Friday, June 30, 2006

MYSTERY BUG---------------AND FISH

Today was the last day of vacation. Got in the boat and took a spin around Ft Loudoun Lake. I don't normally select Ft Loudoun Lake because it is uaually jambed with water skiers and Jet skis, not to mention the ocean size yauts that create huge wakes. I noticed dimples on the surface of the water created by bluegills feeding from something on the top. Heavy feeding. I mean hundreds of dimples all along the shore line under the trees. Closer inspection revealed a large mayfly emerging and popping off the surface as soon as its wings had time to fill with fluid. The bluegills were having a feast. I tried my hand at fishing and caught literally hundreds of bluegill and sunfish. An occassional bass was caught. Don't get excited; I return every fish I catch back to the water. And I do not use barbes hooks. I don't care what it is. It goes back. But I do take photos. Here are some photos of the mayflies and a couple pictures of the ravenous fish. The colors on these little guys is splendid. The mayfly, incidently, hatches out of a nymph case that floats to the surface. It breaks through the surface film and it sits on top of the water until its wings dry and fill with fluid. Many of the cases (called shucks) cling to the bug and causes drowning. Those that make it fly to near by bushes and leaves and cling there until dusk. At that time they all fly strait up in the air for hundreds of feet and mate. The male then dies. The female flys to the water and skims across the surface dipping her abdomen to touch the water and deposits eggs. After that process is complete; she dies. Both male and female turn transparent totally. They sit upon the water and their wings fall out to the sides as in a cross and die. They are called spinners at this point in time. The cycle is nymph, dun, spinner. The whole process takes hours after hatching from the nymph case. However, as nymphs, they can live for as long as two years on the bottom of the lake or stream. This particular variety of mayfly is foreign to me, as are many in Tennessee. Pennsylvania has its own strains I guess. Bottom line is they were put on this earth by nature to feed fish and birds. Period..........