Header image
Enter a name
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.
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
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 11, 2007June 11th, 2007, 2:29 am EDT
Well, not exactly, but I did hook two fish just below the trestle bridge on Penns, which I would assume is pretty heavily fished. And those fish are generally devils on drift and accuracy of imitation. Notice I say hooked, not landed, though I had both on for a while. To be truthful, I must say that Gonzo was in some ways right in his predictions. The fly is still not easy enough to see at any distance, and must be recharged frequently to keep its glow at peak lumens. I found using the charging chamber to be a pain because I hadn't put it on a string and had to put it in and out of a pocket each time, so I ultimately resorted to cupping the fly in my hands and closing my eyes when charging. This worked reasonably well. The easiest way to use the fly was to get upstream of a rising fish and drift the spinner down; that way I could follow the drift from most visible to least. One fish was hooked this way. It also helped to look just to the side of the spinner, like looking near a dim star to see it, that rods and cones thing in the eye, you know. Despite my provocative title, I'm not willing to label this experiment a success--or a failure--just yet. Now, if it nets me one big fish one day I'll call it a draw, and it appears that the flies work well enough to use when glow is not needed that the tying time wasn't wasted. Oh, Shawn, it wasn't a total skunking: I did OK on nymphs before dry fly time.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 11, 2007June 11th, 2007, 4:10 am EDT
Nice to hear that you avoided skunking by fishing wisely, Louis (I've seen too many dry-fly fishermen miss the best part of the hatch standing on the side of the stream waiting for the first risers). I was actually thinking of suggesting (in all seriousness) that you try some type of radioactive paint so you don't have to recharge it, but by then the thread had taken such a humorous tone that I felt ridiculous mentioning it. I also decided that I couldn't in good conscience condone someone's irradiating himself in the pursuit of a silly fish. I wonder whether the amount of radiation from a lost fly in a fish's mouth could harm it - my guess is it's unlikely. But I also wouldn't want to get cancer from my flybox - this addiction is damaging enough as it is.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jun 11, 2007June 11th, 2007, 7:14 am EDT
OK, OK, I give. Thanks to everyone for rescuing Louis from my darker side by making light of it all. My bad.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 11, 2007June 11th, 2007, 6:14 pm EDT
Gonzo, not at all. As I said elsewhere, your comments were very helpful for many reasons, and led to some good fun. I will mention that the second field test tonight went better than the first. There were two testers, neither of which was exhausted from a full day's nymphing, the canopy where we fished was denser and it reduced glare, and fish were landed. I've invited my partner to give his analysis of the spinner's performance, which will avoid the prejudices of the tier. I'm hoping he will join us here; he's the kind of guy the forum will enjoy hearing from. So let this post serve as an introduction, John.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Jun 12, 2007June 12th, 2007, 1:49 pm EDT
Well, I guess it is time for the analysis with some additional "bench testing" with an alternate light source.

The field testing took place on the Falling Spring in Chambersburg which has a mix of both wild and stocked fish in the delayed harvest section. I selected the DH area for this mix and to show off one of my favorite stream sections.

The rise activity started around 8:45 and Louis and I were ready with Nuclear spinners. My first 3 casts were met with very confisent rises and takes. Unfortunatly the fish hit on Monday and I didn't set the hook until December. I cycled off of the pool and Allowed Louis to slip in and he was able to sting a few and land a nice brown of around 12".
Initially I was unsure of how visable the glow was going to be as it quickly got lost in the twilight glare, however as it got darker the glow factor came into it's own. It definitaly shined (pun intended) in the more canopied runs but the trout responded well and that was the real purpose of the outing.


Once back home I was able to experiment with using a Loon UV Lamp, the single bulb one for knot sense. The testing took place in my basement with all of the lights out to see how the UV Lamp would affect my night vison and how quickly it charged the paint. On the first count no adverse effects were noted with the UV lamp. On the second count a "full charge" was achieved in around 20 seconds and lasted an equal duration as compared with a charge from an LED bulb.

All in all I think the prototype is a good proof of concept but further testing will need to be conducted over wild or pressured fish and a variety stream types. My hunch is it will excell in flat to mildly riffled water and "dark nights".

Well I guess that is a pretty lengthy first post but Louis asked so I delivered.

JOHNW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 13, 2007June 13th, 2007, 4:58 am EDT
Thanks John. John didn't mention that he landed at least four trout himself, being a more experienced fisherman who actually had better eyes and timing on the hooksets than I did. One of his fish was a 13" bow that appeared to be on the wild side, with perfect fins and coloration. We both lost several fish as well, some stung only, some shaking off after a brief fight. On this small stream with good canopy the glow spinners were a big help in catching these fish. I also had a wet dropper, which was untouched the whole evening; the fish seemed focused on the top. The glow concept was first envisoned for this kind of stream and for Litobrancha Recurvata, which fish may feed on into the night in tunnels of canopy that produce cave-like dark. Since the larger parachute posts for these flies will produce an even more visible fly, I am confident that the nuclear fly will find a place in my box. It may work well for the lighter Green Drakes as well.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 13, 2007June 13th, 2007, 10:00 am EDT
Maybe they just couldn't see the dropper due to all the glare.

