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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 Amphizoa (Amphizoidae) Beetle Larva from Sears Creek in Washington
This is the first of it's family I've seen, collected from a tiny, fishless stream in the Cascades. The three species of this genus all live in the Northwest and are predators that primarily eat stonefly nymphs Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019).
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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Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jan 1, 2008January 1st, 2008, 3:48 am EST
John W mentioned a cut wing fly that he ties using the stirrup method of anchoring materials under the hook and pulling the ends up to create a wing or post. I believe he mentioned a foam wing, so this question is primarily for him, but anyone with experiences with this method and materials used for it is welcome to add his or her comments.

John, did you state you use a foam wing for this fly? If so, what kind of foam? If not what kind of material? I believe you mentioned this tie for a thorax pattern. Do you cut the hackle underneath or use X wraps to separate the hackle underneath? (I use both methods, and can't decide which I prefer.) What tips or further instructions can you give on your thorax ties?

I'm thinking about trying web wing also for this kind of fly, and have some sparkle organza that I may try too, along with using it for spinners. I also continue to experiment with Gonzo's poly wings for duns and emergers, along with his method of using hi-viz for legs.

Finally John, how was the fishing on the 1st? I obviously didn't make it, but hope you guys had fun out there.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Jan 1, 2008January 1st, 2008, 9:53 am EST
Now that is quite a laundry list of questions.
The cut wing is actually a parachute pattern that a good friend of mine showed me. Since the stem of hen hackles are relatively soft they are very poor candidates for forming a post for parachutes. In order to compensate for this he takes a piece of fly foam (2mm variety) and simply forms stirrups on either side of the hook. Much like you already do with synthetic fibres for paracutes except the "cut" hen wing is sandwhiched between them. The tying procedure then progresses as a typical parachute except you snip off the foam just above The hachkle.
I know this sounds pretty fragile but once you get the hang of it the flies are pretty bomb proof. I don't know if the cut wings really matter that much but sometimes you just want to tie fancy stuff for the sake of tying them.

I also do a cut foam wing with a material called RIVER FOAM which is a fairly translucent mateial along the lines of razor foam. I cut these with the razor blade stamping style cutters and use almost solely for size 18 and smaller.

On the subject of thorax ties I usually cheat and tie like a standard except the wing is located mid-shank and then take a nippers to the hackle on the underside of the hook. I just stuggle mightily with the "X technique"

As for the fishing today one word would suffice "COLD". I did have a very nice 'bow sepatate my 2x and head downstream with my sculpin but that is a different story.

"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jan 2, 2008January 2nd, 2008, 10:35 am EST
Yeah, it looked windy too. I just had too many family obligations and ultimately I felt right about staying in and taking care of business. Then your comment on the cold confirmed this further.

Still, any time a big bow separates 2X is a time I'd like to be around just to hopefully see the flash and feel the electricity even if it's not my 2X getting parted. I'd say you had a good day just to get a hit like that. And I know you've marked the spot and tied up some 1X or 0X leaders for the next meeting. :)
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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