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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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Report at a Glance

General RegionNorth on PA 325 out of Dauphin
Specific LocationStart of Fly Only No Kill to 3/4 mile downstream
Dates FishedMarch 26
Time of Day11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Fish CaughtNot as many as I expected - three brookies and one brown
Conditions & HatchesWater very cold, thermometer broken so can't give temperature but had to be in low 40's. Great water level! Many runs 2' - 3' deep. Water very clear you can see bottom anywhere water is not ruffled. Very few tan caddis. Even though water was very cold I did see about a dozen rises over the course of the day.

Details and Discussion

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 26, 2008March 26th, 2008, 11:44 am EDT
Normally I do quite well here in early season. However it is possible that I just never went this early before. Only browns and pretty stocked brookies and a small amount of wild browns. It appeared that the stocking performed early in March left much to be desired. Some sections appeared almost barren of fish and other small areas had little pockets of 5 - 6 12" - 14" fish.

Upstream of the trail from the parking lot there is one large pine tree across the creek that wasn't there last summer. Also lots of blowdowns along creek edge. Well downstream there is a large log jam of about half a dozen downed trees across the creek making it impassable while wading. Any rod longer than 6 1/2' and you'll be testing your patience!

Here is where I started - (summer photo)

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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