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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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Report at a Glance

General RegionWestern Colorado
Specific LocationFrying Pan River, Basalt, CO
Dates Fished7/28
Time of Day8 AM - 4 PM
Fish CaughtRainbows, Browns, Hybrids
Conditions & HatchesFlows are perfect at 226 but big runoffs have changed the dynamics of the river slightly.

PMD's are abundant, a lot of small white midges hatching in abundance. Hatches started around 10 AM and were constant through late afternoon.

Most active I've ever seen the fish on the Pan. Best results on top were with a size 18 pinkish Sparkle Dun. No action on adult duns.

Underneath they were very active on Princes, Miracle Midges, and Red Brassies. I used size 16 for the Prince, 20 on the midge, and 24-26 on the Brassies. Size 6 leader and tippet, size 7 for the dropper

Fish were rising to Green Drakes but I didn't see any flying above the 9 mile point. But apparently they've seen them this summer so don't be afraid to use a big Green Drake to drop your midges. Fish were also rising to the Sparkle Dun when there wasn't rapid rising so they were definitely paying attention to the surface.

Details and Discussion

WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Jul 29, 2011July 29th, 2011, 10:55 am EDT
Really pay attention to the floor as a lot was shifted with extreme runoff. There is a lot of wood in the water and I was snagged quite often. The rocks can be a little bit loose so just wade carefully.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.

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