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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 Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen appears to be of the same species as this one collected in the same spot two months earlier. The identification of both is tentative. This one suffered some physical damage before being photographed, too, so the colors aren't totally natural. I was mostly photographing it to test out some new camera setting idea, which worked really well for a couple of closeups.
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.

Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 28, 2013February 28th, 2013, 1:47 pm EST
I've typically used fur from the middle and back on the pad of the snowshoe foot, but last night I was looking at the long toe fur and thinking it would make good comparadun wings if it floats as well as the other fur. Has anybody used this fur before, and if so, what were the results?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CaseyP
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Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Feb 28, 2013February 28th, 2013, 5:34 pm EST
well, that shows how much i know about fly tying with rabbits' feets. only ever used the longest hair from around the toes, and it floats just fine!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 1, 2013March 1st, 2013, 5:13 am EST
I'm not sure you're that off, Casey. I did find one video on Youtube that called for the toe fur. It was to tie an emerger, though. I am finding that the fur from the toes is harder to compress. Other than that it's working fine on the flies I've tried it on. Thanks.

P.S. Most seem to prefer the fur from the middle of the foot, picking out some underfur and some guard hairs. It is a bit easier to work with.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Mar 2, 2013March 2nd, 2013, 4:15 am EST
I'm bummed out on snowshoe feet. Shot a monster snowshoe, from about belly button high to dragging the ground. Huge feet, and lots of nice white, dirty white hair. My flies sunk, and then I learned I had shot a type of Jack Rabbit that turns white in the Winter.
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 2, 2013March 2nd, 2013, 10:42 am EST
Sorry to hear that, Sayfu, but Baxter House Outfitters has nice feet for a good price, and you don't have to skin the rabbit. I've had excellent luck with snowshoe; it floats forever if you get the right fur.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Mar 2, 2013March 2nd, 2013, 11:07 am EST

Being an avid hunter who owns two fine bird dogs, it was embarrassing at not being able to identify my query. I hunted snowshoes as a teenager in Michigan near Alpina, but had no knowledge of that particular Jack Rabbit here in Idaho. I have a room full of all kinds of fly tying material, but no Snowshoe Rabbit feet. And I do fish the comparadun type flies a lot...have to get a pair.
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Mar 4, 2013March 4th, 2013, 5:09 am EST
I've typically used fur from the middle and back on the pad of the snowshoe foot, but last night I was looking at the long toe fur and thinking it would make good comparadun wings if it floats as well as the other fur. Has anybody used this fur before, and if so, what were the results?


Louis, that long toe fur is very, very hard to work, especially on small flies. It's coarse and slippery.
Bruce
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Mar 4, 2013March 4th, 2013, 5:29 am EST

Just watched a U-tube on a snowshoe emerger for the lt. bodied bugs...Shuck, thin abdomen, snowshoe tied forward, then a bumped up thorax, pull up the Snowshoe, and wrap the dubbing up onto the wing to keep it standing upright, finish off and done. Snowshoe actually tied forward, and butts trimmed, and wrapped down first.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Mar 4, 2013March 4th, 2013, 8:09 am EST
Ken Tutalo at Baxter House Outfitters just got back to me, and he says to use the hair from the middle back and avoid the toe hair for comparadun wings. Perhaps toe hair can work for some emergers, but I'm finding that using the middle fur, removing some underfur and some guard hairs gives a pretty good wing on comparaduns. I also came across a Tom Rosenbauer caddis pattern that calls for sparse underwing using toe hair from a snowshoe foot and a CDC overwing. What are others out there doing?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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