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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.

Lateral view of a Clostoeca disjuncta (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one was surprisingly straightforward to identify. The lack of a sclerite at the base of the lateral hump narrows the field quite a bit, and the other options followed fairly obvious characteristics to Clostoeca, which only has one species, Clostoeca disjuncta.
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.

WestCO
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Aug 3, 2012August 3rd, 2012, 8:19 am EDT
What in the heck happened? I missed all of June because I was busy finishing my Masters, but I couldn't wait to hit the rivers in mid July to hit the drakes and PMD's. I've been up several times in the past 2 weeks and I haven't seen one (green drakes that is, PMD's have been out). I've heard rumors that the hatches were a month ahead, but I just wanted to see if anyone knew anything definite. Pretty disappointing. I mostly fish the frying pan and green drakes on the middle portions is one of the best times of the year. I'm sad I missed it.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Aug 3, 2012August 3rd, 2012, 2:12 pm EDT
Hi Westco,

Depends on the location, though this has certainly been a different year. They all are to varying degrees I suppose. Northern CA and Southern OR experienced a late, wet, and cold Spring delaying the hatches quite a bit though they were fairly consistent once started. In Northern Idaho and Northwestern MT, things were shaping up to be a banner year until those freak June storms came in and blew everything out. I'm not up on what happened in CO, so I can't share much about that other than to say every year and location is different and that I'm sorry you missed the hatches you were looking forward to.
"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
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 4, 2012August 4th, 2012, 5:41 am EDT

My experience is..you don't always see Green Drakes. They can be minor in numbers, and short in duration. Even on the Henry's Fork that is regarded to have one of the great Green Drake hatches around. Tell me guys is Hecuba, the later big bug hatch in Eastern Idaho anyway, a green drake? Tipanoga ? (sp?) Hecuba I think they are. About the same size..# 8-12's.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Aug 4, 2012August 4th, 2012, 8:53 am EDT
No, not even the same genus, as you alluded to. It is called Timpanoga hecuba hecuba in your part of the country. There is also a coastal subspecies called Timpanoga hecuba pacifica. It is a large ephemerellid, though. In the nymphal stage it is fully as long as the Green Drake but much bulkier. There is no common name firmly established but authors of various angler entomologies have labeled them various names usually involving descriptions of their darker dun wings and ruddy bodies. It prefers siltier habitat and seems to do better in low water years. In my home waters those are the only times that I can remember fishable hatches taking place.
"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
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Aug 4, 2012August 4th, 2012, 1:14 pm EDT
Hi Jere-

For additional info, please see your Timpanoga hecuba post from last September.

Incidentally, Western Green Drake is one of the names that Rick Hafele and Dave Hughes list for Timpanoga hecuba in their great book, Western Mayfly Hatches.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Aug 5, 2012August 5th, 2012, 3:59 pm EDT
Sayfu said
Tell me guys is Hecuba, the later big bug hatch in Eastern Idaho anyway, a green drake? Tipanoga ? (sp?) Hecuba I think they are.

Hamlet said
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have?


Does anybody know if there is a naming relationship between Homer's mythical queen and the aforementioned great blue winged red quill?
Just curious
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
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 5, 2012August 5th, 2012, 5:56 pm EDT
Taxon. As I recall, Craig Mathews, in his book, Yellowstone Hatches, listed it as a Green Drake. A sample was brought to me by and angler that fished a creek that enters into Palisades Reservoir, Elk Creek...brought it to me in September, and it sure visibly looked like a Green Drake. A good sized fly, I'd guess a #10. Sept. when our Green Drake hatch comes off in late June.
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Aug 5, 2012August 5th, 2012, 9:38 pm EDT
Hi Jere-

A sample was brought to me by and angler that fished a creek that enters into Palisades Reservoir, Elk Creek...brought it to me in September, and it sure visibly looked like a Green Drake. A good sized fly, I'd guess a #10. Sept. when our Green Drake hatch comes off in late June.


Makes sense. The Timpanoga hecuba emergence is mid-August through late-September in the Rocky Mountains.

Hi Tony-

Does anybody know if there is a naming relationship between Homer's mythical queen and the aforementioned great blue winged red quill?

I would like to think so.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 6, 2012August 6th, 2012, 1:50 am EDT
Tony and Roger,

The exact origin of the species name of Timpanoga hecuba involves something of a taxonomic mystery. It is credited to the Rev. A. E. Eaton and appears in his famous monograph. He attributes the name (as "Ephemera hecuba") to Hagen, and it is associated with an image of the nymph described in Eaton's text as an unknown specimen of Ephemerella. The genus name was given by Needham (as a subgenus name under Ephemerella) for Mt. Timpanogos in Utah. (See Allen and Edmunds 1959.)

As for Hecuba, apparently she also had mysterious origins. One of the differing accounts of her parentage (not found in Homer) suggests that her parents were a river god and a Naiad (or water nymph), so perhaps that could suggest one possible connection.

Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Aug 6, 2012August 6th, 2012, 4:30 pm EDT
I don't remember my Greek mythology, but was Hecuba this homely?:)LOL
"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
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 6, 2012August 6th, 2012, 5:05 pm EDT
I don't remember my Greek mythology, but was Hecuba this homely?:)LOL

Well...according to some versions of the myth, she was a "dog" in the end (or at least turned into one by the gods). :)
WestCO
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Aug 10, 2012August 10th, 2012, 5:04 pm EDT
This discussion went nowhere near where I thought it would haha. But interesting stuff. I've seen seasons where Drakes were sparse, but this isn't even sparse. And I've chatted around with people who saw them in June, and that rarely happens. I realize this is Roaring Fork Valley thing, I just didn't know if anyone else had heard anything. And I do know our drakes are a little different, they are a lighter shade of green than your traditional drake, and more traditional drakes don't work well at all on picky rivers here.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
DUBBN
DUBBN's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 47
DUBBN on Aug 11, 2012August 11th, 2012, 3:48 am EDT
The Green Drakes were in Glenwood to Carbondale 30 days ago. They were pretty thick just as the sun came up, then they disappeared until evening.

I am told the Drakes are hitting the Frying Pan right now at Reudi Res., and the Roaring Fork at Jaffe Park.

When the hatch isnt going on in the middle of the day a size 10 20 inch Stone , or a size 12 Olive Hares ear is working very well. Dont over look the caddis.
It's OK to disagree with me. I can not force you to be right.
WestCO
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Aug 12, 2012August 12th, 2012, 12:56 pm EDT
So people are actually seeing Drakes on the Pan right now? I was there two days ago and I've been about 4 times in the last 8 days and I haven't seen one. I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't know if people know the difference between a big PMD and a Green Drake, or the difference between a Caddis and a Green Drake. Maybe they are up around Reudi, I never go up there. And while I never fish the dam area I've always understood that may flies don't hatch up there like they do in the mainstreams. Its just been a weird year.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 12, 2012August 12th, 2012, 2:43 pm EDT

The ones that I see right now that are big, but not quite as big as our Green Drakes are the Yellow Quills, or PED's that are Epeorus Albertae. Long tails, and they look bigger than they are. But have any day light, and it is hard to mistake the difference...very light, and lt. grey wings with no venation.
DUBBN
DUBBN's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 47
DUBBN on Aug 12, 2012August 12th, 2012, 4:18 pm EDT
So people are actually seeing Drakes on the Pan right now? I was there two days ago and I've been about 4 times in the last 8 days and I haven't seen one. I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't know if people know the difference between a big PMD and a Green Drake, or the difference between a Caddis and a Green Drake. Maybe they are up around Reudi, I never go up there. And while I never fish the dam area I've always understood that may flies don't hatch up there like they do in the mainstreams. Its just been a weird year.


Saw them 30 days ago in the morning. I cant comment if you see them or not.
It's OK to disagree with me. I can not force you to be right.
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Aug 12, 2012August 12th, 2012, 4:23 pm EDT
Please straighten me out. I have never seen a big PMD. Early in the Summer they might be a #14, but more than likely a #16. and the next generations are quite small, like now...an #18 at the biggest. Maybe we are talking about a different bug.
DUBBN
DUBBN's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 47
DUBBN on Aug 12, 2012August 12th, 2012, 4:52 pm EDT
Please straighten me out. I have never seen a big PMD. Early in the Summer they might be a #14, but more than likely a #16. and the next generations are quite small, like now...an #18 at the biggest. Maybe we are talking about a different bug.


I have never seen one over 14 either. I think you and I have seen the same bug.
It's OK to disagree with me. I can not force you to be right.
WestCO
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Aug 13, 2012August 13th, 2012, 7:23 pm EDT
I'm definitely talking about the size 16's. I'd venture to say that a large portion of the casual fly fishing population can't differentiate between two or more hook sizes. There is also that evening caddis hatch with 14's and I'm not sure some can tell the difference. I'm not trying to be combative so I'm sorry if I came across that way.

What I will say is that the fishing reports on the Pan in the last month have been pretty shoddy, and by that I mean inconsistent and frankly quite false at times. I fish the Pan pretty frequently apart from this summer because I was doing school work, it used to be about 5 days a week so I'm familiar with its patterns and have great relationships with guys at the fly shops. I heard one say just last week that he's super frustrated with what he hears from other shops outside of the valley because he's not hearing the same at all from guides and frequent fishermen. For example, I last fished the Pan on Thursday and the rises were slightly below frequent. I'd call it an average day. Certainly not outstanding but a gift from the Gods based on what I had been seeing. In the previous 4 trips I took within a week and a half period I didn't see a single fish rise. Having this conversation with my friend at the fly shop he said that was very consistent with what he was seeing and hearing. Regardless, fishing reports from external shops have stated that the top water fishing has been fantastic, which it usually is in July. So its almost like people are giving reports just based on typical patterns.

So there's a point to all this babbling. I was honestly asking if the people you talked to had actually seen green drake activity because I personally haven't seen any, and the people I know who have fished it frequently said they saw them a month ago. Its entirely possible given their erratic hatches that I just got really unlucky on my 4 days. Green Drakes generally don't linger in the same spot for a month and it usually takes them less than a week or two to go from top to bottom of the pan. By that time frame if they were seen in bulk at mid river a month ago, they're probably gone. So all I was trying to do was get a definitive answer from someone who had spent more time on the river in July than I had. Sorry if I came across as abrasive. Not my intent at all. Just trying to sift through some pretty conflicting reports I'd been getting.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
WestCO
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Aug 13, 2012August 13th, 2012, 7:24 pm EDT
And I will add, the PMD's last week were definitely size 16's.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.

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