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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.

Lateral view of a Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for this one.
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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Jmd123 has attached these 4 pictures. The message is below.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 11, 2011June 11th, 2011, 7:22 pm EDT
Today I did my first kayak-fishing trip of the year, and at a place I've never fished before to boot. I went to [REDACTED] Pond, the place where I had found the cute little fawn curled up in the grass a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping not to find any tourists, however there were three pickup trucks and a tent in the parking area. Nevertheless, I dragged the kayak down to the pond and discovered the only other fishermen there were on foot (with spinning gear), so I pretty much had the place to myself anyway. I inquired as to their success and they answered that they had none, and they asked me if it was all shallow or if it ever got any deeper. Well it did, and I began throwing a #10 brown-and-grizzly Woolly Bugger around and had a fish in the boat within 5 minutes! Did I just get lucky? Nope, they were hammering it all day long, and I ended up with a total of 10 brookies, the smallest of which was 8" and most were 10-12 inches long. Plus one nice fat 9-inch-plus yellow perch, the photo of which does not do it justice because of the perspective. All fish were released because the limit on brookies here is 15" (and one per day, and artificials only), and one perch does not a meal make (but if I catch any more that size, well, the freezer awaits!). I did have to change fly patterns once, as I lost both of my #10 brown Woollies and had to substitute a #10 olive/peacock/grizzly WB, which caught the perch and the last brookie of the day. Fish were rising too but I had so many hits on the Woollies I never felt it necessary to change...

The other guys' trucks were gone when I left shortly before dark, so I had no chance to tell them of my success where they failed. If they had asked, I would have said: 1) next time bring a canoe and 2) you might want to take up fly fishing. Too bad, they'll just have to figure it out for themselves...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Jun 12, 2011June 12th, 2011, 3:04 am EDT

How did your fish your bugger in terms of presentation style? I'm not too experienced w/ still-water fly-fishing; did you let it sink to the bottom and retrieve slow/fast? Did you add weight to get it down or use sink tip line at all?

Thanks alot,

Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 12, 2011June 12th, 2011, 9:16 am EDT
Adirman, the fly is weighted with wire, non-toxic alternative to lead, in the underbody, and I added no additional weight. I fished them with a floating line, and began stripping the fly 4-6" at a time almost as soon as it hit the water. The fish were not deep (nor is the pond) as I saw quite a few of them rising. To be perfectly honest, I haven't done a lot of still-water fishing for trout myself, but I do have a lot of experience when it comes to warm stillwaters, so I just took my best guess. Seems like it worked! What they took them for I don't know, maybe dragonfly nymphs? Hard to tell with Woolly Buggers, maybe they just looked interesting...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Jun 12, 2011June 12th, 2011, 1:21 pm EDT
Those are some nice brookies! I love pond fishing for brook trout. It's not something I get to do very often living in Missouri, but it's sure a lot of fun when I do get the chance. There's just nothing prettier than a nice, fat stillwater brookie.

Looks like you've found yourself a pretty nice pond too.
"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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