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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 Sweltsa (Chloroperlidae) (Sallfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This species was fairly abundant in a February sample of the upper Yakima.
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.

Troutnut
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Bellevue, WA

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Troutnut on Sep 19, 2006September 19th, 2006, 5:15 pm EDT
I caught seven trout tonight in a really cool small stream, and I also caught several chubs, but I'm not sure exactly how many.

So, just for the record, does it count as caught if it flies by my face on the hookset and gets off after it lands? If so, how closely must it whizz by one's face to count? This one was about 18 inches from my head, I think, closer than some that I've unhooked and released.

Also, is there a minimum velocity for "caught?" It flew by me pretty fast, but I think with the altitude I got it should count.

This is important stuff!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Taxon
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Plano, TX

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Taxon on Sep 20, 2006September 20th, 2006, 5:52 am EDT
Jason-

Sorry, but no, n/a, n/a. You can only count it if intercepted in your net as it whizzes past your ear.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

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GONZO on Sep 20, 2006September 20th, 2006, 6:25 am EDT
Nice form, Jason! I suppose we've all managed to "aerialize" a few chubs from time to time, but your concept of hooking for height and velocity brings it to a new level. You are the Chubmeister; I stand in awe! :)

Speaking of achievements in this field, I'd like to nominate one of my fishing buddies for outstanding accomplishment in the category of "aerializing small trout." Whenever we are fishing a small headwater or trib together, he manages to set new records for speed, height, and distance. I cringe when this happens, and I've tried to remind him that he's not competing for the B.A.S.S. title. I often have to scramble to rescue one of his diminutive victims from the bushes. This usually happens after he's gone through several promising pockets without a hit. It seems that his adrenaline reserve builds up such a load that when the rise does come, he explodes--often with truly epic amplitude!

I always wonder what these pole-vaulting trout make of the experience. I imagine a conversation with their fellow troutlings: "Beware of the dreaded Elk-Hair Caddis--unless you want to be drafted into the Aquatic Astronaut Corps!"

In fairness, I'm sure my friend would be quick to point out that, while he holds clear title to all the speed, height, and distance records, he has watched me make feeble attempts to enter a few fish into the competition.

As to the question of what constitutes "caught," no one will begrudge you counting chubs as you see fit. My own fishing records typically follow this formulation: 4 gorgeous wild browns, a couple of stocker rainbows, and a bunch of chucking fubs. :)

In the end, it really doesn't matter how you tally the fish you catch and release; eventually we all realize that it is they who capture us.
Troutnut
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Troutnut on Sep 20, 2006September 20th, 2006, 8:18 am EDT
In the end, it really doesn't matter how you tally the fish you catch and release; eventually we all realize that it is they who capture us.


Well put!

If we're going to add trout to the aerial mix, I'd like to nominate my dad. On our last float on the Brule this summer, he shot three consecutive brookies through the air -- two right into the side of the canoe. He had broken his 5-weight a few nights before, and we don't have many fly rods, so he was fishing a small wet fly for brookies with a 30-year-old fiberglass 7-weight. So the first one was understandable. But after three in a row I was laughing hard enough to scare fish.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

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GONZO on Sep 20, 2006September 20th, 2006, 3:29 pm EDT
Jason--

My sincere condolences to your Dad on breaking his 5-weight. I know how painful that can be. And his performance certainly warrants at least an Honorable Mention in the category. I'm afraid it will have to be entered with an asterisk, however, because using a 7-weight to aerialize brookies is like using a corked bat! Tell him he'll have to work on launching a seven-incher with a 6 1/2' 3-weight before he's in serious contention for my friend's title. :o
Massflyfish
Southborough, MA

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Massflyfish on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 9:28 am EDT
On a trip some years ago, a few of us introduced a bass fisherman to flyfishing for trout. We were catching small brookies in a stream that was no wider than 15 feet. The "Bass Fisherman" managed to:

1) Set the hook
2) Reel it in
3) Release the fish

in one motion. We couldn't get bass hookset out of his system.

