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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.

Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Mar 16, 2011March 16th, 2011, 9:00 am EDT
As the dwindling remains of winter’s white wonderland slowly succumbs to the spring sun’s glare, rejuvenation swells into the watery habitat, and both flora and fauna emerge, once again, from hibernation’s hiding place. The mind and heart of the fly fisherman is uplifted on the new season, with warm felt expectation of tomorrow’s miracles, as they unfold into the future of day’s past memories. Season’s past will once again be reshaped, as the additions of days to come will be collected and stored as fodder, for the distant winter of yet to come. Picking up where we last left off, new experiences will meld with old, expanding and enriching our knowledge and self awareness. A renewed eye in curiosity may result in the better understanding of the winged forms with which we so desire to emulate at the vise, and increase in expectation nature’s beauty brought to hand. Tying techniques, presentation, equipment repair or replacement, and changes to the tried and true status quo, may emerge into new found wonder. That oh so familiar river, stream or creek, may just reveal a new secret if we grasp the season’s burgeoning potential and carry it forward onto every next cast. Not unlike the slow unfolding petals of the flower’s march to bloom, spring offers us the renewed potential to escape our shackles anew. We are all smitten with life’s uncertainties as we traverse its twists and turns, but with each emerging spring, may the fisherman in us bloom.
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."
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Mar 16, 2011March 16th, 2011, 12:43 pm EDT
I enjoyed your post a lot- very well written.

Spring has sprung here in my neck of the woods now. At least kind of... Sunday night we got 3" of wet snow, but today the temperature got up to 70 and tommorow it's supposed to get near 80 degrees. These crazy temperature swings must have gotten the fish a little confused-and anyway all the streams are really high with the sudden snow-melt. Still, this is about my favorite time of the year, and it's only gonna get better.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach

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