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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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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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Posts: 6
TedderX on May 22, 2016May 22nd, 2016, 2:42 pm EDT
1. Why are fly fishing rods so long? Like 9 foot and such. Especially in the east, where there are so many trees on rivers.

2. Fly fishing rods used to be made of cane. Are they as good as modern graphite and such? Better? Worse?

3. Why do fly fishing reels have a drag on them, if "typically" you pull a fish in by the line?

4. How important is floating fly line vs. sinking fly line?

5. Does "tenkara" use flies and essentially the same minus the reel?
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on May 22, 2016May 22nd, 2016, 4:24 pm EDT
1. modern graphite rods are made around 9' because they cast well that way. shorter rods are typically for lower weights and shorter casts; longer rods for heavier rods casting longer distance. see "spey rods"

2.Cane and graphite rods are different; both can be excellent or not, depending on the skill of the maker or the angler.

3. drag is necessary for a large fish that will run 350 yards before slowing enough for you to strip it in. see "bonefish"

4. floating and sinking lines are used differently and do not substitute, rather like butter and bacon grease.

5. yes, but they're much longer rods with much shorter lines
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on May 23, 2016May 23rd, 2016, 3:04 pm EDT
Hey Tedder, to expand on your first question, sometimes a longer rod in tight spaces can be more helpful than a shorter rod. The extra length allows you to have a longer "lever", and can help you make a longer roll cast and/or to "dap" your fly with a longer reach. This is partly why tenkara rods are usually longer even though they are used for tight spaces historically.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on May 23, 2016May 23rd, 2016, 4:44 pm EDT
even though they are used for tight spaces historically.

the one film i've seen of Tenkara in it's native place showed no trees at all. maybe deforestation was a problem in overcrowded Japan? or maybe the trees were all small ones?
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra

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