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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 Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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: 77
Goose on Jan 10, 2012January 10th, 2012, 4:25 am EST
Everyone seems to love these pupa and emerger patterns, but I've never done any good with them. I'm sure it's not the fly but the way I fish them.

When do you fish them?
They recommend to fish the sparkle pupa deep and the emerger in the film. I'm not the greatest fisherman, but I'm not the worst, either. I should be able fish these much better.

Please supply advice.
Posts: 61
Doublespey on Jan 10, 2012January 10th, 2012, 5:33 am EST
If I were to make a general statement about when to fish them I would say in the evening time, when the sun starts to get off the water. And I am convinced that Gary L. has to be scrutinized on some of his promotions. I read a good article about a close friend of his that described Gary well. His friend was into helping Gary promote himself in the fly fishing industry, and make a living in the business. Not easy for a small town guy from a small town in Montana. Gary was not about going through the scientific procedures, and, in particular, the extended time it took to prove things as fact. Gary got a lot of mileage out of making provocative assertions that got fly anglers attention, and would thrust him into the limelight. I followed Gary, and his travel/show presentations with his other two business partners, Jack Dennis, and Mike Lawson. His two partners would often just smile when you would mention one of Gary's bug cycle assertions, and the fish's reaction to to these assertions. In my opinion, some proved to be accurate, and some did not. Lawson has designed some effective caddis emergers that I use today that do not include this "halo effect" but do include a sparkle yarn underwing that I use. Who knows for fact?. In my opinion, fish a fly ascending as an emerger, as I do my soft hackles that contain some sparkle in some of my patterns, and the trout react well to them.

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