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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.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Oct 9, 2009October 9th, 2009, 5:27 am EDT
Here is a picture of the typical steelhead my buddy and I caught from Sunday 3:00 - 6:30, Monday 8 - 5, Tuesday 10 - 6, and Wednesday 9 - 1. We have no idea actually how many we hooked or landed. When you are hooking up, fighting, losing, or landing fish all day long who really cares how many there were? I'd estimate we hooked over fifty and landed around thirty.

If anyone is interested the rod is a Cabela's LST switch rod 11' 3" #6. Had it for two years but never fished it before. Does a nice job as a one handed rod when high sticking or following the drift and also as a two handed rod when you want to power a roll cast. We used 3X tippets most of the time except 4X for really spooky fish and 2X when the water was more colored. Most fish were caught on #12 - #16 nymphs and less were caught on egg type flies.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Oct 9, 2009October 9th, 2009, 2:43 pm EDT
Wow! Those are great fish. Glad you had one of those memorable days. I've never had such a good day myself. The most I've landed in 5 trips was 4 steelies.
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Oct 10, 2009October 10th, 2009, 11:20 pm EDT

I'm no Erie expert but you will greatly enhance your chances for success if you try to time your arrival on falling high water. When the water has an emerald green color and 1'-2' visibility I have had my best fishing. Use smaller and darker nymphs in the #12 - #16 range and 3X tippet.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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