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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.

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.

Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Sep 21, 2011September 21st, 2011, 6:15 pm EDT
Beaver predators:
Bears, Lynx, Fox, Wolverines, and Dogs
There is speculation that otters eat only beaver carrion.
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 22, 2011September 22nd, 2011, 9:16 am EDT
Tony,

Since we are damn near Canadian here in Day-twa we get to watch their television...It leaks somehow across the border. I am fond of their Sunday morning line up...David Suzuki's "Nature of Things",I've watched him for what seems my whole life...He must be 102!, "Land & Sea" covers traditions of the Maritimes, and then Manbridge, their news guy interviews someone, and then they have a review of the weeks markets from someone other than our own perspective...

Anyway! They had a program on "Land & Sea" where the whole half hour was dedicated to a guy that is keeping aboriginal and "living in the bush" cultures alive...Basically by eating things the rest of us won't. He is rather fond of beaver especially the tail...

We forgot the top-dog predator which is us humans...We have made coats from them and mittens, and I've discussed here before my beaver "coolie" from Beaver Island (of all places), and I'm extremely fond of their underfur for my dry-fly dubbing. Don't tell my brother-in-law (he gave the coolie to me), but it has some snip holes in it...

Nature to me is rather simplistic at times. Most animals are obsessed with eating and reproduction...Period.

I have had wood-peckers around the house when they are in nest building mode where the only way you could stop their pounding would be to kill them. I bet if you could hold them in your hand from behind their beaks would still be going. Something clicks and off they go and wood chips are flying everywhere except when they are telling the cutie-pies in the neighborhood they are there and are pounding on my home!(Side note: They pound out a few holes and then offer them up to their mate to be and she decides which one to call home for her offspring...Sometimes she says no and all his work is for naught...Ouch!)

Beavers are the same. If you could reason with one you would be unable to convince him that he's not really going to stop this river and he's wasting his time...He has to chew and gnaw and that is it...He don't care that the tree comes down today. He chews a huge dent in it and leaves it to die and it will drop eventually.

Stop sometime at one of these trees and pull out your pocket knife and try to dublicate his work with it. You will then get an idea of how strong these critters are. I have never heard of anyone getting bit, but I wouldn't want to chance it.

Spence

Oh by-the-way TroutNuts since my Wings lost in a pre-season game last night to Tony's Pens I owe him two cold Molson's. Damn!!! :)

For you non-Detroiters who may have been denied the pleasure of Hockey Night in Canada, I miss Nolton Nash who used to be the guy who read the news between the 2nd & 3rd periods and would always end his short report with, "And now. Back to Hockey Night in Canada". Don't get me going about Danny Galivan or Foster Hewitt, I may tear up! :(
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 22, 2011September 22nd, 2011, 9:50 am EDT
Tony, thanks for the info. I had a feeling that the otter thing was perhaps a stretch, as beavers often live in smaller bodies of water than otters do (though not always). Just taking a wild guess, mammology is not part of my biology training...

Don Cherry is my favorite part of Hockey Night in Canada. "We never used to wear helemts when we played, they're for sissies!! Now of course, ya might get knocked out cold for an hour or two at a time..."

Jonathon

P.S. Be sure to pronounce "out" as "oot"...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Sep 22, 2011September 22nd, 2011, 10:06 am EDT
Hey Spence,

Nature to me is rather simplistic at times. Most animals are obsessed with eating and reproduction...Period.


Most? Ah.. I get it! We have to make allowances for those obsessed with death and extinction.;)

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 22, 2011September 22nd, 2011, 12:18 pm EDT
We have to make allowances for those obsessed with death and extinction.;)


Kurt,

I wasn't going to say anything, but what's been keeping me awake nights lately, other than a rash of break-ins in my neck-of-the-woods, is something I think they call the Permian-Triassic extinction event and the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event...Am I alone here?

I think what you are trying to tell me, is to stop wringing my hands, and get busy! ;) It's tough work re-populating the planet but someone's got to do it!

Hey! Weren't you heading somewhere on a fishing trip? No war stories?

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Sep 22, 2011September 22nd, 2011, 1:36 pm EDT
what's been keeping me awake nights lately, other than a rash of break-ins in my neck-of-the-woods, is something I think they call the Permian-Triassic extinction event and the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event...Am I alone here?

I'm gonna say yes.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Sep 22, 2011September 22nd, 2011, 1:47 pm EDT
Spence -

Hey! Weren't you heading somewhere on a fishing trip? No war stories?


