Every serious angler should know the lifecycle of the mayfly.
Mayflies belong to the order Ephemeroptera, which comes from the Greek ephemeros or “short-lived.” The mayfly lives for more than just the one day we all thought.
After hatching, the mayfly nymph can spend up to two years in the river bed. It feeds on organic material and can grow up to two inches in length.
Many imitations are tied “Klinkhammer” style, with the tail or hook hanging into the water. However, the mayfly generally emerges flat on the water’s surface. Most of what we see floating on top is known as the “Dun” stage.
Once it reaches the “spinner” stage, the mayfly launches into flight to conceive and propagate the species. The story ends here for the males, but the female mayfly has one last act to finalize. She returns to the water carrying as many as 8,000 eggs and deposits them to start the lifecycle once again.