Monday, July 21, 2008

Mass of Mayflies

The brown drake hatch may have been a little late this year, but lucky anglers still experienced quite a show. Silver Creek intern Ryan Urie took this photo of an incredibly large mass of brown drake mayflies in the water. You can click on the photo for a closer look.

Studies on the Black Canyon of the Gunnison have shown that trout there can get as much as 75 percent of the annual caloric intake during the two-week salmon fly (a stonefly species) hatch. I wonder how important the brown drakes are to trout on lower Silver Creek.

Of course, Silver Creek has tremendous hatches throughout the year. The brown drakes may be long gone, but the tricos are here. Of course, the tricos are much tinier, and more difficult to fish. But spring creek mayfly hatches are one of nature's great spectacles, even if you don't fish. The sheer numbers of these beautiful insects is unbelievable, sometimes covering the surface of the water as this photo shows. You can take a closer look at Silver Creek--including birding walks, a canoe tour, a scavenger hunt and a barbecue--this Saturday, July 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Email the Silver Creek Office to register. --Matt Miller

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