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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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Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 7:43 am EST
Here are the emerald shiners I tied yesterday. I'm on a roll so think I'll tie another half a dozen to last me through the steelhead season. I wanted to put a dime in the picture so you could get and idea of the size of the flies but I forgot. The #10 are running about 1.5" and the #8 are no longer than 2". You will note I have a belly on the underside. I also have three upper wing materials on most of them. 4 - 6 strands of Flashabou Mirage #3301 over which is a small clump of UV Gray Ice Dub over which is a small clump of olive Finn Raccoon zonker material.

I caught every steelhead on Monday on this fly fished dead drift. Either under an indicator or fished slightly up and across with one "B" split shot about 15" above the fly.




Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 9:53 am EST
Very nice flies again, Matt. I think I have materials to make a close approximation of them, if not the exact same. Dead drifted, huh? That's very interesting, I would think you would swing them.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Kschaefer3
Kschaefer3's profile picture
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Kschaefer3 on Nov 6, 2015November 6th, 2015, 10:04 am EST
Very nice flies again, Matt. I think I have materials to make a close approximation of them, if not the exact same. Dead drifted, huh? That's very interesting, I would think you would swing them.

Jonathon

FWIW, I will dead drift a fly over swinging it 95% of the time. There is a time and a place for a swung streamer, but I think it's rare. I typically dead drift streamers, throw them upstream and "jig" them back down or when the fish are really aggressive, throw them straight across and strip them back.

This is just my methodology. There are a lot of streamer anglers much better than me who may disagree.

Also FWIW, I know quite a few guys who fish spinners (Pather Martin's and Mepp's, not Rusty Spinners :)) for steelhead and catch loads of fish, while fly guys are scratching their heads wondering why their nymphs and eggs didn't catch a thing.


Matt - I love those flies! You sent me one a couple years ago and I have been tying and fishing them with great success on my favorite river for resident trout ever since!

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