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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 Neoleptophlebia (Leptophlebiidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Some characteristics from the microscope images for the tentative species id: The postero-lateral projections are found only on segment 9, not segment 8. Based on the key in Jacobus et al. (2014), it appears to key to Neoleptophlebia adoptiva or Neoleptophlebia heteronea, same as this specimen with pretty different abdominal markings. However, distinguishing between those calls for comparing the lengths of the second and third segment of the labial palp, and this one (like the other one) only seems to have two segments. So I'm stuck on them both. It's likely that the fact that they're immature nymphs stymies identification in some important way.
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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Oldredbarn has attached these 11 pictures. The message is below.
Train Trestle on Little J
Look friendly to you? Think again! :)
Nice pool near where Tony caught a few.
I'm standing in the middle...Not really a religious man, but saying a little prayer under my breath.
Bruce's nymphing sequence...#1
#2
#3
This is how its done, eh Brucey?! ;)
What's your problem over there Spence? Them dry-flies coming up short? :)
Tony working a mirrored pool.
Go back and grow up there little buddy.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 13, 2013April 13th, 2013, 6:51 pm EDT
We started the day with a visit to the TCO flyshop near Bellefonte. George Daniels, author of, "Dynamic Nymphing" was there and he and I had a nice talk. I had met him a few years back at the Michigan Fly Fishing Clubs annual fly fishing show. He told me that he had a chance to float with my Au Sable guide friend Jim Calvin on the South Branch and had a great day astream. Jimmy and I float together every Memorial Day weekend and have done so for more years than I'd like to think have passed.

The boys had arranged for us to have breakfast with Bill Anderson, known as the dean of the Little J. He was going to give us a little tour after we ate and the conversaion at breakfast was wonderful. He is the head of the Little Juniata River Association.

Tony had told me that Bill is the Rusty Gates of the Little J...He is committed to the water shed and his concerns did remind me of the late Rusty Gates a great deal. He gave us a tour of fishable places where the crowds seem to avoid.

This is just an example of how thought out my visit was. The whole thing was for my benefit and I'll never forget the opportunity I had to chat with two of PA's dedicated anglers. I will never forget it boys! Thanks.

The Little J is the most difficult stream to wade I have ever seen. It is a mountain stream, wide and unruly, with boulders that can vary from bowling ball size to VW beetles! Then add a hefty current and you may want to stay in the car.

I would not of made it if Bruce hadn't lent me an extra wading staff...I ended up buying one later in the trip when I met the second hardest stream for me to wade, Penn's Creek.

This was Bruce's showcase and he put on a show of short line nymphing that was custom made for these rocky streams. He was doing really well until he fell in, but this didn't seem to phase him one bit, like if you haven't fallen in the Little J you aren't fishing her correctly. :)

We fished an area known as the gorge and it is probably what folks outside of PA think of when they think of PA streams...High mountains on all sides, an old railroad trestle with trains passing all the time, and rocks in all shapes and sizes...

I was skunked in the Little J...Tony caught a few near the evening on a dry. Fish that were along a bubble stream just to one side of the main current. We didn't get the bugs on this day that we had hoped for, but I can just imagine this wild stream erupting when they show.
"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
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Apr 14, 2013April 14th, 2013, 5:28 am EDT
This was Bruce's showcase and he put on a show of short line nymphing that was custom made for these rocky streams. He was doing really well until he fell in, but this didn't seem to phase him one bit, like if you haven't fallen in the Little J you aren't fishing her correctly. :)


Too much benthic thrust...
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Apr 14, 2013April 14th, 2013, 5:39 am EDT
It'll get you every time.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 14, 2013April 14th, 2013, 11:55 am EDT
Bruce will have to remind us exactly what they were again, but he left his underwear hanging from a limb at the Little J parking area...He had to change to some dry closes post falling in...I think they had some Hanna Barberra character imprinted on them...If you happen to stop there and see them hanging there would you please grab them for him...If you dare. ;)

After he headed home he blamed the spill on us...Said one of us had shoved him in...I think he waded so close to one of those boulders he was going to nymph that he stepped on the trout.

