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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.

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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This topic is about the Mayfly Species Litobrancha recurvata

Litobrancha recurvata is generally reported to be the largest North American species of mayfly in angler entomologies, though this understanding is being challenged by reports of Hexagenia limbata that may exceed 40mm in some locales. Regardless, it is certainly the largest mayfly in the region of its distribution. Sometimes it appears together with species of Hexagenia or Ephemera, but in other places it creates excellent action on its own.

Example specimens

Beardius
Posts: 19
Beardius on Aug 1, 2008August 1st, 2008, 7:57 am EDT
Caucci and Nastasi's comments and other comments above are correct. They are really hardy and impressive nymphs when they near maturity. Litobrancha nymphs prefer fine silty, mucky habitats in streams. They can be abundant in mucky side channels to the main stream. Their emergence occurs over a 5-day span, with the large majority emerging within a 3-day period. Therefore, large emergences are rarely encountered. When they do occur, they can be very impressive.

From my experience collecting and rearing these critters, they have a 2-year life cycle in PA and MD. They increase tremendously in size in their second year. Emergence occurred in late May into early June about a week before that of green drakes (Ephemera guttulata).

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