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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 Glossosoma (Glossosomatidae) (Little Brown Short-horned Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
I caught this tiny larva without a case, but it seems to key pretty clearly to to Glossosomatidae. From there, the lack of sclerites on the mesonotum points to either Glossosoma or Anagapetus. Although it's difficult to see in a 2D image from the microscope, it's pretty clear in the live 3D view that the pronotum is only excised about 1/3 of its length to accommodate the forecoxa, not 2/3, which points to Glossosoma at Couplet 5 of the Key to Genera of Glossosomatidae Larvae.
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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Jmd123 has attached these 2 pictures. The message is below.
Not big but pretty...last of the year?
Big dude on the left is 13 1/2"...my freezer is filling up!
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 16, 2015November 16th, 2015, 5:13 pm EST
It's a rare year when I can keep flyfishing for trout after the opening day of rifle deer season...not to mention braving who knows how many hunters armed with high-powered rifles! Well, I let the hunters have the opener yesterday, but today was just too nice to skip, so I took the kayak out for perhaps my last flyfishing of the year (barring any steelheading attempts, who knows). Our November weather has been exceptional and today was another sunny, calm day in the upper 50's. Didn't know if anything would be biting, but ended up catching 13 fish altogether, one 10" stocker trout (back in he went) and a dozen big fat perch, all on KBFs again. The biggest perch was 13.5"!! I saw a few other trout rising too - one stuck his nose out of the water, and the other rolled a dorsal fin, but couldn't get them to hit. I did hear a fair number of shots, fortunately all at least a mile away, especially as the sun was going down...

Last of the year? Not if it gets nice again!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 17, 2015November 17th, 2015, 12:02 pm EST

What flies do you use to catch those perch? How do you prepare the perch for the table?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 17, 2015November 17th, 2015, 4:20 pm EST
Matt, I catch pretty much all of my perch on KBF patterns. One is illustrated in my previous post (on fish caught from this same lake, including a nice rainbow), and here are some other variants of this fly:


The ones I am using lately are a size 6 with lead dumbbell eyes (actually I think they are a non-toxic substitute), in silver and grey or as in my previous post with some rainbow flash thrown in. I toss them out, let them sink for a few seconds, and then strip them in an irregular fashion to imitate a crippled baitfish.

As far as cooking the perch, I either bake them in lemon, butter, paprika, and dill in a casserole dish, or batter them in a combination of Drake's frymix and breadcrumbs after dipping them in milk, and then fry in olive oil. They are particularly tasty when fried in this manner!! I have been telling all of my friends that we need to have fish fry's one of these days, as I will only be pulling more of them out from under the ice (whenever that gets here, no hurry as far as I am concerned!).

This lake is stocked with rainbows and they are really what I am targeting, but I can't be too unhappy with all of these perch that keep hitting...

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

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