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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.
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Youngfish's profile picture
Manistique, MI

Posts: 20
Youngfish on Apr 26, 2012April 26th, 2012, 10:59 am EDT
What are everyones favorite patterns for spring steelhead? I haven't been doing anything else besides swinging streamers lately. Green but skunk streamers, green egg sucking leachs and olive spey buggers have been my best this year so far. I have been tying all my own streamer patterns and was looking to start tying a few more patterns if anyone wouldn't mind sharing. Swinging streamers is by far my favorite way to fish. It is hard to go back to anything else now I started swinging streamers. :)
Kyle McClelland
Manistique, MI
XXL Chrome Chasing- www.facebook.com/XxlChromeChasing
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 26, 2012April 26th, 2012, 11:47 am EDT
Yep, swinging streamers and seeing a huge boil behind the fly is pretty much the top of the steelhead game! The streams I fish are on the smaller side so swinging doesn't produce very well but nymphs in sizes #10 - #16 work very well.

One streamer I do use is the Emerald Shiner because it is indigenous to Lake Erie and in the spring they swim up the creeks by the millions to spawn. So if you imitate one it can be a very good fly. They aren't very big at all. They are only about 1" - 2" long so a #8 - #10 streamer hook is fine. There are some very good patterns on the Internet.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 27, 2012April 27th, 2012, 7:36 am EDT
Streamers are SUCH Fun! I obviously don't have to tell you that.

As to patterns, I am not all that sure it matters much. How is more important than what. But...here are a few that stood the test of time for me:

The most effective, or the ones I had most confidence in, were the top four. I dubbed them (l to r): "Chub", "Lightning", "Thunder-n-Lightning" (tied in tangerine/white or chartreuse.white), and "Tangerine-n-White" (hardly a name but a simple description). That T-n-W was uniquely effective as it sometimes took fish after passes through with other patterns. Eventually, it was all I tied on.

The streamers were tied on #2 or #4 (where stream trout existed so I wouldn't puncture eyes on smaller fish) 6xl hooks. The wet flies (don't over look them) were tied on #8 black salmon hooks.

Important components:
-Bucktail pulled a meaty wake (as did the chenille used for the "Chub" body).
-Fluorescent colors. Although I was apt to use "Chub" in clearer water.
-Mylar for flash, which I eventually incorporated alone to make "Lightning" which literally flashed like a little strobe when I pulsed the rod. It worked really well in roiled water, shade, and low light. It was too much in bright sun and clear water.
Youngfish's profile picture
Manistique, MI

Posts: 20
Youngfish on May 10, 2012May 10th, 2012, 7:34 am EDT
Alright, cool!! I am definatly going to have to apply this into my fly tying. Been tying a ton of flies lately. Thanks for all the help, and information!! I really appreciate it!
Kyle McClelland
Manistique, MI
XXL Chrome Chasing- www.facebook.com/XxlChromeChasing

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