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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 Male Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This dun emerged from a mature nymph on my desk. Unfortunately its wings didn't perfectly dry out.
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.


Posts: 278
TNEAL on Feb 4, 2014February 4th, 2014, 8:15 am EST
I was very recently told by a supplier not to expect Whiting grizzly saddles; the hair/hackle fad took root in Europe and much is being sold there.
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on Feb 4, 2014February 4th, 2014, 8:25 am EST
So lame!!! They should start producing an inferior product for the fashion scene. I doubt they are as stringent on their hackle selection as fly tiers, although I may be underestimating that group.

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Feb 4, 2014February 4th, 2014, 8:59 am EST
sad that companies built by fly tyers choose to ignore our needs but wll want us back when the fad dies out
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on Feb 4, 2014February 4th, 2014, 9:55 am EST
It proves that even our beloved fly fishing industry is driven by the almighty dollar. Anyone know how to raise birds for quality hackle?
Gus's profile picture

Posts: 59
Gus on Feb 5, 2014February 5th, 2014, 7:27 am EST
I was working in a fly shop in Oregon when this became a trend. It was sad seeing all those feather leave the store that would never reach their full potential then be discarded to make room for the next fashion crazy.
"How do you help that son of a bitch?"

"By taking him fishing"

-A River Runs Through It

Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Feb 6, 2014February 6th, 2014, 5:51 am EST

You're bumming us out man! I was hoping we were done with this...Is this why you posted the quetion a few weeks back about the alternate hackle? Was it Collins hackle?


PS...Tim...I had Ed McCoy down to speak last night at the club from Hawkins' up your way. He spoke about dry-fly fishing the Manistee...Very good presentation. He is in love with the Iso...Imagine that?! :) He also is fond of Ernie's bug.

He claimed that last seasons Henny action there was second to none and the best he can remember. He is thinking that all this snow may help us out there next spring. My fingers are crossed! We could use a bit of a thaw from time to time, and hopefully not an all at once deal.
"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's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Feb 6, 2014February 6th, 2014, 12:28 pm EST
"They should start producing an inferior product for the fashion scene."

Yeah, Kyle, why didn't they think of that? Sell 'em some cheap Chinese hackle if all they're gonna do is wear them in their hair until they fall apart. I'm surprised nobody came up with that solution. Perhaps you should go into the hackle business, Kyle?

I remember some Web commentary about this whole issue a while back. People were HORRIFIED that these chickens were KILLED for their feathers. Uh, excuse me, where do you think your KFC or Chicken McNuggets come from? Made in a factory?

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

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Feb 6, 2014February 6th, 2014, 2:00 pm EST
I believe this snow pack will do nothing but benefit Spring fishing. I hope it stays cooler than normal through the Spring. The year Mount St. Helen blew its top and created a lengthy cool spring was a memorable one on the river. I'm looking all over for hackle. Not happy about the latest development.
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Feb 6, 2014February 6th, 2014, 9:37 pm EST
I find the whole thing mysterious, Tim. From what I've been told, the big fashion demand is mostly for the super saddles. For every saddle patch, there's got to be a neck, right? Where are they?
"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
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Feb 22, 2014February 22nd, 2014, 12:44 pm EST
Funny you should mention this...I peruse e-bay often, and just recently noticed that on many of the cape/saddle auctions they are starting to mention hair extensions again. That went away for awhile, when the fad died over here. I know a few guys who cleaned up during that time, I mean really cleaned up! Curiously enough, Charlie Collins refused to sell to the hair extension crowds and it even caused a little friction with the fly tying customers. If he didn't know you by name, you basically were not getting any feathers.

Thanks for the heads up, CJ

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