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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Dorsal view of a Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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Insect Family Formicidae (Ants)

Ants are one of the best-known terrestrial food sources for trout. Wingless ants often stumble by accident into the water, making them a very common "occasional" item on the trout's menu. Imitations of these unlucky critters make excellent searching patterns in mid- to late summer.

The real fun with ants, however, comes from the mating swarms of winged species. They are spotty and hard to predict, but when they happen to fall over the water they can draw more trout activity than all but the best hatches of huge mayflies.

Formicidae Fly Fishing Tips

Ant imitations are effective above and below the surface.

A heavy fall of ants will make trout extremely selective to their distinct form, and smoothly tapered mayfly imitations in the correct size and color are likely to be rejected on account of their shape.

Specimens of Ants:

1 Male Adult
2 Female Adults
6 Adults

5 Streamside Pictures of Ants:

Start a Discussion of Formicidae


Insect Family Formicidae (Ants)

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