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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 Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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.

Apalachin, NY

Posts: 2
Windknot on May 31, 2007May 31st, 2007, 11:43 am EDT
How often I long for the smell of NY's East Branch of the Delaware. No where have I ever smelled a healthier river. It's aroma is worthy of a after shave.
An interesting perspective is offered from Ray Turner, known as the EEL MAN. There are only 2 eel weirs allowed on the Delaware and Ray has one. His perspective tells of the river health.
For those interested in knowing a true RIVER RAT, type in "The EEL Man".
Humankind did not create the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are one, all things connect.
Cheif Seattle

Posts: 6
Njflytyer on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 3:15 am EDT
Windknot, Have you fished the East Branch lately? I was up there on the *th thru the morning of thru the 11th and found the river quite barren. I turned lots of rocks and found very few nymphs. I was upset at what the Corp of Engineers had done behind the fireman's field in Downsville,NY. What have you heard? Some of the fishermen I know say it going to take a few years before it will be back to the great trout waters it once was, what do you think? Chris
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 3:20 am EDT
I turned lots of rocks and found very few nymphs.

That's not necessarily unexpected at this time of year. Most of the really abundant species have already hatched.

I fished the East Branch once this year and, for the first time, caught a fish there -- a healthy 19 incher. Hooked and lost another about the same size. I only saw one other fish rise the whole time, and didn't hook that one. So the action was pretty sparse.

I've never noticed anything unique about the smell of it. I have to say I would prefer the aroma of Wisconsin's northwoods over the Catskills.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

Posts: 6
Njflytyer on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 3:41 am EDT
Troutnut, I fished down near Terry's campground , just up from long flats and the river looked great and some sulfurs where flying but only one rise in two hours. I talked to a guy in Catskill Flies who complained about trout breaking his 5x tippet and stealing his nymphs on the East Branch, I guess I should have tailed him. I did have fun on the Willow and the Beaverkill, and the fish where there. My friend Dick wouldn't budge from the EB and join me on the Willow. Just being on a river, with a fly rod is heaven to me. Chris

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