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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 Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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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Wbranch has attached these 5 pictures to this report. The message is below.

Report at a Glance

General RegionBerks County PA
Specific LocationTulpehocken
Dates FishedMay 22
Time of Day9:00 - 3:00
Fish CaughtEleven browns & one rainbow
Conditions & HatchesTan caddis, midges, and a few what looked like Light Cahills

Details and Discussion

Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 23, 2014May 23rd, 2014, 4:06 am EDT
Had a great time fishing to lots of rising fish a couple of which looked larger than most by the size of the rise forms. But I was unsuccessful in catching those fish. I did get two that may have been last years holdovers because both pectoral fins were fully grown out and undeformed (for those not in PA our fish commission typically amputates one pectoral fin)

This was really an unremarkable fishing trip as the size and quantity was no different than my last two trips there. However just as I was walking back to the car the sky turned pretty much steel gray and as I was taking off my boots a big wind came up and I scrambled to get into the car just as the first rain drops, and hailstones, began to hit the groud. It was the worst hail storm I'd ever witnessed and I'm imaging it is the kind that people from the Midwest talk about when they say "That hail was as big as golf balls". Because it was! It started to rain and storm at 3:00 and by 3:13 it was over. The following pictures is the result of this hail storm. I'm pretty sick about it since this I bought this 2014 Ourback new in August of 2013.

There are over 100 significant dents on the hood, roof, front fenders, and chrome window trim. I imagine a body shop can replace the hood and hammer out or pull out the dents in the fenders but how in the world can they remove the dozens of big dents on the roof?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on May 23, 2014May 23rd, 2014, 11:03 am EDT
Wow Matt, I can only imagine what it must have sounded like sitting inside the car. As a Midwesterner my worst hail experience to date was a storm that came through in April of 2004 with hail stones approaching the size of baseballs. It took out my Chevy pickup, my Tahoe, the metal roof on a 25'x 140' storage building and the shingled roof over 1600 sq ft of shop space. Thank God for insurance. Anyway, to answer your question, they used a process known as "Paintless Dent Repair" on the vehicles. Absolutely amazing.

P.S. I'm surprised you didn't try to one-up Brookyman and fish it out.
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."
Kschaefer3
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on May 23, 2014May 23rd, 2014, 11:32 am EDT
Wow! Quite the experience. Can you imagine what it would feel like if those hit you? Just look at what it did to the vehicle!
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 23, 2014May 23rd, 2014, 2:29 pm EDT
Can you imagine what it would feel like if those hit you? Just look at what it did to the vehicle!


Yep, I was thinking "what if I'd been 1/4 mile down river instead of just about 40 yards from the car?" The noise as they bombarded the rood and hood was pretty scary to tell you the truth! I think I would of hunkered down along the bank under some streamside willows and used my vest to protect my head.

I was lucky in a way as the car was stationary. Imagine driving along at 55 mph when these hailstones starting flying down at you probably at a pretty high velocity too. That is why many of the cars I saw along the roadside had windshields and back windows that were not just cracked but totally blown out with shards of broken glass throughout the interior of the vehicle.

The weather man on our local TV channel said that hailstones got that big because they started way up around 50,000 feet and some how they were falling down to the warmer air where the moisture was then they were pulled back up to the high altitude, got colder, then fell again and picked up more moisture, then back up and froze and that is how he explained the large size.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 23, 2014May 23rd, 2014, 3:21 pm EDT
Geeeeez, Matt, you are having quite the season this year, aren't you? Your trips just keep getting more interesting, and not apparently from the fishing...

At least you caught fish today. I got skunked on the Pine, saw a lot more insects than I did on the Rifle yesterday but almost no risers, except for a couple of dinkers that couldn't even fit my flies in their mouths...but no hailstorms, either! And joyously, almost no mosquitoes.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 23, 2014May 23rd, 2014, 3:26 pm EDT
Yep, this year is surely full of unpleasant surprises. Getting stuck on the wrong side of the river, getting caught in an epic hail storm, my fly reel spool falling out. The being on the wrong side and the hail storm were both on the same stream up near Reading, PA. Maybe I should just stay away from there!

What's next?? Last year I broke one of my Gatti rods on that stream. I'm thinking my next misadventure will be I break another rod or I forget to put the plugs in the bass boat and when I come back from parking the car & trailer the transom will already be underwater and the boat sinks while I watch helplessly.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on May 24, 2014May 24th, 2014, 5:45 am EDT
or I forget to put the plugs in the bass boat and when I come back from parking the car & trailer the transom will already be underwater and the boat sinks while I watch helplessly.


Here's one for you Matt. My Uncle had a Bass Tracker which was tied up to the dock at the resort while he went in to eat lunch. Inside the live well was a sucker on a harness with a large cork bobber for muskie fishing. The live well pump was on to keep fresh water flowing. When he finished lunch he went down to the dock and found his boat completely submerged. The bobber had been drawn into the over flow.
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."
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 30, 2014May 30th, 2014, 12:59 pm EDT
Well I finally had a chance to see the claims adjuster yesterday. He took pictures and surveyed the damage. He told me to go out and just get one price estimate to repair and then he would negotiate with that person to arrive at the price the insurance company will pay. The quote to repair, replace hood, roof, front fenders, windhsield, and all other damage is $10,400. The body shop man told me it would take from a week to ten days once he gets the okay from insurance and receives the OEM parts.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 1, 2014June 1st, 2014, 5:35 pm EDT
OUCH!!! My condolences Matt. I hope insurance covers as much of it as possible.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jun 1, 2014June 1st, 2014, 7:04 pm EDT
As it stands right now I'm covered sans my deductible. I also get a rental car for up to 30 days.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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