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02/23/2020 09:46AM
I think all of us are aware of these connections, but they really came clear with all the moving parts on a trip last summer. We were paddling down a small river called the Greenmantle in northern Wabakimi Provincial Park. There were the usual bushwacks and walking the canoe in spots, and the mosquitoes and blackflies were snacking on us. In other segments, we paddled the small, winding river through wetlands and alder thickets with squadrons of dragonflies cruising up and down the water by our heads.
A day later we were fishing the river above and below a rapid and catching walleye and brook trout. On the rocks along shore dragonfly nymphs were coming out and hatching. The fish that we cleaned and ate that day, both trout and walleye, were chock full of dragonfly nymphs.
So, we fed the mosquitoes; the mosquitoes fed the dragonflies; the dragonflies lay their eggs in the water and their nymphs feed the fish; the fish feed us; if all goes well, we have another trip to feed more mosquitoes...
 
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pswith5
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02/23/2020 12:08PM
The cycle of life
 
02/23/2020 12:25PM
I used hellgrammites, corretly dobsonfly nymphs for fishing as much as I could, local fresh bait. Actually the hellgramites sold locally were dragonfly nymphs but were the best spring bait for bluegills. They are no longer found in baitshops.
Dragonflies emerging from nymphs on Zenith.



butthead
 
02/23/2020 06:32PM
butthead: "Dragonflies emerging from nymphs on Zenith."

That is super cool. Gets the Entomologist is me going...

Is this May? June?
 
02/23/2020 07:24PM
Late May of 2010.

butthead
 
02/24/2020 06:22AM
cool thread thanks for posting... but I will tell you, my first thought was "Cool I am going to learn something new about my MSR stove!"
 
Savage Voyageur
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02/24/2020 08:03AM
I have quite a few flies that I use for trout that look just like the one Butthead posted. They are a big meal for a big fish.
 
02/24/2020 10:57AM
Savage Voyageur: "I have quite a few flies that I use for trout that look just like the one Butthead posted. They are a big meal for a big fish. "

Gary try those in a local bluegill fishing hole with a weighted or sink tip. Cast and let sink to the bottom (time by count), retrieve and cast again. Normally it's sucked up on the way down. Absolute fun fishing gills with a 5wt rod!

butthead
 
inspector13
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02/25/2020 07:31AM

Where intermediaries and inefficiency are desirable!

 
Johnh
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02/25/2020 10:48AM
Dragonflies crawl out of the water to hatch so they are vulnerable to bass when they make their exposed run through shallow water to the shoreline. Bass will patrol sections of shoreline picking them off when the emergence is happening which makes for some pretty fun fly rod angling. You can see the wake of a bass coming from 10 feet away to crush your fly. That is cool. Damsel flies also crawl out but the dragonfly is the bacon double cheeseburger of bugs so the bass are willing to risk hanging out in the shallows to get them.

Most mayflies and caddis float to the surface and emerge from there so the fish get them as they are rising to the surface or when they are in the surface film trying to break through or drying their wings so they can fly away. Emergence is a very dangerous time to be a bug and a great feeding opportunity for fish.
 
gkimball
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02/26/2020 08:52AM
Dragonflies are some of the most interesting creatures. They are primarily an aquatic insect (some as long as 3 years in the water) that then emerges, molts and transforms into a flying insect for a short period. They are selective about habitats, and have specific times when they emerge, transform and mate. They also evolved back during the dinosaur eras.

Don't know why, but I've only started paying close attention to them in the past 4 years after over 40 years of trips. Oh well...

White Faced Crimson, Homer Lake, June 2016
 
Savage Voyageur
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02/26/2020 09:28AM
butthead: "Savage Voyageur: "I have quite a few flies that I use for trout that look just like the one Butthead posted. They are a big meal for a big fish. "


Gary try those in a local bluegill fishing hole with a weighted or sink tip. Cast and let sink to the bottom (time by count), retrieve and cast again. Normally it's sucked up on the way down. Absolute fun fishing gills with a 5wt rod!


butthead"


Thanks Ken. I tried this last year on our lake for bluegills. It was so fun to see them attack my poppers. This spring I will try my dragonfly nymphs on them. I use a #5 wt rod with weight forward line. I think I will also need a strike indicator too. After supper I just go down in my yard and cast for Bass and Sunfish. Agree, it’s so much fun to catch them.
 
02/26/2020 10:01AM
gkimball: "Dragonflies are some of the most interesting creatures. They are primarily an aquatic insect (some as long as 3 years in the water) that then emerges, molts and transforms into a flying insect for a short period. They are selective about habitats, and have specific times when they emerge, transform and mate. They also evolved back during the dinosaur eras.


Don't know why, but I've only started paying close attention to them in the past 4 years after over 40 years of trips. Oh well...


