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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.

Lateral view of a Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for this one.
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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

South Carolina

Posts: 1
Tor on Sep 20, 2020September 20th, 2020, 1:22 pm EDT
So I have been trout fishing for years in the Western NC mountains. Have decided to take up fly fishing for trout.

I have read up on rods /reels / flies etc. I will only be fishing (to start anyway) in the NC mountains (Davidson River, Avery Creek size rivers. My main question is fly rod weight. Would a 3-weight, say between 6,5 and t ft be appropriate for these kind of rivers? Maybe a 3-weight Echo Fly Rods River Glass Fiberglass series?

Could someone guide me in the proper direction for rod size.....we are talking 15-16 inch trout at the most.
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Sep 21, 2020September 21st, 2020, 12:33 pm EDT
Tor, your in the ballpark with the 3 wt., 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 ft. The fiberglassflyrodders web site has many articles of fishing just those types of streams. All some excellent breakdown of rods. Good luck with your choice, lots of choices which is a good thing.
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Sep 21, 2020September 21st, 2020, 1:44 pm EDT
I don't know those streams, but I was able to google a few pictures. In general when starting fly fishing it's ideal to start with something like an 8'6" 5-weight, maybe 4-weight if you're targeting smaller streams and smaller fish. That's kind of the classic "all-around" fly rod. A 6.5 to 7.5-foot fly rod is very short and typically a specialty rod for casting in tight quarters on very small streams, and it'll be harder to cast at any kind of distance or in any sort of wind under other circumstances. It's easier to use an 8'6" rod on a tight, small stream than it is to use a 7' 3-weight when something bigger is called for.

Also, I haven't fished fiberglass but my understanding is those rods generally have a pretty slow/soft action and are a bit heavier. A decent entry-level graphite rod might be better to start with, then branch out to more specialized rods once you have a feel for the kind of fly fishing you end up enjoying and what kind of rod(s) would best complement your style of fishing.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Sep 24, 2020September 24th, 2020, 10:05 am EDT
I'd agree with Jason. An 8.5 ft 4 or 5 weight is a good rod to start out with, and it would be perfect for the Davidson, Nantahala, and many other small to medium size N.C. rivers. I typically use a 9' 3 weight on all but the smallest of the smaller streams I fish. On rivers the size of the Davidson I'd prefer a 9 or 10' rod in either a 4 or 5 weight. A glass rod may be slightly easier to learn to cast, but a medium to medium fast graphite rod may perform better under more variable conditions. I'd avoid a fast rod for now, though.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Red_green_h's profile picture
New Mexico

Posts: 64
Red_green_h on Sep 24, 2020September 24th, 2020, 12:29 pm EDT
My first rod was a 8 ft 4 wt. Still love getting it out. I can cast that sucker out almost as far as my 8'6" 5 wt after "greasing" it up with line dressing. My 1 wt rod is glass and it is definitely slow action and takes some getting used to after fishing medium/fast action. I just got my son a 7'6" 3 wt Echo base combo for his first rod/reel. Bu we fish a lot of smaller streams where we only have to cast 20 to 30 ft out if even that. It's perfect for him to learn on. I might suggest buying one of those combos. They are cheap but a pretty solid set up. Most people you talk to will suggest at least 9' rods no matter where you fish. Which is fine but fishing a shorter rod has its perks especially for beginners IMO. I would suggest staying away from glass until you are decent at casting. They tend to be more expensive and when you are first learning it can be easier to break a blank than cast your line out.

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