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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 Psychodidae True Fly Larva from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This wild-looking little thing completely puzzled me. At first I was thinking beetle or month larva, until I got a look at the pictures on the computer screen. I made a couple of incorrect guesses before entomologist Greg Courtney pointed me in the right direction with Psychodidae. He suggested a possible genus of Thornburghiella, but could not rule out some other members of the tribe Pericomini.
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.

Report at a Glance

General RegionHancock, New York
Specific LocationStarlight, PA
Dates FishedMay 09 - 12
Time of DayDawn to 9:30 & 6:00 to dark
Fish CaughtNot very much
Conditions & HatchesAbsolutely the worst water and daytime temperatures in the twenty-one years I've owned the cabin. Rusty spinners #18 & #14, some #12. Most likely Hendricksons and Para Leps. No Apple caddis whatsoever. I saw them on my prior trip of May 03 - 06.

Details and Discussion

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 13, 2015May 13th, 2015, 2:19 am EDT
Fishing was terrible for me. Although my friend caught a nice 17" rainbow on the EB of the Delaware and an 18" and 19 1/2" brown on the WB of the Delaware. This would be the exception to the rule. He is an outstanding caster, line control expert, and can generally kick my ass.

The flow on the WB when I left yesterday was just 229 cfs and the flow on the main stem was 781 cfs. I have never, in forty years, seen or heard of the main stem being that low. West Branch Angler, Delaware River Club, and at least two independent guide services have suspended taking clients out on the river whether it was a drift boat float or wading until further notice. The water temperature in Lordville was 74, the lower EB was 72. The daytime temperatures were at least 85 degrees Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Fish rose well from daybreak until 9:30 then there was never another rise before 6:00 p.m. and it continued, with varying intensity each night, until dark. I'm won't be going back to the cabin until the flow on the WB is at least 400 cfs and 1100 cfs on the main stem. Water temperatures need to be no more than 55 degrees at the Hale Eddy gage and 62 at the Hancock gage.

I caught one 16" brown in four days and I think a total of seven other trout 10" - 13" during those four days. I should mention I didn't try to fish the main stem at all. I might of been able to coax a couple out of there if I had fished it.

BTW I just reviewed the gages for the water temperatures for May 09 - 12. The high temperatures ranged from 68 - 74 degrees. The EB highs ranged from 70 - 74 degrees, and the WB highs ranged from 64 - 68 degrees. I did 85% of my fishing on the WB except for one morning on the lower EB. The water temperature when I fished never exceeded 66 degrees.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 13, 2015May 13th, 2015, 4:56 am EDT
Strange spring Matt. You guys got heat and we had cold for the opener a couple Saturdays back. Until the rather cold winters we have had the last two years we had a few overly warm springs. We were warning folk a few years back to do as you have. Fish the early morning and evening.

I can remember fishing my week in late May back in the 90's when I may have had it snow. Strange days!

I don't remember the year but maybe we need some serious volcanic activity to cool us back down a tad. I remember, whatever year it was when OJ was driving around LA in his Bronco, we had a cool couple of summers. They claimed it was from the ash from the volcanos cooling us down.

Now I don't want it so bad that the volcanos drive us back to another ice age, but it would be nice if the water at our latitude would stay cool enough for trout. :)

"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
RMlytle's profile picture

Posts: 40
RMlytle on May 13, 2015May 13th, 2015, 11:23 am EDT
Those are dangerous temperatures. We need some rain up this way!
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on May 13, 2015May 13th, 2015, 7:11 pm EDT
Fortunately, we are getting a short cold snap that may help to at least cool things off a little. Without the rain though, its a pretty glum outlook till we get some. CJ

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