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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 Neoleptophlebia (Leptophlebiidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Some characteristics from the microscope images for the tentative species id: The postero-lateral projections are found only on segment 9, not segment 8. Based on the key in Jacobus et al. (2014), it appears to key to Neoleptophlebia adoptiva or Neoleptophlebia heteronea, same as this specimen with pretty different abdominal markings. However, distinguishing between those calls for comparing the lengths of the second and third segment of the labial palp, and this one (like the other one) only seems to have two segments. So I'm stuck on them both. It's likely that the fact that they're immature nymphs stymies identification in some important way.
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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Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Apr 5, 2021April 5th, 2021, 2:22 am EDT
Hey Guys,

So yesterday I had my first outing of the season, deciding to hit the Ramapo River. This was my first time ever trying this stream and so, did alot of observing; probably more than I did fishing, to be honest. Anyway, I saw alot of bugs fluttering above the surface and, after catching one, realized it was a little black stonefly. I have never fished an imitation of this species--at least, not that I recall-- so i was wondering: do Trout target the little black stones? In other words, is it worth trying to imitate them or no? And, if so, what would you use? I thought maybe a black soft hackle #16 or maybe a black ant , same size, fished wet? What do you think?

Thanks,

NC Man
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 5, 2021April 5th, 2021, 1:31 pm EDT
When I used to go open my cabin on the WB Delaware in mid April I used to see lots of #16 Early Black stoneflies and trout would eat them if there were enough of them and they stayed on the water long enough. Stoneflies are great fliers and never stay on the water very long.

I tie a dry on a #14 or #16 Tiemco 100. No tail, a black beaver fur abdomen, a black hackle, and a clump of white or light gray Zelon for the wing - not to exceed the length of the hook.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Apr 6, 2021April 6th, 2021, 12:30 am EDT
Thanks Matt, and what would you use in a nymph pattern? Ill bet a black #16-18 soft hackle would be decent wet , but Im not sure what kind of nymph to use- a black pheasant tail maybe?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 6, 2021April 6th, 2021, 1:37 am EDT
I would tie a stonefly nymph. Any nymph or wet fly hook #14 - #16 standard length.

Tail - 2 Black goose biots - not very long and tied in so they flare out
Body - Black larvae lace or black "D" rib 2/3 up towards eye
Thorax - Black Hare-Tron
Wingcase - Black duck quill segment or black Zelon pulled over the thorax and tied off.
Hackle - (Optional) a few turns of black hen hackle tied through the thorax before pulling the wingcase over the top.

I often just pick out the Hare-Tron thorax so the guard hairs appear to be legs.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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