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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 Kogotus (Perlodidae) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
This one pretty clearly keys to Kogotus, but it also looks fairly different from specimens I caught in the same creek about a month later in the year. With only one species of the genus known in Washington, I'm not sure about the answer to this ID.
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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Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Mar 3, 2015March 3rd, 2015, 4:59 am EST
I'm glad to be back on my ancestral turf in NW PA


This is going to be the year of the legal musky on the long rod (I hope..)


Lee

Make sure you add some wood duck to your muskie flies.

More than a few years back, I was in Presque Isle Bay during the first day of the late duck season. Somewhere around the first week of December.
Right before dawn, a flock of smallish birds swung around, and I thought they might be teal, which was strange since it was a normal weather fall season and all the teal had passed through over a month ago.
As the flock turned to land, I saw the crest of a drake woodie and pulled up on it. Even stranger that there would be woodies this late...
I hit it and as it was flopping around about 40 yards out, and Zena (my black lab) jumped out of my 17 foot Chesapeake on her way to fetch. A good sized muskie came up and hit the wounded woodie.
Well, Zena was dumbfounded (and always was kinda dumb) so she went ahead and got the bird anyway.
I never figured out why a full plumage wood duck would be in NW Pa in December, or why a muskie would try to eat her, and not hit my flies. And I never figured out why Zena leaped in front of the mail truck and got run over, either.

I still fish for muskies in Presque Isle bay, but haven't got any on a fly.
I wonder if maybe I should use wood duck feathers on my flies.
Or maybe even just double haul a wood duck?
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 3, 2015March 3rd, 2015, 6:41 am EST
Did you ever get another Lab?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Mar 3, 2015March 3rd, 2015, 10:06 am EST
No, Matt. Sadly she was my last pet.
After my beagle (Apache Sue) passed to the happy hunting grounds, and I became more of a snobby upland bird hunter, I raised and trained Sugar, a pointer, who was bred in Bellefonte, the offspring of great and renowned hunting dogs. She had an incredible nose and learned to hunt close for grouse and for heavy cover quail. She was also great at sniffing out groundhogs...
Once all of the quail and pheasants (plus most of the grouse) disappeared from my neck of the woods, I let my mom have her, which was for the best, as I was working more than a hundred hours a week back then. Mom made her look like a cannoli and then she became addicted to spaghetti sauce and actually began to dig up and eat all of the parsley plants in Mom's garden. Unfortunately, she died young.
Zena was my last pup...
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 3, 2015March 3rd, 2015, 10:10 am EST
With your lovely brood of youngsters a Lab might be a great addition to the family.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Mar 3, 2015March 3rd, 2015, 10:34 am EST
I have a dog that I am willing to part with. Excellent nose, wonderful retriever, hunts close, only hunted on wild birds. I really liked her until this morning at 5:00 am. I think this picture will explain:





RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Mar 3, 2015March 3rd, 2015, 10:59 am EST
Hi Tony.. A muskie took a shot at a full grown wood duck? That must have been something to see.

Once, we were up on Cabonga Reservoir in La Verendrye PP in Quebec spending a week trolling for walleye and got to talking to a guy at the camping area who claimed he saw a pike suck down a toy poodle that was prancing around on one of the boat docks and slipped off the edge and into the lake. But he was pretty ethanolized most of the time, so we took it with a grain of salt.

Its been over 30 years since I did any duck hunting, but we used to float French Creek around Thanksgiving every year and jump shoot Blacks and Mallards and quite a few Woodies too. Certainly not as many as you'd see during the early part of the season, but still a pretty fair number. We even jumped a pair of Gadwalls once. The only ones I've ever seen.

I had a 9 wgt. Browning Boron fly rod once that probably could have double hauled a wood duck. And the aluminum tube nest it was hatched in too at the same time, for that matter. Thing was a real club. I gave it to one of the kids in the neighborhood where I lived at the time. I think he and his friends ended up using it as a javelin. Wasn't much good for fishing, that's for sure.

I ran out of wood duck flank feathers last year. But I have a quart-size zip loc of Hooded Merganser flank, which is pretty close, just a little darker.

I plan on targeting pike in the Bay when they move in to spawn this Spring (if Spring ever comes..). I'll probably do most of my Muskie fishing at LeBoeuf, which I grew up fishing and know like the back of my hand or Edinboro, which I can walk to from my house in under 15 minutes. They say Sugar Lake and Canadohta are both pretty good too. I'm a small water guy. Small trout streams and small lakes.

Right now, I'm taking a forced break from tying my big fish flies. I have one of those Regal knock-off vises (Crown, I think they are by brand) that I use for big stuff and I was trying to get the jaws to open wide enough to accommodate one of these 5/0 hooks I got from Hook&Hackle. Its right out there at the upper end of the vise's working range and I was really squeezing the lever to get that last 1/16th of an inch and I did something to my wrist. Hurts like H... So, now I'm sitting here with an ice pack inside an Ace bandage all wrapped around it.

That'll teach me.. Shoulda just got some baling wire, some super glue, a crate full of wood ducks and some 10/0 hooks and see if can find another one of those Brownings on Ebay.....

Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 3, 2015March 3rd, 2015, 3:35 pm EST
I have a dog that I am willing to part with. Excellent nose, wonderful retriever, hunts close, only hunted on wild birds. I really liked her until this morning at 5:00 am. I think this picture will explain:


Say it isn't so Eric!? You have had one rough year and we are only three months into it! You are going to slay them this year on the river...Someone owes you, bro!

Spence

Oh...Welcome back Lee. :)
"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
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 4, 2015March 4th, 2015, 2:21 pm EST
Eric: BUMMER!!! I hope you get that stench our eventually...

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

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 11, 2015March 11th, 2015, 2:04 pm EDT
.
Once all of the quail and pheasants (plus most of the grouse) disappeared from my neck of the woods, I let my mom have her, which was for the best, as I was working more than a hundred hours a week back then. Mom made her look like a cannoli and then she became addicted to spaghetti sauce and actually began to dig up and eat all of the parsley plants in Mom's garden. Unfortunately, she died young.
Zena was my last pup...


I almost missed this Tony...That's a funny story!

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

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