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NicBarratt

When is the May fly Hatch?

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NicBarratt

What can you tell me about the May fly Hatch. All I know is I have taken a few trips up north over the last couple years only to be told that the reason for the slow fishing is the hatch of the May flies. Any idea when this usually happens on Mille Lacs. I want to bring the kids up fishing but don't it slowed due to may flies.

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MuskieSlayer

It obviously varies from year to year, but from what I remember in years past the mayfly hatch is usually somewhere around the 4th of July.

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brenen

I was up there last year in macs twin bay and i took video on my phone of the piles of mayflies and i had a may 20th date on the video.

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MuskieSlayer

Quote:

I was up there last year in macs twin bay and i took video on my phone of the piles of mayflies and i had a may 20th date on the video.


That's a little early for mayflies. Are you sure you weren't seeing the aquatic midge hatch (also referred to as fishflies by the locals). The midge hatch usually occurs around Memorial Day weekend every year (like this year). The mayflies come later.

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NicBarratt

Thanks for the info.

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Schnauzer

Also note... the locals referring to midges as "fishflies" is also incorrect. Fishflies do have an aquatic portion of their life cycle but they are completely different compared to midges. Fishflies are basically dobsen flies (just do a google search on "mayfly, midge, and fishflies" to see pictures and note the differences.

There is a lot of confusion over this every year. Even June bugs get thrown in for good measure because in some regions the locals refer to Mayflies as "June bugs". In Minnesota, "fishflies" create the biggest terminology problem. Locals often call both Mayflies and/or midges "fishflies". This creates a lot of confusion.

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MuskieSlayer

Thanks for the clarification Schnauzer. I gave in and stopped telling people they weren't fishflies a while back. confused.gif

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Schnauzer

Ha! I hear you. I have a buddy that makes fun of me about the lengths I go to explain this every year.

God put Moses and me on the Earth for different reasons. Moses had to lead his people and I have made it my mission in life to educate proper bug identification around the local lakes.

Okay, I am joking but it is a pet peeve. I'll admit that.

grin.gif

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TommyJ33

Major MAYfly hatch on Farm Island Lake last Sat/Sun.

Not to far from the big pond.

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NicBarratt

I thought I saw some on Green lake in Chisago on Tuesday. I found what looked like one on the windshield of my boat. Midge flies look much smaller than May flies.

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blarkey

the may fly hatch was starting this weekend down in Isle bay

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AFisherman

Sound like the flies have hatched, how long do they last (my wife loves them )we are in wahkon bay and they were not bad there yesterday yet. Are we going to have a big fathers day weekend with flies.

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crappace

Schnauzer - What were the bugs out there this Sunday?? We were on the north end out from Myr Mar and it was horrible. At least they didnt bite. Unfortunately, neither did the fish for us. We marked them but couldn’t get them to go on leeches or worms. Saturday morning we got 9 in about 3 hours. One keeper and one cigar. The rest were pigs.

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MuskieSlayer

Most of the bugs around Myr Mar this weekend were caddisflies. Caddisflies are the ones that like to crawl around and up shirt sleeves and pant legs. They look like a small moth, but have their wings folded against their body. They don't bite.

There were also a species of stonefly around, as they have been for quite a few weeks. The stoneflies are black and similar in size to the caddisfly. They are also the bugs that leave stuff (I believe eggs) on dock posts (it looks like a grayish-black velvet). If you have a stonefly land on you, flick them off because they will pinch you with their beetle-like pincers.

And yes, there were some mayflies (a few) mixed in with the bugs. The mayflies I saw were the medium sized variety (but not the white and very small "snowflies"). Like I stated in a previous post, in years past, the major mayfly hatch usually occurs around the 4th and the species are larger than the ones I saw this weekend.

There were also some very small bugs that I could not identify. They were black and about the size of a gnat, but had some similarities to a mayfly, but I'm pretty sure they were not a species of mayfly. Schnauzer?

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Sy

MuskieSlayer, those caddisflies are the bugs we were being swarmed by as well up on the North and NE mud. I looked at the pics of some of the other bugs mentioned in the post but they did not look right. When I looked at the pic of caddisflies it was definitely right. They were definitely annoying and could make a person insane! Thanks for solving the mystery.

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vaneeck

I was out there off 8 mile and other flats sunday and I agree the flies were thick, but I was thinking they were alderflies rather than caddis, so I went out and got some of the 100's dead in the boat and its hard to know for sure but I think they are caddis flies, certainly not mayflies. I hope the mayflies hold off for a awhile yet the fish were sure snapping yesterday. smirk.giflaugh.gif

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MuskieSlayer

Quote:

I looked at the pics of some of the other bugs mentioned in the post but they did not look right.


Yeah, the current big hatch is the caddisfly and they are the ones that are really annoying because they like to land on you and crawl all over. I just mentioned the others because there are a few around, but not a lot. The stoneflies are usually on or near shore, but I've seen a few out a little ways and I only saw two mayflies and both were in my cabin Saturday night. frown.gif

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MuskieSlayer

Quote:

I was out there off 8 mile and other flats sunday and I agree the flies were thick, but I was thinking they were alderflies rather than caddis, so I went out and got some of the 100's dead in the boat and its hard to know for sure but I think they are caddis flies, certainly not mayflies.


Yeah, the alderfly adult looks similar, but I thought alderflies are predators and have pincers. Also, alderfly larvae is very different from a caddisfly. The lake bottom is thick with the caddisfly larvae (they're usually all over the dock when we pull it out). Caddisfly larvae is pretty distinctive because they live in tubes made out of sand particles.

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