Reminds me of a story a good friend from a Maine sporting camp told me. He was getting ready to launch his new boat when he noticed a guide pull into the dock with a couple of sports. Now old George (the name has been changed to protect the innocent) was all ready to go but decided to have a little conversation with the guide first to pick up some pointers. Walking up, the guide never took notice of him as he continued to stow his gear bent over and looking away. Apparently the guide maintained this posture throughout. Now this perturbed old George to no end. The conversation went something like this, How's the fishing?...Good for some... Should I use flies?... Some do... Any recommendations?... Whatever you got...

After that futile exchange, poor George shrugged his shoulders and walked back to his boat muttering unmentionables about humanity in general and one guide in particular. He must have been distracted by his frustration because he didn't go through his checklist and study the instructions for his new outfit. He untied his boat and as it started to drift away from the dock, he pulled out the choke, gave a jerk to the cord and - nothing... Ten, twenty pulls later he decided to put the choke in. Again more pulls, nothing... Finally after the umpteenth pull, a spark of life! On the next pull he decided to really give it the gas at the merest sign of combustion. That he did. Of course with the motor being in gear and all, twenty horses propelled the boat like a rocket. Having been nearly been thrown out of the boat, he had a fraction of a second to collect himself and grab the handle. This caused the boat to swerve violently before he could back off on the throttle.

The next thing he knew he was sitting on the stern seat looking forward with his hand on the tiller as if posed for a Winslow Homer. The only problem was his bow was up on the dock and below him was the guide's classic Maine Laker. All 20 ft. of its wood sparred canvass (now broken in half) was rapidly sinking in ten feet of water. Nobody said a word for what seemed like an eternity and all was silent. George noticed that for the first time that day, the guide was actually looking at him...


I don't know where the lesson is here, other than I'm more leery of guys in boats that ask me questions about the fishing.:)

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 22, 2011September 22nd, 2011, 6:20 pm EDT
I don't know where the lesson is here, other than I'm more leery of guys in boats that ask me questions about the fishing.:)


Ok...But I'm usually standing around, thigh deep in water, in waders. The worse I could do is pierce your ear with a size 16 Borcher's...Promise...

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 23, 2011September 23rd, 2011, 6:47 am EDT
"The worse I could do is pierce your ear with a size 16 Borcher's..."

I guess that's better than a size 10 weighted Woolly Bugger!!

And this reminds me of my Minnesota trip (work, not fishing) this past summer. The fellow from our teaming company who was chosen to operate the boat I was in (he also handled a bunch of equipment like the Ponar grab, YSI water quality meter, etc.) had not handled boats much before in his life, and during the learning curve he nearly drove us straight into a cement sea wall at speed! Right in front of everyone on the dock too...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jesse
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on Sep 25, 2011September 25th, 2011, 10:11 pm EDT
This is a very interesting topic to me. I have always kind of wondered this myself and i believe i got a little better understanding on beaver dams over the summer. I have found and learned that during their first couple of years of activity, they are extremely productive on rivers. They increase bug life, used as a filter system, and just great over all. Some big fish wind up thriving in them as well. But i have always wondered about fish being able to get up them. I know during periods of high water that shouldn't be a problem or if there is alternate routes, but they truly are an interesting feature to a river channel. Cool info. from everyone.
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 26, 2011September 26th, 2011, 10:06 am EDT
Jesse makes a good point here. Perhaps beaver dams are good in the short run on small streams, but it is perhaps good that they eventually blow out and are rebuilt in different areas. Streams are dynamic systems, constantly changing, and the beaver dams should be a part of this dynamic, not static (like big hydro dams which permanently alter stream ecology) but ever-changing in location, size, shape, etc.

As far as fish getting past beaver dams, I know that at least steelhead can - my first year fishing the Rifle and it's tributary formerly full of beaver ponds, Klacking Creek, there was a nice big steelie cruising around in the lowermost pond, despite one hell of a big dam. I saw it myself and another local fly fisher told me he did too...

Another interesting thing I saw was the aftermath of a dam being blown (or taken) out a year later. Looking for the now-gone pond, I instead found a meadow filled with the most luxuriant growth of wetland wildflowers, sprouted on all of the accumulated silt behind the dam and growing in the sunlight provided by the death of the trees drowned by the pond. I would guess that this may well have provided a nice source of terrestrial insect food for the trout...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jesse
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on Sep 27, 2011September 27th, 2011, 5:54 am EDT
Thats beautiful.
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com

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