He did eventually learn, but it took some practice to change his ways. He now blames us for missing a large bass when he "forgets" to set the hook in a ferocious way while bass fishing.
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

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GONZO on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 11:24 am EDT
Massflyfish-

I've often wondered if one of the reasons competitive bass fisherman get their fish to the boat so quickly is that the bass are so stunned by the initial hookset that they forget to fight!
Massflyfish
Southborough, MA

Posts: 3
Massflyfish on Sep 24, 2006September 24th, 2006, 4:02 am EDT
3lb to 4lb fish on 20 lb test!!

Do they need to play the fish??
GONZO
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"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Sep 24, 2006September 24th, 2006, 7:28 am EDT
Good point. To be fair, I realize that they often fish in heavy weeds and pads, and the heavy line is probably justified. And I think fish should be landed quickly; but jerking them directly from hole to hull seems to eliminate one of the main pleasures of catching fish.

Competitive fishing seems to shortcut much of the traditional joy of fishing. There is little opportunity to truly enjoy and appreciate each fish, let alone any time to slow down and contemplate the world's navel for awhile. Oh well, to each his own, I suppose.
Troutnut
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Troutnut on Sep 24, 2006September 24th, 2006, 8:33 am EDT
I agree that competitive fishing is a silly distortion of the real thing. But I'm not as opposed to it as most fly fishermen, either.

For one thing, it brings in plenty of money for conservation. It's a good economic influence on the whole fishing industry.

But that's not the main point. The main point is this: as fishing it sucks, but as a job it's really not too bad. How many B.A.S.S. anglers would be repairing cars or sitting on an assembly line if they weren't jerking largemouths out of a swamp?

Plus, there's nothing in the rules that says they can't go fishing for fun after a day of fishing for profit. That's what I would do...

Of course, it will be years before competitive creek chub chucking surpasses the popularity of B.A.S.S. When that day comes, I'll be ready!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZO
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GONZO on Sep 24, 2006September 24th, 2006, 3:46 pm EDT
Don't be so quick to dismiss the competitive potential of the chub, Jason. If you checked with one of the European "coarse" fishing associations they may already have a competitive "chub chucking" division. Of course, the European "chub" is a different, much more substantial fish, so you might have to work on your lifting stroke. Who knows, you may have missed your calling! :)
Troutnut
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Troutnut on Sep 24, 2006September 24th, 2006, 5:20 pm EDT
I know they've got some dandy chubs over in Europe -- maybe more akin to fallfish around here?

Still, I would love to see somebody decked out head-to-toe in tackle company logos holding a five-inch creek chub up to the camera!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Oct 31, 2006October 31st, 2006, 6:39 am EST
Gonzo, I loved the "chucking fub" observation, but have just one question: what is a fub, and just how far can a fub chucker chuck if a fub chucker could chuck fubs? By the way, a friend up on the Delaware calls small browns "corn fielders" for the way they have been known to fly towards (I hope not in) the cornfields along the river. --Louis
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Jan 30, 2016January 30th, 2016, 8:42 pm EST
Looks like my first post may have been the one above, October 31, 2006. Several of us had gotten to know Gonzo on Eric Stroup's now defunct message board from the Little J, and migrated over here after hearing about the site from Lloyd.

You can tell it's midwinter, the snow is piled up in PA, and for now the papers are all graded. Just nosing around for fun. G'night all.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRoberts
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Colorado

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PaulRoberts on Jan 31, 2016January 31st, 2016, 4:43 am EST
Fun post. You know, a fub chucker would chuck what a fub chucker could chuck, if a fub chucker could chuck fubs.
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

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Jmd123 on Jan 31, 2016January 31st, 2016, 8:10 am EST
I now have two hornyhead chubs in my fishtank again, used to have a nice school of them. They are one of the more attractive minnow species, as they get some nice orange-red coloration to the fins and the "chin-chest" area. Occasionally they get big enough to put up a fight on a fly rod, as did a ten-incher in Missouri that took a GRHE that was meant for some rainbows...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Jan 31, 2016January 31st, 2016, 8:37 pm EST
Yeah, we used to get pretty silly in the old days. One thing I've really enjoyed about this board is the general lack of arrogance and snark that one sometimes finds on message boards. Yes, something pops up every now and then, but there's much more good will than ill here.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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