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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.
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.

Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 2, 2012July 2nd, 2012, 9:02 pm EDT
I'm kind of glad we don't have to imitate these flies to catch trout!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Shanti
Sweden

Posts: 95
Shanti on Jul 3, 2012July 3rd, 2012, 2:45 am EDT
"It’s the world’s tiniest fly, small enough to sit comfortably on the eye of a common housefly. It’s easily small enough to fit inside the head of even the smallest acrobat ant."

I won't complain about caenis ever again!
Somewhere, right now, a fish is rising.
And you´re at the computer..
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jul 8, 2012July 8th, 2012, 2:09 pm EDT
Jason...I wish you wouldn't of said this out-loud in front of Tony...He's calling Shawnny as I type to order the damn hooks to cover it...:)

You should be a tad more careful around your obsessive children here on TroutNut.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jul 8, 2012July 8th, 2012, 6:57 pm EDT
I saw that article the other day, pretty cool niche they fill, no? Thanks for posting here Jason!
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 8, 2012July 8th, 2012, 8:52 pm EDT
My smallest hooks to date are 0.85 mm long, but that's from the tip of the bend to the tip of the eye. I'll bet the tying region is pretty close to the 0.4 mm required for these guys. Now I know what to do with these hooks!

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jul 9, 2012July 9th, 2012, 3:55 pm EDT
Shawn -

0.4mm shank length? Amazing!! Do you have any photos you can share? I'd love to see them.
"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
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Jul 10, 2012July 10th, 2012, 4:42 am EDT
Shawn
I have been tying my ass off for Montana, but have still tried to break the monotony by playing around with those hooks.
I'm still attempting to tie something on them.
The untwisted 20 denier thread slips, and the 10/0 that I tried is just too thick to look decent.
The "14/0" thread that I have is actually thicker than the 10/0.
Any suggestions?
Tony
Oh, and I'm using 3x cheaters plus my magnifier with them.
I'm thinking of taking my loupes out of my locker at work, but I need at least 14" to focus with them
When I figure it out, a photo will be posted...
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
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jul 10, 2012July 10th, 2012, 6:47 am EDT
Tony -

How about 16/0 Danville Spiderweb? http://www.caddisflyshop.com/da16spwhth.html. It's delicate and takes a gentle hand to work with, but I really like the stuff for tiny flies.
"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
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 10, 2012July 10th, 2012, 9:11 am EDT
0.4mm shank length? Amazing!! Do you have any photos you can share? I'd love to see them.


I really do need to take some pics of them. I'll try to put some up in the near future.

I have been tying my ass off for Montana, but have still tried to break the monotony by playing around with those hooks.
I'm still attempting to tie something on them.
The untwisted 20 denier thread slips, and the 10/0 that I tried is just too thick to look decent.
The "14/0" thread that I have is actually thicker than the 10/0.
Any suggestions?


Tony, I don't have any suggestions, as I have really not tried in earnest myself to tie on them. I just got some really small hackle to try with them, but I think it's still too big. I might end up having to tie on some larger ones until I can come up with solutions to the problem of tying materials. I have tried the thread-splitting idea as well in a preliminary bit of research, only with silk thread (I'm trying to use only natural materials), and found it quite difficult. This is a tricky little experiment. Please let me know if you come up with anything.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 10, 2012July 10th, 2012, 9:45 am EDT
You guys are nuts...anything smaller than a #16 and I have a hard time seeing it...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 10, 2012July 10th, 2012, 12:33 pm EDT
For hackle, try a single barb from a CDC feather? Treat it like a hackle feather. For "pliers" you might superglue the tip to a toothpick. I'm looking forward to seeing these.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jul 10, 2012July 10th, 2012, 3:29 pm EDT
I'm looking forward to seeing these.

Me too!
"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
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jul 11, 2012July 11th, 2012, 3:15 pm EDT
Jason...I wish you wouldn't of said this out-loud in front of Tony...He's calling Shawnny as I type to order the damn hooks to cover it...:)

You should be a tad more careful around your obsessive children here on TroutNut.

Spence


See what you started Jason?! :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jul 11, 2012July 11th, 2012, 5:21 pm EDT
The CDC is a nice idea, Louis. Sounds like you're ready to start tying. Let me know how it goes.

-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 11, 2012July 11th, 2012, 6:02 pm EDT
Shawn, I'm going to limit myself to acting as consultant to Tony's expertise, as he has the magnifiers and camera. It may help him to use super glue from time to time. A single strand from some untwisted tying thread could be super glued and wrapped to the hook to keep it from slipping then the other end could be glued to a toothpick which could aid in further wrapping a thread body, and tying in the hackle, the way a bobbin does.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 4, 2012August 4th, 2012, 1:12 pm EDT
Never a need for the single bug creation when they are tiny little things. Take a bigger hook, wrap a barred hackle palmered up the shank, and call it a "cluster" whatever.
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 5, 2012August 5th, 2012, 11:04 am EDT
Never a need for the single bug creation when they are tiny little things. Take a bigger hook, wrap a barred hackle palmered up the shank, and call it a "cluster" whatever.


Good point, Sayfu, but I don't think you quite understand. What we're talking about likely has no practical purpose, the stuff of whimsy. While I can't speak for the other guys, the reason I do this sort of experimenting is just to see if I can do it. At some point, it ceases to have anything to do with catching fish.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 7, 2012August 7th, 2012, 10:57 am EDT
"While I can't speak for the other guys, the reason I do this sort of experimenting is just to see if I can do it. At some point, it ceases to have anything to do with catching fish."

AH-HAAA!!! I KNEW you guys were nuts!! Now you even admit it!!

;oD

Jonathon

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Aug 7, 2012August 7th, 2012, 6:41 pm EDT
I KNEW you guys were nuts!! Now you even admit it!!


Freely! But to some extent, all flyfishermen are a little nuts. If it were all about catching fish, we'd be out there with drag nets and dynamite. As a group, we're all a bit romantic and complicit in the insanity to some degree. I'm content to be crazier than most.

Anyone else proud to be a little... off?

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 7, 2012August 7th, 2012, 6:48 pm EDT
Can't argue with ya there, Shawn. I'm complicit in the madness, that's for sure. But, to paraphrase George Orwell, "Yes, but some are more crazy than others." However, when I'm in my kayak, watching a beautiful sunset while a 13-inch brookie takes my hopper imitation (see my latest post), I feel rather more sane than most people...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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