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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.

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.

By Troutnut on August 1st, 2013
My wife wanted to go swimming tonight, and I never want to go swimming (at least not in Alaska), so we went to a nine-acre pond where I could kick around in a float tube and chase some fish. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game stocks the heck out of several little man-made gravel pits along the Steese Highway with grayling and infertile rainbow trout.

Our husky Taiga was eager to help out, and kept swimming back and forth between the two of us until she decided my activity was more interesting and she should orbit my float tube at close range, like a furry Panda-colored moon. I caught a couple trout like that and then figured she'd had enough exercise (who does she think she is, a labrador retriever??) and we tied her up on shore so I could fish normally for a few minutes before we had to go.

(Note: If anyone in Fairbanks reads this and considers a visit to that pond, don't go swimming.)

Photos by Troutnut from Mile 36.6 Pond in Alaska

Exiled dog. I fished for about twenty minutes with her swimming around and around my float tube, then finally we tied her up on shore so I could make a few casts without worrying about catching something way too big & furry.

From Mile 36.6 Pond in Alaska
Helpful husky. Taiga wanted to spend the whole evening swimming in tight circles around me.

From Mile 36.6 Pond in Alaska
Little stocked rainbow

From Mile 36.6 Pond in Alaska

Comments / replies

Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 29, 2013August 29th, 2013, 8:43 pm EDT
HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Just read the part about Swimmer's itch and had to laugh, got my very first case (and a bad one!) in 29 years a couple of months ago after taking my Field Biology class to Foote Pond on the Au Sable River system...well, OK, I went for as snorkel afterwards and may have made it worse...while collecting fish with my 20-foot seine net we did pull up a LOT of snails of several different species and some of pretty good size (1" diameter or greater)...my previous case had been from my very first summer at the University of Michigan Biological Station at Douglas Lake, MI - which had both sizeable snail and waterfall populations.

BTW been meaning to mention that your pic of that little rainbow looks an awful lot like one of similar size I caught out of Reid Lake (along with a 13" yellow perch!) and posted a pic of back in November of 2011...

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

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Aug 30, 2013August 30th, 2013, 4:24 pm EDT
BTW been meaning to mention that your pic of that little rainbow looks an awful lot like one of similar size I caught out of Reid Lake (along with a 13" yellow perch!) and posted a pic of back in November of 2011...


Interesting. I think this one's a sterile triploid. I wonder if any other physical appearance traits go along with that and might explain the similarity, or if it's purely a coincidence.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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