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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 Amphizoa (Amphizoidae) Beetle Larva from Sears Creek in Washington
This is the first of it's family I've seen, collected from a tiny, fishless stream in the Cascades. The three species of this genus all live in the Northwest and are predators that primarily eat stonefly nymphs Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019).
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 U.P.
Dates Fished07/2013
Time of DayMid-day
Fish CaughtBrook Trout
Conditions & HatchesHOT! Some size 14 caddis, but not much else.

Details and Discussion

Pryal74
Pryal74's profile picture
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Pryal74 on Jul 27, 2013July 27th, 2013, 10:08 pm EDT
I had enough footage for another video. I thought I would share this one as well. I had my release footage from that monster and a few nice photos of some other dandies. I have to say, despite the skeeters and horrendous deer flies this year, this was one of the best brook trout summers I have ever had.

Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 28, 2013July 28th, 2013, 8:42 am EDT
Beautiful, James. Hey, is that a good old Black Ghost streamer I see? That was one of the very first flies I tied, over 23 years ago...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Pryal74
Pryal74's profile picture
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Pryal74 on Jul 28, 2013July 28th, 2013, 3:07 pm EDT
I wanted to use some of the same flies my grandfather and great father used. I am learning how to tie them, yes it was a black ghost! Great of you to notice. Great tie and very effective on brookies!
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Jul 29, 2013July 29th, 2013, 12:32 pm EDT
Sweet Man, as usual! Hey, did you catch 'em all on streamers or were a few on other flies? You know, I have NEVER caught a brookie on a streamer I don't think! All mine have come on dries and classic wets but gonna have to try it now!

Good for you!!


Adirman
Pryal74
Pryal74's profile picture
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Pryal74 on Jul 29, 2013July 29th, 2013, 2:00 pm EDT
never on a streamer?! That's how I get most of them. Sometimes when they are finicky I will strip a nymph rig past them for a take. I never throw dries until I see them actively taking.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Jul 30, 2013July 30th, 2013, 2:37 am EDT
Are you fishing for them in more of a river or a smaller stream? From the vid, it looks kinda like a small river , is that right? I fish a lot of small streams and rivers in the Adirondacks for brookies and always just figured that streamers wouldn't work cuz I never see any minnows around but hey, Im game!! Next time I go, Im definitely gonna give streamers a try based on what you said. I find that dries and the classic wets are very effective up in some of these spots cuz theres very few prolific hatches and so the local trout have learned to be incredibly opportunistic (this is my pet theory for what Ive seen BTW, I don't know this for a fact!). Curiously, nymphs are very Ineffective for me in these same spots, especially the bead head but without as well! I don't know why because nymphs are my #1 types of fly down in the catskills to nail fish but up there, they don't seem to work too good. Go figure!
Pryal74
Pryal74's profile picture
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Pryal74 on Jul 30, 2013July 30th, 2013, 9:03 pm EDT
Yeah, give them a shot. Strip them FAST, faster than you think will work. Sometimes they will take them in a slower retrieve, but Brook Trout are just like you said... opportunistic. They have to be especially in smaller streams. They compete with each other when food presents itself.

Yes the stream in the photo is a small river in places. I have been using mickey finn style streamers and my new favorite the "black ghost" which is a classic pattern as well.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Jul 31, 2013July 31st, 2013, 3:23 am EDT
Pryal;

Will do and thanks for the advice!
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 31, 2013July 31st, 2013, 8:25 am EDT
Adirman, I second all of James' advice and recommend brightly colored streamers for brookies. James mentions the good old Mickey Finn and Black Ghost, those are surely good ones. Another I like is the old Royal Coachman streamer, yes it's not just a dry fly! I have also tied streamer variants of the old Grizzly King wet fly, which incorporates red and green like the Coachman. Of course, one can always substitute yellow, orange, or chartreuse for red in any of these patterns...And I'm sure you can come up with your own unique pattern which will just slay them when you figure it out! Tight lines and beautiful brookies to ya, man!

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

Posts: 479
Adirman on Aug 1, 2013August 1st, 2013, 2:51 am EDT
Jmd;

Thank you and you also sir!

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