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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 Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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 Sep 23, 2010September 23rd, 2010, 9:38 am EDT
"If you don't believe me that we attract an odd lot to our sport look in the faces of the "regular" folk in the canoes that may pass you when you are out in the middle of the woods...You can almost hear them saying, "Now don't say anything to it and maybe we can just slide on by and it won't bother us. How in the hell did it get out here in the middle of nowhere anyway?!"
It's the truth... I know the exact kind of weird look your talking about- I get it a lot fishing down in the Ozarks where anyone who doesn't fish Powerbait under a bobber is something of a novelty . I was fishing a hike-in stretch of the upper Current the other day, and a lady in a passing canoe actually asked her husband "What the heck is that thing he's waving around in the air? And he's three miles from the county bridge and he doesn't even have a boat!" Her husband said back to her in a low,unsure voice, "I don't know honey, but I think it might be one of them fly poles."
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Sep 23, 2010September 23rd, 2010, 11:59 am EDT
Tell me about odd looks. My sister and I were at Heinz Field watching the last preseason football game between the Steelers and Tennessee when I looked up in the sky and saw white mayflies. I got excited and pointed into the night saying, "See those bugs flying around, those are white mayflies." After she gave me one of those, you're nuts and I don't give a damn looks, other people around us began to look into the sky and then, they too, gave me weird stares. I was so excited I called Gutcutter at home to give him the Three Rivers stream report. I know all about those weird looks.
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Sep 26, 2010September 26th, 2010, 3:53 pm EDT
My sister and I were at Heinz Field watching the last preseason football game

oh my does that post make me feel better...one June evening at Nationals Stadium, something in the mayfly line hatched in the wretched Anacostia River and flew up to enjoy the lights. i nabbed one and had a long and interesting discussion with the Light of my Life about its identity, gender, and possible imitator patterns.

gee, it did get a little quiet around us, up there in the good seats...especially when I claimed out loud that Blue Plains must be doing its job if there were mayflies to be had!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra

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