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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 Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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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BGrnFlyfish
Wisconsin

Posts: 37
BGrnFlyfish on Jan 23, 2008January 23rd, 2008, 2:01 pm EST
I have the opportunity to fish the Brule river (border between Michigan and N. Wisconsin) a couple of times this year and also the Battenkill in Vermont. I was wondering if I could get some feed back about the rivers or what its like if any of you have ever had the opportunity to fish these rivers.
Seth-Big Green River, WI
Jjlyon01
SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
Jjlyon01 on Jan 23, 2008January 23rd, 2008, 2:48 pm EST
I live about 5 miles from the Battenkill River on the New York side. I have yet to buy my Vermont license, but I've heard the fishing for Browns and Brooks are good especially toward the headwaters.

I have been fishing the Battenkill for about six years and I have learned a lot about it. There are few wild fish to be had on the New York stretch, but i have caught some in the 16"-18" range. The river is pretty wide and deep in most places, but is easily accessed and waded. We have decent Caddis hatches and mayfly hatches from around mid-May to late-June, and earlier in the season a good blue-wing olive or Adams may be key. You will probably encounter many 9-12 inch fish that the DEC releases periodically through early Spring.

My favorite spot is located at a DEC release point on Route 22 in Salem ( I probably wouldn't inform you of this spot, but everyone knows of it and I don't mind sharing with fellow anglers). Try a green caddis nymph if the water is clear and there is no huge hatch or a dark woolly-bugger stripped fast across the surface if the water is high and murky.

If you need anymore information feel free to get a hold of me or the Orvis Flagship store in Manchester Vermont has a great knowledgeably group of guys there.
"I now walk into the wild"
Dano
Vanderbilt, Michigan

Posts: 101
Dano on Jan 24, 2008January 24th, 2008, 9:04 am EST
Interesting....

'Bout 35 years ago when I was in college (NMU) I had a buddy from Iron River and we spent a weekend on the Brule. As I recall there was a campground near Nelma which is where we camped.

Any who, this was a long time ago and back in my hippie days so I can't recall a lot of detail. What I remember most is that it wasn't a particularly "fast" stream (out here it would be referred to as a "creek") and that the hatches were about 2-3 weeks behind those I fished in in the northern streams in the Lower Peninsula. I do remember using a modified Adams pattern that I would use on the Black River in Lower Michigan when fishing for Brookies. It was tied exactly like an Adams except that the wings were white hackle tips. At that time it was a great Brook Trout fishery though we did catch a few Browns...

I had a Michigan resident fishing license and trout/salmon stamp and I think we had to get a non-resident licenses from Wisconsin, can't remember for certain. Might be a good idea to check on that.

Sorry I can't be of more help...

Dano


Eventually, all things merge into one...and a river runs through it.
Smallstream
State College, PA

Posts: 103
Smallstream on Jan 26, 2008January 26th, 2008, 5:50 am EST
when I was a kid I lived in massachussets and almost every weekend in the summer we used to go up to vermont, not too far far from manchester where the battenkill, I never wet a line there but I did go on multiple canoe trips down it, from what I remember it was a very nice stream, slow moving and lots of deep pools. I thought I read an article about how they are trying to improve the fishery because in recent years there has been a lot of degradation to that particular stream. Manchester is a really cool town though. I have heard and read that it is a very difficult river to fish, has anybody had and good success there?
Douglyons
maynard ma

Posts: 1
Douglyons on Jan 26, 2008January 26th, 2008, 8:42 am EST
I fish the Battenkill extensively. Your welcome to drop me a note with any questions. Short answers regarding some of the comments. The river did see a fairly significant drop in the numbers of trout in the 1994/95 timeframe. Populations did not rebound until around 2000. Since that time there has been a slow improvement in the numbers of trout.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department did extensive studies on the river that are available for review at www.battenkillalliance.org - well worth checking out.

The primary reason for the decline in numbers on the 'kill has been the loss of in-stream habitat, specifically in the form of woody debris. The river is very similar to the Au Sable in Michigan in that most trout hold along the edges where there is extensive cover from fallen trees.

In 2006 a 1/4 mile stretch of river was restored by placing woody debris clusters, whole trees and several rock structures in the stream. Initial results showed a 5 fold increase in the number of catchable trout. Whether that sustains itself remains to be seen but there is a lot of optimism. This past year an additional 1/4 mile of river was similarly improved (contiguous to the first stretch). This fall another section of river will be restored as well.

The river is well worth fishing as are several others in the Manchester area. My email is ddclyons1@aol.com - drop me a note and I can help with more specifics regarding hatches etc depending on when you are coming to the river. Take care. Doug

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