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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 Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for 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.
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Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on Aug 13, 2012August 13th, 2012, 10:04 am EDT
Hello MY FRIENDSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not back for good yet but have limited access to a computer via a small town in Canada. What hatches are going to be most prominent in the northern-eastern U.S. during the fall??

Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Aug 13, 2012August 13th, 2012, 10:28 am EDT
I sure hope you are planning a long write-up with images and circles and arrows n stuff. A las, I'm still sitting here at my desk.
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"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 13, 2012August 13th, 2012, 3:46 pm EDT
Hi Jesse,

Because I'm jealous of your freedom to gallivant after trout for such long periods of time, I'm tempted to leave you to your own devices.... :)

Instead, here are a few thoughts in response to your question:

Baetids--I won't call them BWOs, but these (variously colored) little buggers are among the most significant and reliable mayflies in the late season. Although they have the reputation of being "bad weather" bugs, that's not always the case, especially in the late fall.

Slate Drakes (Isonychia spp.)--A second "batch" can be significant on many streams in September, though they are usually smaller (#12-14) than the earlier ones. I have a special fondness for these fast-swimming critters, so I wouldn't be without an Iso nymph imitation on any stream with good populations.

Tricos--They can linger into early November in some places, though their number (and consequently, their significance) dwindles quite a bit as September rolls into October.

Little Yellow Quills (Leucrocuta spp.)--These little (#16-18) mayflies look like smallish Sulphurs from a distance, but they have two tails and small dark flecks on the forward half of the wings. They usually emerge in riffles and can emerge underwater, so small wet flies often work when the fish aren't taking them on the surface. They are a fairly common and widespread mid-late season hatch, and can linger into October. IMO, they are very underrated.

Autumn Mottled Sedges (Neophylax spp.)--These medium-sized (#12-16) brownish mottled caddisflies are sometimes seen in good numbers in the fall. I usually encounter them on smallish streams, but I don't know if that is typical. The Eastern Box Wing Sedge (Ironoquia spp.) is a rusty brown-colored caddisfly of about the same size or slightly larger that might also be significant in a few places.

Great Brown Autumn Sedges (Pycnopsyche spp., sometimes called October Caddis or Pumpkin Caddis)--These large (#8-10) caddisflies have brownish orange or pumpkin-colored wings, usually with a few dark blotches toward the rear. Most often seen around dusk into dark, I've had the best results with large rusty or orangish imitations of the "pupa." A large Orange Stimulator can sometimes get a good response on the surface in the fall (whether or not that response is related to these caddisflies).

Hoppers, beetles, and ants are standard fare for prospecting on the surface until you get a few hard freezes. As you get later into the late season, prospecting with things like streamers, stonefly nymphs, or small-to-tiny nymphs (that imitate the early stages of some of next year's crop) can be productive. Of course, through the end of October into November and December, you might want to consider imitating what is often the most productive late-season "hatch" on many streams...eggs.
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Aug 13, 2012August 13th, 2012, 5:09 pm EDT
Because I'm jealous of your freedom to gallivant after trout for such long periods of time, I'm tempted to leave you to your own devices.... :)

You're a push over G. :) Though it sounds like you are ready for fall. Nice synopsis there.

"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
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on Aug 17, 2012August 17th, 2012, 12:42 pm EDT
Haha thanks Gonz i appreciate that!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.

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