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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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COflyer47's profile picture

Posts: 3
COflyer47 on Jun 9, 2015June 9th, 2015, 10:57 am EDT
So I was up fishing the Taylor River near Gunnison Colorado this last weekend, I was fishing it at night to avoid the heavy crowds that can accumulate during the day along the upper Taylor and I came across something I have never seen before... some big browns facing the shore in little eddies, I'm not talking about really slow water just behind rocks providing a current break. I am relatively new to fly fishing and especially at night so I asked my brother in law who was with me what he thought of it and his thoughts were that the fish were sleeping? I was wondering if they were hunting for terrestrials? They did not appear to be feeding heavily and I didn't spend a lot of time trying to encourage them to hit my flys as there were aggressively feeding fish very near by. Thoughts??
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jun 9, 2015June 9th, 2015, 11:51 am EDT
They weren't sleeping they were hunting! They were looking for mice to fall off the grass or one that decided to take a swim across the river. Next time you go take a couple deer hair mice tied on #1 or #2 hooks and use a short 6' leader ending in 1X or 0X and pitch them up against the banks and twitch them back to you and BTW Hang on!!
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
COflyer47's profile picture

Posts: 3
COflyer47 on Jun 9, 2015June 9th, 2015, 12:15 pm EDT
Nice! Thats what I was wondering about! I am going to have to load up on some flies before my next trip!

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