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Thread: Blackflies - help! Again!

  1. #21
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    Sep 2006
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    Midrand
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    Thanks Chris, much appreciated.
    "I'm just a beer drinker with a flyfishing problem"

  2. #22
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    Sep 2006
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    Dullstroom, Mpumalanga
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris williams View Post
    Adding on to Clarias's interesting and wise words, the Simulidae (blackfly) larvae/pupae like fast but shallow water, and although the larvae (upto half-inch long, described as Rory's) and pupae (larvae turn pinkish and weave brown ice-cream cone shaped cocoon) are around year-long, the adults usually hatch spring/early summer depending on location. The biting adult bloodsuckers are all the females by the way. They love perspiration and the colour blue. No wonder the Bulls were stung into activity yesterday!!!

    I was fishing yesterday in a fast but deeper stretch (knee and deeper) in the Vaal and there were none of the Simulidae (blackflies). However there were thousands of trico nymphs and the odd 'green'/'mustard' caddis larvae and baetis nymphs. In the fast shallows - yes, the blackfly 'pearshaped' larvae and 'icecream cone'-shaped pupae I saw living side-by-side as they often do, and they are pretty consistent year-round on that score.

    As to differentiating between species, I think as a ffisher you're wasting your energies. There are about three dozen in our neck of the woods. With various other insect families I reckon at times if you're an amateur angling entomologist you can increase your catches multi-fold if you can identify down to genus or specie and extrapolate for fishing purposes.

    With these vampire b'stards I wouldn't bother going beyond their general family in terms of identification! The larvae/pupae imitations you've got 'sorted' and for the adults maybe a size 18/20 Griffiths Gnat or greyish-beige body with cream wings or similar - though I've yet to consciously fish 'adults'.

    The species Simulium Nigritarsis is the only one I would deem worthy of mention for angling knowledge purposes - and more importantly from a personal comfort point of view! Clarias will tell you 'Nigritarsis' is Latin for 'black-footed'. The adults of these species are guys that harass you Cape dudes in the spring. The female when about to lay eggs, uses a bubble of air underwater to propel her to the surface. Flytiers consider!
    Extremely interesting post Chris, thanks for that. I once came across a huge hatch of these on a very small stream, later identified as Simulium vitatum if my memory still serves my well. The difference with this hatch was that they weren't flying about but were literally streaming up the rocks in their thousands, transforming the creamy coloured rocks to black, and had I slapped one of those rocks, I would have killed at least 100 in one single slap.

    Apparently the females of the Simulium family are blood suckers and will suck on birds, reptiles and other vertebrates, and are therefore potentual transmitters of filiarial didease (elephantiasis), but more worrying for anglers, river blindness! Fortunately, they seldom bite humans.

    Suddenly it all becomes clear to me why I am battling to see my fly in fast water, perhaps the early stages of river blindness setting in?
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  3. #23
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    Dec 2006
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    Haha, the species to the north of us are the river blindness culprits - Central Africa has a bad time with these horrible things.

    I doubt you've river blindness more likely third stage of some communicable disease!!!
    The more you know, the less you need (Aboriginal Australian proverb)

    Only dead fish swim with the stream (Malcolm Muggeridge)

  4. #24
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    Thanks to you all for some very interesting information.

    Rory - please send me some pics of your blackflies when you can so i can get a better look.
    The best day to go fishing is any day that ends in a "y"

  5. #25
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    Hi Wade and Rory, this is very Anoraky but I do actually have details of the various blackfly species in the Vaal.

    I doubt very much whether this info will make any difference to your hook-ups. But sure as hell, it will be an excuse to hang around Rory's bakkie tailgate and listen to how he did 180's against Phil Taylor (darts guys pasop!)
    The more you know, the less you need (Aboriginal Australian proverb)

    Only dead fish swim with the stream (Malcolm Muggeridge)

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