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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.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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.

Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jan 7, 2014January 7th, 2014, 4:28 am EST
I don't fall in, Spence. That's all part of my technique


Like they say, my friend, 'practice makes perfect"...:) Your technique is flawless. You are an otter at heart. I have never seen someone go under and shake it off so well as you...An otter!

Spence
"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
Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Mar 6, 2014March 6th, 2014, 5:13 pm EST
I never had a net until last year. I still forget it on half the trips I make to the stream and cant believe I still even have it, as I drop it a half dozen times an outing!

The reason I finally bought one was when I hooked and somehow landed my first big fish. I fish small water mostly, and don't tangle with too many trout over 18". When they get over 20" though, its a whole different story. You don't just skate them on the surface and grab them with you off hand. I chased this guy around and tried to lead him to a shallow place where I could pounce on him. A net would have saved me a lot of last second worrying, that's for sure. Anyway, I bought a Brodin with the "ghost" netting and yes, it really does help from hooking loose flies to it. It also makes landing the bigger ones very easy, and I can bring any of them in hot and fast knowing I can scoop them right up. Its is a chore walking through rough stuff with it on, but when you need it your glad to have it. CJ

Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 7, 2014March 7th, 2014, 2:26 am EST
"To do this well you need a man sized net, not one of those silly girlie nets with a ten inch hoop."

Yep, I agree, I use the Brodin Gallatin with the Ghost bag. It is 24.5" long. The size I need for most of the trout I catch.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 7, 2014March 7th, 2014, 3:42 am EST
I'm in agreement with the last two posts. My boat net has a nice long handle as well. When wading deep, I prefer holding the fish against my leg. A habit picked up for steelhead way too big for any net that you could carry.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Mar 7, 2014March 7th, 2014, 5:46 am EST
Putting the pros and cons of carrying a net aside, It has been my experience that if the net is left home or forgotten your chances of hooking a large trout increase exponentially.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Mar 7, 2014March 7th, 2014, 2:17 pm EST
Putting the pros and cons of carrying a net aside, It has been my experience that if the net is left home or forgotten your chances of hooking a large trout increase exponentially.


You said a mouthful there! Same goes for the camera, if your into that sort of thing. CJ
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 7, 2014March 7th, 2014, 2:22 pm EST
CJ, I caught my largest ever brown trout last year - an 18-incher - and my damned camera wouldn't work! So sometimes you can even bring the thing and still not get a picture to show off...

;oD

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

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Mar 11, 2014March 11th, 2014, 5:03 pm EDT
... You don't just skate them on the surface and grab them with you off hand. I chased this guy around and tried to lead him to a shallow place where I could pounce on him. A net would have saved me a lot of last second worrying, that's for sure. ...

Reminds me of a big, deep-shouldered small-stream brown I hooked on a short little 3wt "wand" and 6X, while standing knee deep and shrouded by overhanging willows. There was no place to beach it. The fish was big enough that it was able to stay upright and hug the stream bottom. In close, I had no power to lift it to the surface to get a net under it. It just hugged the stream bottom. So, instead of wearing the fish out completely, I smoothly lulled it into swimming circles around me, passing close to my left leg on each pass, while I held the net submerged and hidden behind that leg. On the third pass I popped the net out into its path, and it swam right in. Phew!
Catskilljon
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Mar 11, 2014March 11th, 2014, 6:27 pm EDT
So, instead of wearing the fish out completely, I smoothly lulled it into swimming circles around me, passing close to my left leg on each pass, while I held the net submerged and hidden behind that leg. On the third pass I popped the net out into its path, and it swam right in. Phew!


That's cool! I am a big fan of bringing them in quick, and have lost quite a few "nice" fish by leaning on them so they don't get tired. My pet stream probably has only one spot per mile that has water deeper than knee deep, so finding shallow water is easy, but the net really speeds the landing process up! CJ
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Mar 11, 2014March 11th, 2014, 6:42 pm EDT
No doubt that a net can increase the landing rate. Playing a fish to exhaustion for hand landing is never a good idea. You need to be fairly aggressive which does lead to a few farmed before they are under total control. I don't seem to care much anymore. I don't take many fish pictures so if I can touch 'em and get a good look at 'em, I'm happy... Unless the buggers take my fly with them.:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
TroutBums
Cincinnati, OH

Posts: 13
TroutBums on Oct 8, 2014October 8th, 2014, 5:52 pm EDT
It is funny how a person can fall in love with their net, but it is possible! I have a Brolin rubber net for when I am in a stream. Then I also have an Orvis Brolin long handle rubber net (the guide net, its 49" long). Not only is it a strong net, but is a work of beauty with the laminated wood handle and frame. I have used it not only for trout, but also to catch some large catfish using limb lines. The cats have weighed up to 21 lbs. and the net did great. It is perfect for when I am in a boat.
Ted Holcomb
http://TroutBumOutfitters.com
Contact@TroutBumOutfitters.com

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