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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.

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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Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Oct 29, 2015October 29th, 2015, 4:55 am EDT
La Fontaine Caddis Pupa and Caddis emerger, questions;

The pupa imitation has a different colored body than the emerger, correct?

Statement: 99% of the colors of each species are shades of tan and olive.

Question:

So, therefore, if I tie the pupas and emergers in various shades of tan and olive I should be able to cover the hatches in the Northeast, specifically Pennsylvania?

Educate me, please.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Oct 29, 2015October 29th, 2015, 11:48 am EDT
I guess. I tie them in just three colors; Apple green for the Apple caddis, medium olive for and all shades of light/medium/dark and medium brown for light tan/tan/cinnamon/light/medium/dark brown.

So you can see I've kept as simple as possible regarding colors and tie only two styles. One is called the Emergent Pupa and I don't know what the other is except instead of a deer hair wing I apply brown partridge fibers to the sides, couple strands of the bubble Antron as the trailing shuck, a sparse dubbing noodle (I don't touch dub as he recommends) a sparse deer hair wing and a little fur dubbed onto the thread for a bulbous head and that's it.

With a small "B" or "BB" I throw across and let it swing then when it gets below me I hand twist it back in. I use the deer hair wing pattern as the dry adult but of course without the shot and a dab of dry fly paste on the bubble and wing. It sits right down in the film.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Oct 29, 2015October 29th, 2015, 2:11 pm EDT
Matt, your flies are excellently tied. They are very consistent. Mine are not so consistent. I guess I'm impatient.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Oct 29, 2015October 29th, 2015, 4:06 pm EDT
Thank you for the kind words. Most of the consistency just comes from being comfortable with the materials and knowing how much of this and that to cut and tie in so the proportions are pretty much identical from the first fly to the fortieth fly. Patience is important to get the desired quality. Just don't set too many goals for your tying sessions.

Before I start to tie I go through all my trout fly boxes and see what I need to tie for all the life cycles of all the mayflies I encounter on the Delaware system and Montana. If you just tie four flies a night and you tie two nights by early April you will have accumulated about a gross of beautiful new flies!

I have pretty much limitless time to tie and usually start around the beginning of December and tie a couple of days a week through the winter and wrap up it up in early March so I can start spring steelhead. I never tie less than a dozen of any fly. It might be 1/2 dozen #16 & 1/2 dozen #18 but they are still the same pattern.

I think I tied four dozen #16/#18 rusty spinners during one week last December. I use rusty spinners every where so they might last no more than two years. Just keep at it and before you know it you will start to see big improvements in your skills.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Crepuscular
Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Oct 30, 2015October 30th, 2015, 5:43 am EDT
I guess. I tie them in just three colors; Apple green for the Apple caddis, medium olive for and all shades of light/medium/dark and medium brown for light tan/tan/cinnamon/light/medium/dark brown.



Bruce, Matt is right about the bright green. I'd have a few in that color as well. For the Brachycentrus sp.(Grannoms, Apple Caddis etc). Other than that, I'd say you would have it pretty much covered.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Oct 31, 2015October 31st, 2015, 10:27 am EDT
Not to stir the pot too much, but I had very good luck with Iris Caddis this year, especially on a hard fished tailwater that I know Matt frequents sometimes. You might give them a try as well for emergers. Videos are on the web.

Matt, the one with the partridge is what LaFontaine calls the "deep sparkle pupa" and the one with deer hair he calls the "emergent sparkle pupa." He weights the deep pupa.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Oct 31, 2015October 31st, 2015, 1:17 pm EDT
Louis,

Matt, the one with the partridge is what LaFontaine calls the "deep sparkle pupa" and the one with deer hair he calls the "emergent sparkle pupa." He weights the deep pupa.


Thanks for the naming lesson. Do you fish both styles? Have you ever kept a record to see which of the two fished the best? I used to fish the Quitty up in Annville quite a bit in the early spring. I used to park at the end of the special reg water and walk up to the top and fish my way back with the emergent sparkle pupa with one "BB' about 18" above the fly. It used to be a very effective pattern and twenty fish days were common.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Oct 31, 2015October 31st, 2015, 2:20 pm EDT
Matt, I haven't fished the sparkle pupa a lot, but I know they are effective, and you've given me an idea about how to fish them. It seems each season I try a new fly that I've known (sometimes for a long while) can be effective, and have good luck with it. Last year it was the zebra midge. This year it was the iris caddis. Perhaps next season it will be the sparkle pupa. Although it's the closest stream for me, I rarely fish the Quitty these days, mostly when I have just a few hours to fish. But I'll give your tip a try.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Oct 31, 2015October 31st, 2015, 4:03 pm EDT
Louis,

I rarely fish the Quitty these days,


It isn't the closest stream for me, probably the Yellow Breeches is the closest but when I first started to fish it about fifteen years ago it was pretty awesome. One of the negative aspects of the creek is the banks are almost all clay. It is hard to get into the water without slipping and winding up on your butt and it is almost impossible to get out of the creek anywhere the water is 2 - 3 feet below the clay bank.

It started to fall off for me about seven years ago and it fell off hard. I don't believe I fished it at all in 2014 and only once in 2015. I bet the Tully is further away but less driving time because for me it is all highway. Route 30 to Route 222 and I'm there in about 50 minutes.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Planettrout
Planettrout's profile picture
Los Angeles, CA / Pullman, WA

Posts: 53
Planettrout on Nov 9, 2015November 9th, 2015, 7:37 am EST
About nine years ago, I read an article in Fly Tyer Magazine authored by Eric Slagle on the Sparkle Pupa. I tied up a bunch of deep & emergent patterns for use here in the West. I have given some of them to my son Michael for his use in the East. They work...

< />

If there is interest, a complete description of their construction may be found here:

https://planettrout.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/the-sparkle-pupa-a-contemporary-revision-completed/


PT/TB


Daughter to Father: "How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

http://planettrout.wordpress.com/
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 9, 2015November 9th, 2015, 2:44 pm EST
Dear PT,

Do you think you have enough?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Planettrout
Planettrout's profile picture
Los Angeles, CA / Pullman, WA

Posts: 53
Planettrout on Nov 10, 2015November 10th, 2015, 5:13 am EST
...the Black ones are in a separate box...:P


PT/TB
Daughter to Father: "How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

http://planettrout.wordpress.com/
Feathers5
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Nov 10, 2015November 10th, 2015, 6:14 am EST
...the Black ones are in a separate box...:P


PT/TB


PT
Check your PMs.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 10, 2015November 10th, 2015, 6:37 am EST
PT,

...the Black ones are in a separate box...:P


Thought so!

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 16, 2015November 16th, 2015, 7:51 am EST
How about a neutral gray for all of them?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 16, 2015November 16th, 2015, 10:05 am EST
Someone else asked me what colors I use for the veil. I never thought to ask this question but what body part is the veil supposed to represent? Pupal shuck? I tie the veil in only one color no matter what color the abdomen happens to be. I use beige/tan three strand synthetic yarn that is shiny. I separate the strands with a dubbing needle and use just one of the three strands. I run the dubbing needle through the strand until if separates into multiple fibers. I never try to make a true 360 degree bubble. It is a pain to perfect and I haven't seen where my patterns don't catch fish. I try to get at least a 180 degrees over the top of the hook and if I can get a bit more to go down beyond the hook shank then that is good too.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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