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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 Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
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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Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 29, 2012July 29th, 2012, 6:19 am EDT
I fished the West Branch of the Delaware this weekend, and found a pod of fish midging up in Deposit. Finding myself without my midge box, I used a parachute Trico and started hooking a number of small fish. Then I found a larger one showing some fin, targeted it and hooked and landed it. It was a brown, but it had markings much like a tiger trout, with brook trout vermiculations on the back, and some wavy markings on the sides, but the wavy markings were not as pronounced or detailed as in other tigers I've caught. They were not parr marks, but broken wavy bands of darker coloration along the sides of the fish. The fish had the red spots of Vohn Behr browns as well--just as some tigers do. I was tickled, as it seemed to be the first wild tiger I'd landed, but finding some other larger fish (relatively speaking--none of these fish were over 12") and targeting them, I managed to land about 4 more that looked much like the first. By that time I was doubting they were tigers, but they also did not look like the other fish I caught there, which were clearly browns with no vermiculations on the top or sides. Finding this many fish that had some markings I associate with tiger trout, I began to speculate that perhaps someone had stocked the fish, if they were tigers. I know there is a small population of brook trout in the West Branch, but it seems impossible to find this many tigers in one spot. The fish were perfect, no fins abraded or droop, and their coloration was bright, just like the other small browns I caught there. Does anyone (Jason??) have any ideas about this variation in coloration for small brown trout? I've never seen anything like it.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRoberts
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Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Jul 29, 2012July 29th, 2012, 7:49 am EDT
Neat. I've caught brookies in the WB.

Your guess that your possible tigers might have been stocked/escaped seems logical. If stocked as fingerlings, or raised in small numbers (uncrowded), trout won't have warped fins. At the Hudson Highlands forest I've been doing work at, the forest manager raises brook trout with perfect fins. In a natural stream, they look as though they could be streambred.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jan 17, 2017January 17th, 2017, 8:13 am EST
Matt, it was 2012. Here's the situation I mentioned to you.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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