Posts Tagged ‘gray drake


Gray Drakes (Siphlonurus O.~what’s the deal?)

I said it before and I will say it again, why all the interest in Gray Drakes? I notice there is consistent and more than moderate interest in ‘grey’ ‘gray’ drakes. I have researched, to the extent of my emtomological researching capabilities, Ephemeroptera (Order), Siphlonuridae (Family), Siphlonurus (Genus), Occidentalis (Species) (That’s all the fancy bug talk from me, thanks to TroutNut) and I noticed that Trout Nut and Rick Haefle don’t rate it very high on the significance chart of mayflies for trout. They either crawl out from the edges of quiet waters or emerge up to protruding rocks and reeds. There is no definitive agreement on how they ‘hatch’. There seems to be agreement that at some point in the day (they can’t agree on when) there is a Spinner fall that could be of interest to flyfishers. Seems pretty vague to me to warrant all the fuss. Write to me and tell me why the interest.


Gray Drake & Callibaetis Duns (photo source) Good photo’s and discussion forumn on flyfisher’s insects. Information is informative and legit entomologist visit the site to comment and identify insects in photo’s. Above photo is mine from East Lake (Callibaetis) Bottom photo is Gray Drake from FFCalgary site. see also:


Black Drake Gray Drake Siphlonurus Mayfly

I notice a great many of you are consistently researching the Siphlonurus mayfly. Take a look at the attached link re Polly Rosborough, the late and great, from South Central Oregon. HIs ‘fuzzy nymphs’ were simple, impressionistic patterns. Amongst the patterns are simple black/gray drake patterns for those slow stretches of rivers, streams and sometimes lakes. A swimmer nymph that usually emerges via swimming and then attaching to weeds and reeds much like damsels..the link is worth a look at. Many current, notable tyers in the NW have always paid homage to Rosborough, so he must have known something. My favorite of his patterns was the Casual Dress.


Siphlonurus ‘Gray Drake’ Nymph & Callibaetis Nymph Similarities

callibaetis-2.jpg Callibaetis

gray-drake.jpg Gray Drake

simply note the similarities of the two nymphs (tails, gills, slender, a bit of difference in antennaes’ lengths). (pics by Michelle Manhood)

Both patterns are great for lake fishing. The callibaetis is the more frequent and better known nymph from my experience (not sure, to be honest, I would know a gray drake hatch if I saw it). I am going to incorporate ostrich herl for gills and make tails, legs, eyes, and antennae more pronounced on my nymph pattern along with a darker back and lighter belly ala the Skip Nymph.     

In the excellent, upcoming ff mag, FLY FUSION, Spring 2008, there is an article in the ‘Bugs’ section on pages 44-47 by Phil Rowley entitled ‘CONSIDER CALLIBAETIS’. There is an excellent photo of a nymph in its’ nymph pose with splayed tails, legs and gills. Rowley provides precise info on the seasonal evolution of the genus Callibaetis.

Also, with regards to discerning the differences in duns, Hatches Magazine, Spring 2006 has photos and wing identifiers to separate out different mayfly duns….’speckled wing’ being the primary identifier as you gaze upon the dun that has landed on your forearm or is still perilously sailing upon the lake’s surface.

plain-wing.jpg    Siphlonurus wing (plain)     speckled-wind.jpg  Callibaetis wing (speckled)

So, for in the field or on the lake identifying, or for fly tying this helps me calculate which is which, and the materials to use for the wing to get the light dun look (gray drake)  or speckled look (callibaetis). (see here also)

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

August 2020

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