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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 Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
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 5 pictures. The message is below.
That's a rise Spence, right there...Are you blind old-man?! :)
I wish you could hear the clowns sitting behind me..."I hear they are really different up there in Michigan."
Nice run, saddly in need of bugs.
The conga line on the Yellow Breeches.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 16, 2013April 16th, 2013, 5:07 pm EDT
Hendricksons: While the mountain torrents are still raging with the burden of melting snows, while the highlands are still sere and stark from wintry blasts, spring has already arrived in the beautiful Cumberland Valley, heralded by the yellow bloom of forsythia, first sign of the changing season. For the fly-fisherman of this valley there is no gradual transition from the tedium of winter to the gentler season, no measured progress marked by alternate days of cold and warmth; simply and suddenly there is the forsythia, faithful precursor no matter what the state of the weather, and suddenly there are thoughts of the Yellow Breeches and-the Hendrickson. The pursuit of the hatches has begun. -Vincent Marinaro "A Modern Dry-Fly Code"


Well...That was just about how it was supposed to go. Poor Eric. He kept sending photos of Henny's, wonderful photos, to this web site...Trying to keep my visit east a secret, but letting us know he was fretting that the Hendrickson's would be done before we all got to the Yellow Breeches.

Today is April 16th and the forsythia is still not in bloom here...Any day...and my Serviceberry seems ready to pop.

After fishing up by State college Tony and I headed south...Bruce had to get back to work and though he almost folded, we couldn't get him to call in sick. :)

A section of the Yellow Breeches pours out of a hole in the stone surrounded by a stone wall...Like a wishing well...You can see trout swiming at the opening. The opening isn't much bigger than my girth...Eric told me that someone dove there with a very long air hose and found old artifacts and a dinosaur tooth...It gave me the chills thinking about it...Clastrophobia was my only thought.

The Yellow Breeches and Hendricksons goes way back...Vinny's quote above from his book was published in 1950...

We fished it twice...Once in a historic stretch that runs by a hunting and fishing club and they let you park there and fish...Folks were lined up.

We had Grannoms galore. Everytime I shook a limb a couple thousand caddis would fly out of it...Eric said I had a cruel streak and mumbled something about coitus interruptus ;), guess them caddis were "gettin busy".

Every path led to the river and someone was standing there...Some old-timer saw us walking through the woods and told us he was heading out and we could move in...The boys put me in the batters box first and I stood there tying on a fly when I hear the old man say, "So he's from Michigan, eh? Nice to see there is someone who takes as long as I do to tie on a fly."

OK...I turn to see the peanut gallery...Tony, Eric, and Shecky Green. The pressure was on. I thought about backing them up into the woods with my backcast, but decided against it. :)

We fished for a few hours...Then we decided to fish that evening at a different locale and Louis joined us...We had a few Henny spinners...They brought up a few fish...Maybe some olives mixed in as well...

I snuck around everyone and found this glassy pool...If I moved I sent a ripple all the way across it...I would catch the occassional small trout, creek chub, and a 7" Falls Fish...

By the end of the night Louis was at the head of the pool, I was in the middle, and Tony and Eric were at the tailout...Tony was casting up into the pool and was having the same luck I was...A few creek chubs and the small Brown here and there.

Tony finally decided he had to leave. He needed to get back to Pittsburgh...It was already dark and he had a drive ahead of him. I thanked him for everything and made him promise me a visit to Au Sable country.

Can you imagine these boys, standing in the Au Sable or Manistee some evening during Brown Drakes or the infamous Hex!? Yahoo!

Well this is pretty much the end of my visit with "those Pennsylvania Boys"...It was one hell of a trip and a great way to kick off the trout season of 2013. I will never forget it and know I've made some serious angling friends...I couldn't of dreamed these fellas up even if I tried...They fish hard and are just as obsessed as me. :)

Thanks boys!!!
"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
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Apr 16, 2013April 16th, 2013, 5:44 pm EDT
Spence
Next time I will make you drive the switchbacks on Route 641 up, over and then down Tuscarora Mountain in the daylight. I suspect that, by the end, you'll need a new pair of shorts.
For cryin' out loud, I slowed down to fifty so you could keep up with me. Damn Flatlander.
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 16, 2013April 16th, 2013, 5:56 pm EDT
Well the trip home was ok...Daylight in PA and I got to flee across Ohio in the dark...:)

Got the report on my insurance device on the car...My whopping discount $18...Big whoop! Next time I'm ripping the damn thing out and you'll have to try and catch me...:) You old mountain goat!

Hey...We didn't tell them about the wild ride through the mountains in the dark...Speaking of needing some clean shorts...I was afraid we were going to run some amish buggy over a cliff...The only way I survived that "Thunder Road" trip was by riding your ass and not looking over the edge! Ijust starred at your tail-lights.

Tony drove us through some little town and turned us on to a highway...Only problem...He choose the wrong lane and we were heading down the wrong side of the highway with headlights heading our way...The calm doctor just put his turn signal on and led us over the median and in to a safer lane...Just in time...

What we won't do when someone says we got bugs down here! :)

At one point on the turnpike Tony watched in his rear view mirror as I almost cut off a semi...I haven't seen a truck with 3 trailers being pulled behind it...Don't allow that in the great state of Michigan. :) He let me know just how unhappy he was...

Once we made it to the pub where Eric was waiting for us, we probably had set a record over those mountains, that first Molson went down quickly.

I did peek over a guard rail in the dark up there and saw lights a hundred miles down...It looked like I was circling the airport at night. Wow!







"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
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Apr 16, 2013April 16th, 2013, 6:02 pm EDT
"Damn Flatlander."

That's what we call downstaters in our neck of the woods too, Tony. Though, it's not exactly mountainous around here like it is in your neck of the woods...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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