The Brown Drake Mayfly:
The simulans species of mayfly, a member of the Ephemera genus of the Ephemeridae
family, is usually called the “Brown Drake”. This is a common mayfly in the Mid-West and
the Great Lakes area as well as a few eastern and many western rivers and lakes. They
prefer the slower moving sections of streams and some lakes. Like most other
burrowing nymphs,this one spends most of the daylight hours in its burrow and only
comes out at night to feed on the bottom. Rivers and lakes with sand or small pebble
bottoms are ideal habitat.
Most of the ones we have found have been located in water that is marginal for trout,
meaning it was a little on the warm side. In some cases you would think only smallmouth
bass would inhibit the water. Most of the time we found there was a population of brown
trout in those cases. You will also find them in water far too warm for trout.
These huge mayflies can provide a lot of food for the trout in a very short time. We have
seen some very large brown drake hatched at Yellowstone National Park on the
upper Gibbon River in the meadow sections. There were a lot of the big mayflies
emerging at times and the trout gulped them down until way after dark. The best time to
fish this hatch is very late in the day. If you can and provided the water is not dangerous,
you should fish after dark and into the night during this hatch. Some anglers like this
type of fishing and other don't. It can be very effective hatch if you are at the right place
at the right time. If the water you are fishing has a population of brown drakes, you
should always be prepared to fish it. It is often overlooked by anglers that are not very
familiar with it.
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