I also wonder if the reason the nuclear spinner is so effective is because it draws dozens of real insects to itself. It seems you might have discovered a radical new form of baitfishing, Louis.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
JAD
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Jun 17, 2007June 17th, 2007, 3:59 am EDT


Hi All
I was thinking and thats scary. Just a thought, Maybe we should paint the leader and not the fly?

JaD

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jun 17, 2007June 17th, 2007, 5:21 am EDT
Hi John,
I had the same thought about painting the leader, and that's probably even scarier. ;)
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 17, 2007June 17th, 2007, 6:16 am EDT
We oughtta patent the idea of glow-in-the-dark monofilament line. Actually, that's a really good idea for many reasons.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Jun 17, 2007June 17th, 2007, 6:31 am EDT
I think that's a great idea, Jason. You might have to cut John and Louis in on the action. I can probably be excluded because I've been such a cynic about the whole affair. :(
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 6, 2012June 6th, 2012, 9:37 pm EDT
I'm bumping this up for Eric. This was a very early take on the glow spinner, with lots of good ribbing from some of the regulars at that time. The "nuclear spinner" has seen a number of successes since, including some good Green Drake action on Fishing Creek last season. I'll bump up a few other later threads if I can find them.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Jun 7, 2012June 7th, 2012, 4:05 pm EDT
Louis I'll go you one better:
Try using a UV headlamp with some UV active material tied into the fly or just let the light fall on you leader for that matter. I recently saw this technique trialed and you get far more than just a rods length of distance in visibility ( and no blown night vision to boot).
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 7, 2012June 7th, 2012, 7:31 pm EDT
Cool, John. Do you have some specific UV materials to recommend? I wonder if the UV headlamp will light up Stren? I know a few folks who are making leaders out of that stuff.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Jun 8, 2012June 8th, 2012, 3:58 am EDT
Do as I do, and just use "The Force"
If you are not yet a Jedi, I can email you Yoda's phone number

I have tried the UV material, and glow paint, too. For me, they are more trouble than they are worth. I stick to general area casts, and setting by sound
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
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jun 8, 2012June 8th, 2012, 4:51 am EDT
Now I get the Jedi reference. :) I too have used that glow in the dark stuff, and like you feel that it is too much to deal with. I'm really concerned with my night vision and any lights etc (even red ones) are avoided to a fault. I even got in a "discussion" one evening with a lot of peoples' hero around these parts during the white fly hatch on the Yellow Breeches because he was shooting a video during the evening with big lights and cameras etc. I don't care who you are if you don't have respect for others around you. Trains are an enemy of night time dry fly fishing as well.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 8, 2012June 8th, 2012, 7:51 am EDT
OK Tony, send me Yoda's number. :)

I'll have to agree that the glow in the dark stuff is a pain sometimes, and it doesn't work everywhere, but it's found me several big fish that I doubt I would have been able to catch by sound or riseform. One was a brown on the Little J that was feeding steadily in a very dark spot where I could not see even a ripple. The glow spinner went over him many times before I got the drift right and the little dot disappeared. Setting by sound would have probably spooked him long before he had the fly. He was about 18" and worth the hassle.

But everyone has to find a solution that works best for him, or her.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Jun 9, 2012June 9th, 2012, 4:13 pm EDT
Louis,
Stren works very nicely.
Anything that has a flouresence or UV quality would work. Nice thing is you can take you little UV light to the store and try it right there. Before buying any thing you'll know.

Eric,
That is the nice thing about the UV it does not affect night vision at all. I have had a ton of experience with this from working in haunted houses where I would go from robust UV lighting to near pitch black with no difficulty.
We also saw no drop off in the fishes willingness to eat either.

You mileage may vary,
JW

"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 Jun 9, 2012June 9th, 2012, 4:42 pm EDT
Do as I do, and just use "The Force"
If you are not yet a Jedi, I can email you Yoda's phone number

I have tried the UV material, and glow paint, too. For me, they are more trouble than they are worth. I stick to general area casts, and setting by sound


Funny you say this Tony...In the dark I actually close my eyes and rest my index finger on top of the rod for a more sensitive touch and "will" the fish to my fly...It can appear to someone standing on the bank like I'm in prayer. :)

"I shall make you a fisher of men", but the best we can do for Spence is an occasional Brown Trout. ;)

Spence the Prince (of darkness?)...well...at least of dusk.

I have had a ton of experience with this from working in haunted houses
John...Dare we ask? :)
"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 Jun 12, 2012June 12th, 2012, 12:19 pm EDT
Spence for the better part of the last 12 years I have been involved with a Haunted Attraction. I started as a general actor and progressed to the point of being on the build team, doing lighting design, and in charge of make up for all of the actors. Think of it as interactive community theater with a Boris Karloff bent.
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Topic
Replies
Last Reply
9
Jun 6, 2012
by Martinlf
4
Jun 11, 2017
by Jmd123
1
Jun 14, 2007
by Shawnny3
4
Nov 12, 2011
by Sayfu
6
Jun 6, 2012
by Martinlf
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy