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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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Keystoner's profile picture
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Keystoner on Aug 15, 2010August 15th, 2010, 3:21 am EDT
In the very early mornings, just after daybreak, I have ofetn seen trout shooting straight up out of the water (like completley vertical). Sometimes they get upwards of two feet off the water before falling back in. What is this all about??? Besides a really good way to frustrate me when I'm getting skunked.
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
SlateDrake9 on Aug 15, 2010August 15th, 2010, 3:38 am EDT
Chasing caddis that are emerging is my best guess. This happens anytime there's a caddis hatch, not just early morning.


They're just laughing at you. I'd put my money on the caddis thing though.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Aug 15, 2010August 15th, 2010, 7:45 am EDT
Yeah, the usual interpretation would definitely be that they're chasing caddis emergers up to the surface. I've seen fish jump a bit for emerging midges, too. And sometimes they probably jump for other reasons but fishermen just assume they're chasing emergers... things are often more complicated than they seem.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Aug 17, 2010August 17th, 2010, 4:06 pm EDT
Check for Black Dancer's -Mysticites (sp?). They are black winged summer caddis that flit around the surface close to the bank. It's been a while so I do not remember their life history but I have dries and pupae in my box -black wing/olve body.

Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Aug 20, 2010August 20th, 2010, 3:02 am EDT
I doubt that this would happen very early in the morning as Damsel Fly activity seems to pick up in the heat of the day. Here is a forward from another topic:

Years back I was working upstream on a section of the Namekagon. It was a warm sunny afternoon in June, fishing was slow and there was no visible hatch. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a fish, leaping vertically, completely out of the water. I have seen this many times in the past and have always found it interesting. Of course my first thought was--- ah a fish! So naturally, I started to work toward that spot, one eye on my drift and the other, on that spot. Well, much to my surprise, I’ll be damned if the fish didn’t do it again. Now my curiosity was piqued. I ceased fishing and slowly made my way to the spot, halting short, so as not to reveal myself. I was studying the surface of the water, seeing nothing unusual, when the fish leaped; straight up vertically, completely out of the water, again! This time I discovered what was going on. The fish was catching Damsel Flies, as they were hovering, a good foot and a half from the surface.

When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Keystoner's profile picture
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
Keystoner on Aug 20, 2010August 20th, 2010, 10:45 am EDT
Thanks for the answers guys!!! So basically when I see this I should try a caddis fly, and ditch the bugger that no one cares about anyway.
"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB

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