Mayflies

I have had this idea for some time since seeing the photos of http://blog.burrard-lucas.com/2009/02/behind-the-shot-mosquitoes-emerging which inspired me to try it myself. I decided to try photographing Mayflies and to get them emerging from the water. My husband and I have some fishing acquaintances, Heather and Tim, who live in Wiltshire and have a stretch of the River Avon at the bottom of their lawn Mayflies hatch in their hundreds of thousands for a couple of weeks in May, although they continue to hatch in dribs and drabs until much later in the season. This very active period, in angling parlance, is known as “duffer’s fortnight” because every fish in the river, every bird in the sky and other insectivore absolutely gorge themselves on these insects, either as nymphs, metamorphosing/hatching or on the wing. Heather and Tim graciously agreed to let me loose in the garden, so we went down and set up my tanks and lighting stuff. I raked the river bed and caught a couple of Dragonfly nymphs but it wasn’t until later, when Heather came and joined us, that she went in over the top her willies, and between her and my husband, they caught numerous Mayfly nymphs, as well as other aquatic creatures. I spent the rest of the afternoon taking the photos you see here.
Later, before leaving, Heather and Tim invited me to have a cast or two for a trout, which were totally pre-occupied feeding on the hatching flies. Heather loaned me her rod, and after just a few casts, I caught a lovely Brown Trout that weighed about 2 ½ lb. This was a beautiful fully finned wild brownie, which was gently released back into the river. Within 20 minutes, I hooked another fish that turned out to be another brownie, this time weighing in at a staggering 6 ½ lb. This fish was a “stockie” which put into the river by a commercial fishery owner.
All in all, an excellent days photography and fishing.
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