Eric and I blame him for the storm that blew out Penn's Creek...He was trying to conjure up a tornado because we were having so much fun and he was back at work.

Spence

Wow spence nice photo series. That river is 100X the size of anything I fish.


It looks placid up top, but the bottom is rough and uneven...Besides Bruce falling in Tony fell on the bank as we were walking back down the trail to the car...I was thinking, "Damn! I hope we don't screw up the doctors hands here!" But he was ok...I fell walking along Penn's...I stubbed my wading boot on something and did one of those running falls trying to regain my balance...I dropped the rod on purpose for fear that I'd ram the tip in to the ground. You need to have some mountain goat in you to fish some of those wild PA streams...
"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
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 15, 2013April 15th, 2013, 11:24 am EDT
Fun read. Nice pics.

That's ... less far along than Spring. I suppose that's due to ground water in Spring? And the Lil J is deeper in the fold in the hills?
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Apr 15, 2013April 15th, 2013, 3:41 pm EDT
Mack,
The Little J and Penns are two of PA's mid sized to large trout streams however the most treacherous by far is the Yough for short (pronounce YOCK). Which has some legit class 4-5 white water and boulders which resemble houses.
Of course we have many more hundreds of miles of streams that you can easily dap the far bank with a 7' or smaller rod.

Spence,
The stretch in shot #1 is one of my top 3 stretches on the Little J and is responsible for several twisted and one severe high ankle sprain.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 15, 2013April 15th, 2013, 7:29 pm EDT
The stretch in shot #1 is one of my top 3 stretches on the Little J and is responsible for several twisted and one severe high ankle sprain.


Ha! John I feel that if we had bugs to speak of that day I might of taken that trade off...:) We anglers seem to put danger way back in the brain when fish are rising.
"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
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Apr 16, 2013April 16th, 2013, 2:44 pm EDT
Mack,
I know that area reasonably well a good friend of mine lived just ouside of Williamsport. Had her wedding reception at Genettis in fact.

Spence,
Problem was I got so locked in on stalking a riser that I seemed to forget that there were even rocks in the river. My Dad was with me that day and he rated the fall a 8.9 on the McManus scoring system. The sole deduction was due to the lack of a witty comment as I fell. He seemed to feel that "oh sh...............(splash)" was too mundane.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 16, 2013April 16th, 2013, 3:57 pm EDT
My Dad was with me that day and he rated the fall a 8.9 on the McManus scoring system. The sole deduction was due to the lack of a witty comment as I fell. He seemed to feel that "oh sh...............(splash)" was too mundane.


Your dad would of fit right in with the gang I was fishing with last week...:) Bruce went down as if he does it every day...Didn't phase him one bit.

All kidding aside...With all those rocks in there it could be dangerous.
"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
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Apr 16, 2013April 16th, 2013, 6:28 pm EDT
Unfortunately (well actually fortunately)it is I and not he that took the fall.

Even more unfortunate is that He will likely never get up there to fish that riffle again. 55+ years of smoking 1-2 packs a day and working in an asbestos laden steel mill have done his lungs some serious damage and most times going a flight of stairs is enough to have him on the sidelines for 5 minutes.

Still I would take the J over Penns any day. I routinely try to float my hat on that river.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 16, 2013April 16th, 2013, 8:35 pm EDT
John,

I meant that your dad would of fit right in because of his sense of humor...It sounded, by what he said when you fell in, that he and Bruce maybe cut from the same comic cloth.
"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
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Apr 17, 2013April 17th, 2013, 2:11 am EDT
Spence you really need to find the Short Story Pat McMAnus wrote on scoring falls and falling in general, if you haven't read it already.

Oh and he would fit in the manner of Klutziness as well. Who do you think I learned how to fall in from?
;)
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Apr 17, 2013April 17th, 2013, 5:40 am EDT
I didn't fall I was looking for Spence's sunglasses.
Bruce

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