Fly fishing flies: mayfly 1

In the world of fly fishing, no insect is more iconic than the mayfly. Indeed it is probably the image most people with conjure up when envisioning of the "fly" in the sport's name.

You can easily recognise these  slender aquatic insects  in their adult or dun form by their highly visible upright wings and long, tailed abdomens. In biological terms, all mayflies undergo incomplete metamorphosis, and experience only three major stages within their typical life cycle. The first of these is the larval stage where the bugs are commonly referred to as mayfly nymphs. The nymph stage is spent entirely beneath the surface of the water. The type of water is also entirely dependent on the particular species of mayfly.

Crawlers, burrowers, clingers and swimmers are all mayfly nymphs. All of them exhibit different body types and behaviours depending on their varying habitats. As the respective names suggest, crawlers will crawl, burrowers burrow, clingers cling, and swimmers swim. With their three long tails and gill-lined abdomens mayfly nymphs may be slender or stout, but each will display these distinct characteristics. What they will do in fly fishing, too, is to provide you with some truly excellent sport.

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