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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 Holocentropus (Polycentropodidae) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to tentatively key to Holocentropus, although I can't make out the anal spines in Couplet 7 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae nor the dark bands in Couplet 4 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae, making me wonder if I went wrong somewhere in keying it out. I don't see where that could have happened, though. It might also be that it's a very immature larva and doesn't possess all the identifying characteristics in the key yet. If Holocentropus is correct, then Holocentropus flavus and Holocentropus interruptus are the two likely possibilities based on range, but I was not able to find a description of their larvae.
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.

Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Jul 23, 2010July 23rd, 2010, 2:25 pm EDT
I just returned from a 3 week trip fishing the Adirondacks, doing everything from paddling boreal forest canoe routes in search of native brook trout to searching the West Branch of the Ausable for browns. The country really is beautiful up there in that neck of the woods, but the fishing was downright tough. The water temperatures were high throughout the park, and that shut off the trout fishing for most of my stay up there. In the interim, I fished the low country rivers for smallies and walleye, which was a lot of fun in itself. But the few times when the trout fishing were productive were true reliefs. The first, and last day of my trip, the water temperatures were just low enough on the famous West Branch of the Ausable for good fishing. I fished a stretch of river on the first evening that I know well from previous trips, and managed to catch some nice browns and a few brookies too, all on dry flies. As a matter of fact, the only fly I used the entire trip for trout was a #10 Ausable Wulff. Whenever the water temperatures were low enough for the fish to feed, this fly was extremely productive. I had my best trout fishing of the trip on Tuesday, after a cool rain had dropped the water temperature to 68 degrees from the unfishable 73-78 degrees it had been previously. I fished in a deep, well oxygenated pool, and though there was no hatch, the trout rose eagerly to the Ausable Wulff-one thing about the West Branch of the Ausable: when the water temps are low enough to fish, those are some of the least selective trout on earth.

But I had the most fun on a 3 day wilderness paddle trip through the northern part of the park, the exact location of which I'm not telling anyone. I was paddling a canoe route that lead through 4 lakes and 3 streams. When I got to my put in on the first lake, I saw that the area look like excellent brook trout habitat- deep, cool water. Definitely the place for nymphs and sinking line though. I decided to start fishing right away, and came across an unwelcome surprise... Apparently some bastard had dumped bass (largemouth and smallmouths) into the heritage brook trout lake. I caught these non-native pests all day long (I like bass fishing, but I don't like them when they are a non-native competitor in heritage brook trout water). So I decided to keep each and every legal bass I caught, which contributed greatly to the amount of protein I had for dinner that night. Finally, the final day, in a deep pond far in the wilderness, I caught the only brook trout of the trip, a 15 inch spotted beauty. I released him gently, and on the next cast caught his competitor, a 16" smallmouth which became shore lunch. The country was beautiful, and the fishing was a lot of fun, but the portages were a little tough, often involving waist deep mud near the beginnings and ends. The trip involved five portages, the longest being 2 miles.

When I came out of the wilderness, I told a local that I ran into about the bass in the heritage ponds. He said that a local had dumped them in a couple years ago to make some obscure point, and the brook trout population has been on a nose-dive ever since. He seemed shocked that I had even caught the one brookie. Very, very sad.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 23, 2010July 23rd, 2010, 4:26 pm EDT
WOW. Sounds like a great trip. KUDOS to you for killing & eating the bass. I hope you brought along some good recipes because I find bass to be rather tasteless compared to trout (& salmon & whitefish & walleye & yellow perch...) - though I'm sure when you're paddling through the wilderness (did it on Isle Royale in Lake Superior myself) EVERY fish you catch and eat tastes good (mine did!).

Concerning the AuSable Wulff, I think it should be OBVIOUS how it got it's name!!!!! Lee Wulff knew what he was doing (as I can attest through the White & Royal Wulffs...).

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Jul 24, 2010July 24th, 2010, 5:10 am EDT
It was definitely a lot of fun- and the Ausable Wulff has earned a permanent place in my fly box.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
on a stream

Posts: 16
Windknot79 on Jul 24, 2010July 24th, 2010, 5:31 am EDT
sounds like you had a great trip even tough the fishing wasn't good. This has been a very hot summer so far I hope it will cool down some.It just goes to show you that sometimes it not about catching fish its about being there.

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