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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 Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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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Posts: 1
Donnie on Nov 8, 2011November 8th, 2011, 6:00 am EST
just want to say im learning to fly fish have done it for years but just for bream but now i want to do it about 3 days a week.I fish 6 days a week im somewhat disable since 1995 At one time i had a fly that looked like a big black ant an i caught alot of red breast but lost it years ago an cant find another like it.I guess what im asking is if you can give me some tips on good flies it would be great i want to get into this alot more we have no trout where i live but i fish for bream,crappie,bass,red fin pike,jack.Cant aford alot at one time but if its not to high an you can put together some good flies for these fish let me know.Thanks for your time. donniep334@gmail.com
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Nov 8, 2011November 8th, 2011, 6:36 am EST
Hi Donnie,

Welcome to the forum!

...you can put together some good flies for these fish let me know...

Well for starters, let's get that special ant fly replaced as best we can. Can you describe it? Wet fly or dry, size, regular or long shank hook (two times the length of the hook gap or longer) Hackle color (if any) & where it was wound, body material (fur, foam rubber, etc), 3 segmented or two? Rubber legs (or not), wings (or not); was it bulkier than a real ant or about the same, etc.

As to other flies, their are a few friends on the forum with lots of sunfish & bass experience that will be sharing info with you soon, I'm sure.

Happy angling!

"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

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