Indian Hollow Weekend - lots of water, lots of bugs

The Massachusetts / Rhode Island Council of Trout Unlimited held its annual camping weekend at Indian Hollow campground on the Westfield River, East Branch, May 16 - 18.

Several of us took advantage of the high water (courtesy of torrential downpours Friday evening) and eschewed fishing. We collected bugs instead, nymphs and adults. To download Mike Cole's report of what we found, complete with a species list (22 different nymphs, 5 adult species - not including an unidentified size 18 mayfly spinner not on the list), open this link .

The report contains photos of a number of the specimens. One species of particular interest was Cynigmula subaequalis - sometimes called dark red quill, or small quill gordon. A picture of the nymph.

These were found in good numbers, suggesting a decent hatch in the days or weeks ahead. If true, this might be considered a Westfield specialty. According to Troutnut.com and other fishing/entomology sites, the best Cinygmula hatches (which are pretty uncommon) occur in the west. Subaequalis is the only eastern Cynigmula species, of which Troutnut says "It may produce fishable hatches in places, but it is not a generally important mayfly." So - be on the lookout for a size 16 or so, reddish/brown mayfly, 2 tails.

Also seen in good numbers, and a sign of better fishing to come, were mature Maccaffertium vicarium (March brown) nymphs. None were seen in the air, which is a contrast to last year's Indian Hollow event, May 17-19, when Gary Metras collected several adult March browns.

As far as the adults go, Brachycentrus (apple caddis) was the star of the day, if we're counting by numbers. By late afternoon Saturday, hordes of them were flying above the water, apparently ovipositing, as this picture suggests. Green eggs and ham, anyone?

On Monday, May 12, I fished the Westfield for several hours, in the stretch below Chesterfield Gorge. I saw only one caddis all day. But on the same date in 2011, fishing with friends, we ran into an apple caddis hatch quite similar to what we saw this Saturday - a few coming off in the early afternoon, with numbers increasing to prolific status by 5 or 6 PM.

Posted by jerry2000 jerry2000, May 28, 2014 20:42

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