White Faced Crimson, Homer Lake, June 2016"


That is one beautiful dragonfly! Some of the ones back in the carboniferous period were quite large, like Meganeura...
 
inspector13
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02/26/2020 01:02PM

I wonder what it would have looked like when a match was struck back then...

 
gkimball
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02/26/2020 08:03PM
rtallent: "gkimball: "Dragonflies are some of the most interesting creatures. They are primarily an aquatic insect (some as long as 3 years in the water) that then emerges, molts and transforms into a flying insect for a short period. They are selective about habitats, and have specific times when they emerge, transform and mate. They also evolved back during the dinosaur eras.



Don't know why, but I've only started paying close attention to them in the past 4 years after over 40 years of trips. Oh well...



White Faced Crimson, Homer Lake, June 2016"



That is one beautiful dragonfly! Some of the ones back in the carboniferous period were quite large, like Meganeura..."


I looked up Meganeura. Wing span of up to 27 inches?!

Makes you wonder how big the body of the insect was. Would definitely get your attention if you encountered one portaging somewhere!
 
02/26/2020 11:19PM
I thought you were going to teach me how to use my stove...






My CCS bags have always been a favorite to them.
 
02/27/2020 08:21AM
nctry: "I thought you were going to teach me how to use my stove... "

I'd be happy to give an in depth lesson Ben. Usage, maintenance, and tweaks for added performance. When and where?

butthead
 
gkimball
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02/27/2020 08:36AM
Chalk Fronted Corporal dragonfly. Saw a flock of about 20 around my solo campsite on Pipe Lake for 3 days. Some sat right next to me on the rocks. Looked them up when I got home and sure enough they are noted for being highly social and fairly tame. Just what I was seeing!

 
A1t2o
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02/27/2020 09:51AM
Not with dragonflies but we had a cool experience one year on South Temperance. The mosquitoes were bad, especially at dusk. We were fishing from shore and it was getting dark, the mosquitoes were getting worse and worse until the bats showed up and almost immediately the mosquitoes dispersed. The bats were really active and very close to us. I don't know if the bats ate that many mosquitoes to thin their numbers or if the mosquitoes were somehow driven off by the bats, I didn't think they were smart enough to recognize a predator.

Dragonflies and bats are really cool and do a lot to thin mosquito numbers.
 
02/27/2020 10:18AM
gkimball: "Chalk Fronted Corporal dragonfly. Saw a flock of about 20 around my solo campsite on Pipe Lake for 3 days. Some sat right next to me on the rocks. Looked them up when I got home and sure enough they are noted for being highly social and fairly tame. Just what I was seeing!


"

Another cool species! I need to start learning these!
 
gkimball
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02/27/2020 11:06AM
rtallent: "gkimball: "Chalk Fronted Corporal dragonfly. Saw a flock of about 20 around my solo campsite on Pipe Lake for 3 days. Some sat right next to me on the rocks. Looked them up when I got home and sure enough they are noted for being highly social and fairly tame. Just what I was seeing!



"

Another cool species! I need to start learning these!"



It is interesting how the timing of a trip determines the species you see. The Chalk Fronted Corporals are numerous in mid-June but not later in the summer. Some have longer seasons than others, while some are seen only lakes but not streams or bogs. Fun to learn it from trip to trip.
 
CCBBSpeckled
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02/27/2020 11:52AM
drnatus: "cool thread thanks for posting... but I will tell you, my first thought was "Cool I am going to learn something new about my MSR stove!""

I had a similiar thought. My thought was it was post from a guy who didn't know how to use his stove and i clicked in to help.
 
02/27/2020 12:57PM
Well, this post is going two directions, and that is cool (I have a Dragonfly stove, too, and have had good luck with it).
On the natural history side: Gordon, can you recommend a good reference or two for dragonfly id and biology in the boreal?
 
gkimball
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02/28/2020 08:02AM
rtallent: "Well, this post is going two directions, and that is cool (I have a Dragonfly stove, too, and have had good luck with it).
On the natural history side: Gordon, can you recommend a good reference or two for dragonfly id and biology in the boreal?"


Here are a couple of resources I found when I started trying to learn about them. Minnesota with all of its aquatic habitats has an amazing number of dragonfly species. Prepare to be bewildered!

A good portable field manual:

Dragonflies of the North Woods by Kurt Mead

A couple of good websites:

Odonata of Minnesota

Odonata Central
 
gkimball
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02/28/2020 08:26AM
Found this photo of a dragonfly larvae that appeared in my solo campsite on Pierz Lake. It sat still as long as I was near and taking pictures. I came back a little while later and it had moved up into the fire ring logs (I think) and I couldn't find it. I think this trip was when I started paying attention to them.

Sure looked like something straight out of the dinosaur era
 
02/28/2020 10:05AM
I remember my great-uncle Stan telling me about one time he was painting a cottage in northern Wisconsin. He saw dragonfly larvae crawling up the side of the wall. He stopped painting and sat on a bucket all morning, just watching them hatch out. He shared his observations and wonder with a young kid, and somehow those memories have stuck with me over the years...
 
03/01/2020 06:42PM
butthead: "nctry: "I thought you were going to teach me how to use my stove... "


I'd be happy to give an in depth lesson Ben. Usage, maintenance, and tweaks for added performance. When and where?


butthead "




July 03 Goodland Mn
 
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