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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 Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing 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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Report at a Glance

General RegionThe Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Specific Locationthe yoop
Dates Fished2012
Time of DayMorning to afternoon
Fish CaughtSteelhead
Conditions & HatchesLight wind but very cold, around 30 degrees. Water temp was around 34 degrees or colder.

Details and Discussion

Pryal74
Pryal74's profile picture
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Pryal74 on Dec 23, 2012December 23rd, 2012, 9:35 am EST
Here is a highlight video of a day fishing for Lake Superior run Steelhead. I was lucky enough to land all large Steelhead on this tributary. Unlike Lake Michigan Steelhead, Superior run steelies do not reach large sizes.

Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Dec 23, 2012December 23rd, 2012, 10:11 am EST
Hello Jim,

Beautiful fish! I'm jealous, not so much by the size or numbers of fish, but by the totally un-crowded conditions you seem to encounter in your videos. Don't people in Michigan like to steelhead fish? Where I fish in, and around, the various Lake Erie creeks it doesn't matter how cold it is it would be an extremely rare day not to find good numbers of guys fishing.

I see you are very close to the lake and the fish, for the most part, are bright chromers. Are they Manistee strain fish? The PA fish are getting pretty colored up now but there are still some bright fish.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Dec 23, 2012December 23rd, 2012, 12:54 pm EST
Looks fun!

I always enjoy your videos. They are very well done.

Did you take those recently? If so I would guess that we were probably 70-80 degrees colder up here than when you took those. Brr. It's even to cold to go ice fishing, or to at least enjoy ice fishing.:)
Okay, I guess I should not complain. That is the price I pay for living in Alaska, and I would not trade it for much. :) :)

Sam

There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Pryal74
Pryal74's profile picture
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Pryal74 on Dec 25, 2012December 25th, 2012, 1:16 pm EST
@ Wbranch... there are always people steelhead fishing up here... and I only fish in the U.P. These are all natural reproduction strains as far as I know in this video.

@ Sam... Yeah this video is from a month ago or so. It was about 25-30 degrees out with a slight wind chill and some awfully cold water. I can imagine you don't get a great deal of time to fly fish compared to the rest of the world. Oh and thank you. I do all the video work, except some filming.

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