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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.

Ventral view of a Hydropsyche (Hydropsychidae) (Spotted Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
With a bit of help from the microscope, this specimen keys clearly and unsurprisingly to Hydropsyche.
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.

JOHNW has attached these 5 pictures to this report. The message is below.

Report at a Glance

General RegionCentral PA
Dates FishedApril 25
Time of Dayall day
Conditions & HatchesGrannom, Gordon Quills, Hendricksons /Red Quills, Blue Quills, Early Brown Stoneflies.
Partly sunny to Rain Showers with limestone green color and visibility of 18-24"

Details and Discussion

JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Apr 28, 2014April 28th, 2014, 4:53 pm EDT
We'll let the photos speak for themselves
"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 Apr 28, 2014April 28th, 2014, 7:31 pm EDT
John...I have gone here before when I see you PA guys post Brown trout pics...Those look like two different species to me...The last two are closer to the buttery Browns we have here.

Looks good! Especially after this bastard of a winter here!

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
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 28, 2014April 28th, 2014, 11:00 pm EDT
Nice john.

Spence, looks like different lighting to me. Overcast desaturating colors and giving a bluish cast in the first. And some sun popping out in the others. Both still have that metallic shine of spring fish.

Tough to tell with the lighting but the first looks like it may still be sporting "pelagic silver" meaning it is still in migration from winter to summer space. The smallmouth makes me wonder if that first trout wasn't caught lower in the watershed and will be moving outta there.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 29, 2014April 29th, 2014, 11:07 am EDT
Could be...Its hard to tell though with these PA Boys Paul, they think nothing of putting hundreds of miles on their fishing wagons when it comes to chasing fish. :)

Last year I tailgated Tony, through the mountain back roads, in the dark,from Bellefonte to Carlyle, only to have Eric aim my truck back north to fish Penn's Creek! One nice day of fishing and a storm blew it out and back south we went to play on Big Spring and the Letort.

My head is still spinning, and I'm not totally sure they don't just do that to keep us invaders from Michigan from really knowing where in the hell their fishing spots are. :)

Spence

JohnW is heading this way in a few weeks to fish with me on the Au Sable. I have a couple floats planned for him. I was up for opening day this past weekend speaking with the guides who will direct us to trout...We were seriously considering a blindfold for John when we put in and tale out the boat. ;) At the least he'll be patted down for a GPS device.

"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 Apr 29, 2014April 29th, 2014, 4:25 pm EDT
Spence,
I am no salmonid geneticist however I can tell you I have consistently observed 3 distinct coloration patterns in our wild brown trout:
1 The prototypical "butter belly" look
2 the silvery "atlantic salmon" look
3 and a creamy yellow with an olive cast and spare reddish brown spots. This is by far the least common coloration on all of the rivers I regularly fish.
This trip was 100 miles each way for a little over 8 hrs of fishing.
Better invest in noise cancelling headphones too; I have a knack for stringing tidbits of info together.

Paul,
The lighting was not too terribly different for all of the fish maybe a little more overcast as the day wore on but the photos you see are very true to the actual coloration of the fish.
The first fish was actually caught the farthest up the river by a few feet from the fish in number 4 and the smallie, but all were roughly within a single mile of stream. All are residents as there is no real seasonal migration other than to the mouths of feeders in summer low and warm conditions.

Mack, This river is one fickle mistress. I am pretty confident that I can go to just about any wild trout stream and work up a fish or two; this river I expect the skunk to stick with me and am pleased to take a fish or two despite a very strong wild population.
"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 Apr 29, 2014April 29th, 2014, 5:10 pm EDT
Nice work, John. Anybody could be proud of a day like that on that stream.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Apr 29, 2014April 29th, 2014, 6:58 pm EDT
That first fish, if lighting is true (there does appear to be a shadow), is wearing "pelagic" coloration, meaning she was oriented to the water more so than to cover or substrate. Bet she's been traveling.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Apr 30, 2014April 30th, 2014, 1:51 pm EDT
Better invest in noise cancelling headphones too; I have a knack for stringing tidbits of info together.


Maybe we'll have to christen you Mr Lore II. :) I pity our guides then...Between you and I they won't get a word in...Maybe we should get them some ear-plugs? :)

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
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Apr 30, 2014April 30th, 2014, 2:16 pm EDT
I was thinking you would want me to wear the headphones!
I tend to be on the quiet side when around people who are in the know. It is amazing how much info you can garner by paying attention to the little conversations.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 30, 2014April 30th, 2014, 3:09 pm EDT
All nice trout. Did you get the smallie in a trout stream? Very dark smallmouth. Good to see some of you guys out there and fishing. I've yet to have even seen a wild trout this season. I'm thinking that my enthusiasm is at it's lowest point to all my trout fishing life. I'm hoping that a trip to the Delaware late next week will reward me with water in the mid 50's, air in the higher 60's, lots of Hendrickson's, and hopefully rising trout. That should should put the spark back in my step.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on May 1, 2014May 1st, 2014, 6:48 pm EDT
Matt,
The smallie came from the same pool as the two biggest browns shown. Unfortunately the big river are blown out and just closed for bass for a month and a half. Reports have the smallmouth fishing doing very well.
I'm sure you'll get your mojo back.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 2, 2014May 2nd, 2014, 10:39 am EDT
Matt, you and me both. The weather hasn't helped, and our trout streams are high and muddy around here. Not planning on wading anything for a week or two, I might try some pond fishing if the wind ever dies down enough to keep the kayak from spinning around on me...

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

Posts: 59
Gus on May 2, 2014May 2nd, 2014, 3:57 pm EDT
Nice job John!
"How do you help that son of a bitch?"

"By taking him fishing"

-A River Runs Through It

www.jsrods.com

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