The Slate Drake is a large
mayfly that is found in various
types of trout water. It crawls out
of the water to hatch into a dun
and is only important in the
nymphal and spinner stages of
life. The nymphs are swimmers
that are almost always available
for trout to eat. (continued below)
Nymph
Spinner
Mayflies: Slate Drake
Slate Drake (Imitations)
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Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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The Slate Drakes belong to the Isonychia genus of the
Siphlonuridae family of mayflies. The most important species
is the
bicolor. It is a very common mayfly. These mayflies are
also called  “Dun Variant”, “Leadwing Coachmans” and
sometimes Mahogany Duns.

The species name,
bicolor, comes from its legs of the
nymphs that are bi-colored. The common name “leadwing”
comes from the lead color of the flies’ wings. This mayfly can
hatch from spring until fall, but is very sporadic throughout that
long period of time and this makes it difficult to pin the exact
times down. When they do hatch, however, it can be prolific.

Hatching usually occurs late in the afternoon and sometimes
into the evenings but will occur occasionally during the day if it
is cloudy or rainy. Again, these mayflies usually crawl out of
the water on the banks and on boulders and rocks to hatch.
You will find their shucks along the banks after a hatch.  
One key to determining where
to fish the nymph imitation is
if you find a lot of shucks
along the banks, fish the
shallow, calm pockets along
the banks and behind
boulders. If you do not find the
shucks, fish the deeper runs
and riffles using standard
nymph fishing  techniques.
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