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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 Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen appears to be of the same species as this one collected in the same spot two months earlier. The identification of both is tentative. This one suffered some physical damage before being photographed, too, so the colors aren't totally natural. I was mostly photographing it to test out some new camera setting idea, which worked really well for a couple of closeups.
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.

Fisherjohn
Posts: 1
Fisherjohn on Mar 11, 2007March 11th, 2007, 8:16 am EDT
Are there any web sites out there that you can purchase frog hair tippet in the larger diameters like .015 and .017. I've heard good stuff about using it in tying up the butts of your leaders. I am curious to try it.

john
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 12, 2007March 12th, 2007, 12:44 am EDT
I think you can look on their website to find places that carry their products. You may have to contact Frog Hair and ask once you get a phone number or email address.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Flybyknight
Milton, DE

Posts: 82
Flybyknight on Mar 17, 2007March 17th, 2007, 8:38 am EDT
Fisherjohn,
Don't you want stiffer leader sections as you progress from your tippet to your line? It's important for turn-over.
Dick
Lightly on the dimpling eddy fling;
the hypocritic fly's unruffled wing.
Thomas Scott
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Mar 17, 2007March 17th, 2007, 2:33 pm EDT
Yeah, I'm not clear on why you would want a supple butt on your leader, either. It doesn't seem like the place for those...

I use Orvis SuperStrong or Maxima Chameleon, which is fairly stiff, for the butt of the leader, and Frog Hair near (and for) the tippet.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 18, 2007March 18th, 2007, 5:05 am EDT
In recent years George Harvey has advocated for more supple butt sections in leaders. I don't know enough to argue the point, but I've gone with George on some leaders I've tied, using Rio nylon, and so long as you are stepping down and following his formula, it seems to work fine. I believe his idea was to get "S" curves all the way down the leader to get an ever more drag free drift.

Here's an email response to me from someone who sells Enrico Pugilisi tippet:

I have used it for several years and feel that it is by far the best on the market and is much stronger. I was the US Dist for Aeon for years and specialize in fishing small dries on large wild trout. All my customers swear by it. Dave Inks dave@waterstrider.com
www.waterstrider.com

Whoops, this goes under favorite tippet material. I'll copy it in there also.

I'm going to start using it in 6X and smaller for sure, and perhaps larger when I test its suppleness more.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Ratgunner
PA

Posts: 4
Ratgunner on Mar 24, 2007March 24th, 2007, 5:11 pm EDT
I also have been tying the Harvey formulas via Joe Humphreys' books and videos.They work real well.
-Tim
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Mar 25, 2007March 25th, 2007, 1:07 pm EDT
I think some confusion here may stem from conflicting definitions of "supple butt." There are at least three, one of which is completely irrelevant. The other two alternatives are that the butt is supple due to a thin diameter, or that it is supple because it is made of an unusually flexible material.

The Harvey dry fly leaders listed in Joe Humphreys's Trout Tactics call for abnormally thin line of a stiff character in the butt (the second definition). He shows a change to soft line usually about half-way down, at about the 2X or 0.009 diameter. Frog hair is soft and flexible, which is why I use it near the tip and use Orvis SuperStrong higher up.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 26, 2007March 26th, 2007, 8:06 am EDT
Jason, your observation about George Harvey's leader design is absolutely true for his original leader formulae, which many still swear by. However, he more recently advocated using softer more supple material in the butt section, in which he still prefers a smaller diameter than many others. See Flyfisherman magazine, September 2001 for the article and for some slightly different formulae. For a long time, he and Joe Humphreys both preferred Mason hard mono in their leader butts. I don't know if Joe switched to softer stuff or not.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Mar 28, 2007March 28th, 2007, 9:27 am EDT
I think some of the confusion here may stem from conflicting definitions of "supple butt." There are at least three, one of which is completely irrelevant.

Well, I'm not sure that it is completely irrelevant, but at least it doesn't have much to do with fly fishing! :)

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