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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 Grammotaulius betteni (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This is a striking caddis larva with an interesting color pattern on the head. Here are some characteristics I was able to see under the microscope, but could not easily expose for a picture:
- The prosternal horn is present.
- The mandible is clearly toothed, not formed into a uniform scraper blade.
- The seems to be only 2 major setae on the ventral edge of the hind femur.
- Chloride epithelia seem to be absent from the dorsal side of any abdominal segments.
Based on these characteristics and the ones more easily visible from the pictures, this seems to be Grammotaulius. The key's description of the case is spot-on: "Case cylindrical, made of longitudinally arranged sedge or similar leaves," as is the description of the markings on the head, "Dorsum of head light brownish yellow with numerous discrete, small, dark spots." The spot pattern on the head is a very good match to figure 19.312 of Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019). The species ID is based on Grammotaulius betteni being the only species of this genus known in Washington state.
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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Report at a Glance

General RegionLancaster County, PA
Specific LocationOff of Rte 441
Dates FishedMay 05
Time of Day12:30 - 4:30

Details and Discussion

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 6, 2011May 6th, 2011, 8:11 pm EDT
Parked at the lower end near the concrete bridge and fished my way upstream to about 50 yards below the quarry. Fished from 12:30 - 4:30. Saw good numbers of Ep. invaria but not a single rise, also saw some caddis. Landed a dozen, six pretty and colorful rainbows and six browns of which four looked wild. Two of them had to be stream born as they were only 4" - 5" long. Caught all the fish on either a #12 BH Green Weenie or a #16 copper Copper John with a poxy wing case. Weather was quite windy and a little chilly. Virtualy all the fish were caught in the riffly water - no hits or fish in the slow water. Lots of wood in the water and snags on underwater branches happen frequently. All the rainbows were between 10" and 12", fun afternoon but stream is still best fished with as little wading as possible to keep downstream silting to a minimum.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 8, 2011May 8th, 2011, 5:54 pm EDT
Some of the rainbows in that stream are wild also. I haven't fished it much in recent years, but was out last fall teaching a colleague to fish and we caught several wild bows as well as some wild browns. Plenty of stocked fish in Donegal, but some reproduction too!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 8, 2011May 8th, 2011, 6:32 pm EDT
The rainbows didn't look like any PFBC rainbows I've ever caught. I wish I'd taken a picture of one of them to post. They all appeared to be females as they had small mouths but they were only 10" - 11" anyway so maybe the mouth structure is the same for both sexes at that size. The red stipe was very evident. It is bright red and about 3/4" wide. Is Donegal stocked with any coop fish or private hatchery fish? That might explain the appearance of these rainbows.

BTW I see Louis had a letter to the eidtor published in the most recent issue of FFM.

Here is a picture of a rainbow with the colors of the Donegal fish the only difference is this fish is 20".

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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