Header image
Enter a name
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.

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.


Posts: 17
Cptenn94 on Jun 25, 2015June 25th, 2015, 11:48 am EDT
So to begin, I just want to thank you for the advice and knowledge I have learned from this site. Thanks to things I have learned here and online, I had a successful fly fishing trip to a wild trout stream.

I caught 2 creek chubs, hooked 2 unknown fish(they freed themselves before I could beach them), and caught my first wild trout(which was also my first trout on a fly) on a pool below a waterfall.

I only had about 3 hours to fish, and much of that time I wound up using scouting.

Anyways so that trip left me with some questions. Here is another picture of the creek so you can have a idea what kind of water I am fishing, and asking about.

1. How is the best way to go about dapping flies?
I was able to do this with some success, however I do not know what kind of action the trout prefer. I dont know it they prefer the fly to be drifted a little, or it to dance around above then land, or skitter it along the surface. I suspect that all there are to be used in different circumstances.

Also at how long would I want to let the fly drift if that is what I am doing? When would it be time to pick it up and try presenting it again?

Just what are some tips for dapping flies?

2. I have read on several sites where people talk about roll casting for fishing on smaller streams. Luckily for the areas I was able to fish, there was enough room that I could just do a regular cast. However I have not done a successful roll cast to date(though I have not attempted yet with my new upgraded line)

So what are some tips for roll casting, and roll casting upstream on smaller creeks and streams.

3. How is the best way to go about doing a slingshot/bow shot cast? How much line in general do I want to use to do it? Are there any good videos demonstrating how to do it properly?

4. What are some tips in general for fishing on small creeks/streams for wild trout?

I am pleased that I was able to do some casting with just the leader. It shows I am learning, even if it was probably sloppy.

Thanks for all the help and advice.
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
Catskilljon on Jun 25, 2015June 25th, 2015, 6:41 pm EDT
Reminds me of a few streams I sometimes hike around!

In a perfect scenario, to "dap" a dry fly you would be dropping the fly into the water from a hidden position on the bank, usually slightly upstream and letting it drift downstream a short distance. No casting, just the leader out of the tip. I believe any trout could be caught in this manner, as you have no leader on the water, no drag to contend with and if the trout don't know your there, well, lets just say its a slam dunk.

And that would be easy, except for the bushes, trees, rocks and logs, and sometimes even if you can get the fly into the water you have to safely land it too. By safely, I mean not yanking it out of the water and flinging it onto the bank :)

I knew a guy that used to fish downstream, dropping the fly in the water right on top of likely holding areas and bouncing it a little, repeating a few times. This sometimes induces vicious strikes, but remember, whenever your fish downstream its a lot easier to pull the fly out of the fishes mouth.

The best advise I can give you is, position yourself for the best approach that gives you; 1] room to move the rod around some, 2] the ability to make a decent presentation, 3] a place to safely land the fish. Your going to get to some places that are simply impossible to fish, and unfortunately they are where the best fish are!

Have fun...it sounds like you already have. CJ

ps...before handling a fish, always dunk your hand into the water first...they will thank you for it later!

pss...next time you are at that pool, drop a big streamer into the white water, let it sink a little and strip it back...then hold on!

Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 25, 2015June 25th, 2015, 6:49 pm EDT
Looks like some pretty waters - and pretty difficult too! The 7.5' 3-wt. might be overkill (or too long!) in some of those areas, though not on that pool, and what a beautiful spot! I did some fishing in north Georgia some years ago (2002) and saw streams like that, but had a tough time catching much - gin-clear water and close proximity! Ran into more little redeye bass than I did trout...

BTW roll casting does help in these situations, just be aware of what's immediately behind you because your roll cast could end up snagged right over your head!

Best of luck on your most enchanting (and tough) little waters.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 26, 2015June 26th, 2015, 10:03 pm EDT
I'll take one question, the one about the bow and arrow cast: See A Casting Approach To Dry Fly Tactics In Tight Brush. http://www.appoutdoors.com/joehumphreys/dvds.html
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 27, 2015June 27th, 2015, 7:08 am EDT
"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

Posts: 17
Cptenn94 on Jun 28, 2015June 28th, 2015, 8:48 pm EDT
Thanks for the streamer tip. While I couldnt really strip the line back, because there wasnt much room to let line out. However I was able to hook a 8-10" trout with a black bugger.

I was also able to get chubs in other pools.

I was able to do the bow cast no problem.

I didnt have much time to fish though.
TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Aug 27, 2015August 27th, 2015, 4:11 pm EDT
Here is a great video tutorial on roll casting. There are also some other good video excerpts from the dvd.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Last Reply
Aug 14, 2009
by Flytyer0423
Sep 21, 2018
by Lltdeer
Jul 16, 2018
by Iasgair
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy