures yesterday and, as usual, found myself wondering what I would ever do with them. Thanks to Rebecca and her photo prompt at the Outdoor Blogger Network, I have an excuse to post a couple.

Transparent Mayfly

I still haven’t figured out how to tie a transparent mayfly imitation but I am pretty sure a lot of the rises I saw last evening were to these guys (and gals). Of course, I only say that because I couldn’t see a darn thing on or in the water, even though I was surrounded by rises.

I did get some enthusiastic refusals of a #18 sulfur spinner, though. It is August, the time of long leaders and tiny flies.

Tight lines, y’all.



Categories: Fly Fishing, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Three Photos of a Mayfly


Categories: nature | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Create a free website or blog at