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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 Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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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Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Sep 7, 2014September 7th, 2014, 4:48 pm EDT
I had massive (well massive for the stream I was on) balls of these today. The boys would not sit still long enough for me to get a photo but this lady was willing to sit for me. Not a great photo (it's kind fuzzy) but it was breezy and all I had was my point and shoot.



Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 7, 2014September 7th, 2014, 5:30 pm EDT
And were the fishies responding as you hoped, Eric?

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

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Sep 8, 2014September 8th, 2014, 1:02 pm EDT
Nice photo, Eric.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Sep 8, 2014September 8th, 2014, 4:32 pm EDT
Under the circumstances, absolutely! You captured the illusive pale olive/green (almost chartreuse) very well, something you rarely see in photos.
"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
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Sep 8, 2014September 8th, 2014, 5:49 pm EDT
Yes, that's nice lighting. She looks like she's eying you up. Or am I just reading in?
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 11, 2014September 11th, 2014, 4:22 pm EDT
This past weekend I was up in Grayling for the 20th annual Au Sable river cleanup. I was standing on a bridge over the mainstream with two other "old-timers" and we had a swarm of Tricos at arms length. I reached out and nabbed one, it turned out to be a female and I had one perfectly round, sticky, bright green egg ball stuck to my palm. I wonder how many eggs that represented? :)

Nice pics Eric!

Spence

Old-timer...I was at the first river clean-up as well...Ouch! Where did that 20 years go. I walked and cleaned up a beat I once fished with Rusty Gates. A little nod from his old Dutch pal to the Gator!

I have flies given to me from the first cleanup by guys who walked it with me. One, happily is still with us and was one of the other "old-timers' on the bridge, the other is gone.

There use to be an old fly shop in Roscommon called Jack's. His wife Ann Schweigert was a tyer of some renown in the area. A guy who walked the river with me this time was taught, as a young man, how to tie by Ann. He teaches tying now at the library there...

The day after the cleanup we came back to our room after fishing and having a bit to eat and I found a note from him taped to the door of my room. It had an unopened hand tied leader tied by Jack...The shop closed in 85...It cost a buck! :) It will go in the collection with the old flies.
"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
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Sep 12, 2014September 12th, 2014, 4:28 pm EDT
Jack was really proud of those leaders. In the lb test portion he put "maximum" Hang on to that leader, Spence.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 12, 2014September 12th, 2014, 4:50 pm EDT
Tim,

It goes in the wooden box that has flies that guys have given me over the years...Hmmm...I have more than a few in there from a Mr Tim Neal. :) Your old buddy, JR, the unofficial mayor of Grayling, has a few in there as well.

I stopped in the unofficial city hall of Grayling this time up, Goodale's Bakery, for a custard-filled...Makes for a happy Dutchman.

Spence

Re: Jack's leader...It also says "Not Productioned" and he had an informal fishing club called the Circle...There's a stamp on the back that says "join the circle"...

Follow the link below if you are interested in a little Lore.

http://www.flyanglersonline.com/articles/oldflies/2010/oldflies20100830.php
"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
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Sep 13, 2014September 13th, 2014, 4:13 am EDT
Thanks. Nice article. Jack was a real character; Ann just the opposite. The reference there to her full bodied flies was accurate; she never used dubbing but always wrapped the body with some sort of yarn.
I remember Jack visiting a fly shop I worked at probably a year or two before he died. He related as to how he had quit fishing. When we inquired why he said that he felt like a guy should stick with what he does best; which, in his case, he felt like that was drinking. He would keep several rods at the shop and show them to visitors asking which they preferred. They would all test them out and invariably pick the one that said Orvis. The other rods were exactly the same with the Orvis name either covered or rubbed off. He always let everyone know of his trick afterwards of course.
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Sep 13, 2014September 13th, 2014, 8:29 am EDT
He would keep several rods at the shop and show them to visitors asking which they preferred. They would all test them out and invariably pick the one that said Orvis. The other rods were exactly the same with the Orvis name either covered or rubbed off. He always let everyone know of his trick afterwards of course.

The trick is not the removal or the covering up of the "Orvis" name the trick is the attachment to it.
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."

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