Header image
Enter a name
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.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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.

Shawnny3 has attached this picture. The message is below.
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 1, 2012July 1st, 2012, 8:14 am EDT
Size 22. This fly was made at Louis's suggestion to catch those fish feeding on small baetids in the film. Rather than mimicking the colors of the nymphs, I thought that I would try to mimic the color of the underside of the dun on the theory that fish often feed in shallow riffles on drowned duns (the underside of the nymphs are about this same color as well, which I'm sure doesn't hurt as a fish looks up at it). The abdomen is first tied and shaped using gray thread, then is overwound with a thin layer of light olive thread. When wet, it perfectly matches the deep greyish olive of the naturals. (Thread bodies are also clean and durable, which is why I use them for a lot of small nymphs and dries. Some really deep colors and really cool ribbing effects can be achieved by combining different thread colors.) The thorax is light olive dubbing, and the hackle is a single barb of marabou, tied in at the fluffy butt and wrapped around the shank 3 times. I was worried that such a delicate feather would not stand up to fish, so I intentionally wrapped the marabou into the head section of the fly, then put a few turns of thread over the marabou to slick it back and give it more durability. The fly was fished on its maiden voyage for a few hours and caught a half dozen fish with no signs of wear. The fish could see it even after dark, something that never ceases to amaze me.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Flatstick96
Flatstick96's profile picture
Posts: 127
Flatstick96 on Jul 1, 2012July 1st, 2012, 8:46 am EDT
Can't wait to fish this, and the other variations you've been playing around with recently. :)
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 1, 2012July 1st, 2012, 9:17 am EDT
Bring your tying stuff and I'll show you how they're done. I have a sinking feeling, though, and I'm not sure why, that you'll outfish me with your old standbys anyway...

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Jul 1, 2012July 1st, 2012, 10:22 am EDT
Shawnny, great idea for a pattern.
Bruce
Flatstick96
Flatstick96's profile picture
Posts: 127
Flatstick96 on Jul 1, 2012July 1st, 2012, 11:07 am EDT
Oh, I'll be bringing my tying stuff. One advantage to driving up there (instead of flying) is that I can bring pretty much whatever I want. :)

The reason I fish "old standbys" is because I don't possess your creativity, or your patience at the vice. Simple ties like legless PT's and wet black ants push the limits of my tying abilities, and my patience. :)
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 1, 2012July 1st, 2012, 12:22 pm EDT
Cool Shawn. You may recall, I've gone over to the dark side and am fishing a lot of tungsten beaded flies, with no split shot. It's worked much better for me than the other way so far this season. My current favorite fly comes from Lance Egan via George Daniel's book. It's called the Iron Lotus and it utilizes a thread body and thread rib. Google it and take a look at the olive versions. I've fished very skinny water with these flies and no split shot and had good results. Hope I can give it a try with you soon.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 1, 2012July 1st, 2012, 6:43 pm EDT
That's a nice looking fly, Louis. Looks like a fish catcher. I'm still partial to the bead-thorax style, but I could be biased.

You'll be happy to know that your baetis biot parachute emerger was the only dry I caught any fish on tonight. A nice tie that one.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 1, 2012July 1st, 2012, 7:15 pm EDT
Glad it worked for you, Shawn. By the way, I really liked your idea of using marabou on the soft hackle. That's one I will try.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Jul 2, 2012July 2nd, 2012, 4:12 am EDT
Oops. Sorry, Louis. I gave Shanny credit for your pattern.
Bruce
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 2, 2012July 2nd, 2012, 5:36 am EDT
The softhackle up above? Actually the photo is of Shawn's pattern. Later in the thread, when he mentions the biot parachute emerger he't talking about a fly I designed that is not pictured. I think Tony ties one that is almost identical to it. Shawn deserves full credit for the softhackle fly, and I especially like his idea of using a marabou strand to hackle it.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Jul 2, 2012July 2nd, 2012, 6:42 pm EDT
Shawn, I can really see that fly on a dry/dropper rig during a hatch on our creek where some are taking on the surface, and some are taking in or below the surface. Very nice.
I'll take a dozen, assorted sizes between 18 and 22?
Can you have them ready before I get up therE in two weeks?
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
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 2, 2012July 2nd, 2012, 7:38 pm EDT
Sure. You can mail the check directly to my wife. She'll remit me my finder's fee.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jul 9, 2012July 9th, 2012, 5:14 am EDT
Shawn, very cool pattern.

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Topic
Replies
Last Reply
7
Jan 6, 2011
by FredH
2
May 23, 2017
by Mcflyangler
6
Sep 21, 2006
by Softhackle
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy