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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.

Artistic view of a Perlodidae (Springflies and Yellow Stones) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to lead to Couplet 35 of the Key to Genera of Perlodidae Nymphs and the genus Isoperla, but I'm skeptical that's correct based on the general look. I need to get it under the microscope to review several choices in the key, and it'll probably end up a different Perlodidae.
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.


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Martinlf has attached these 14 pictures to this report. The message is below.
Here we are before the trip at the botannical garden in Phoenix.
Smallmouth on a wooly bugger caught from a kayak on Fool Hollow Lake.
Apache trout caught at the Fool Hollow boat landing on a wooly bugger.
Fishing the upper reaches of the Little Colorado
Montazuma Castle.
Cliff dwellings at Walnut Creek.
West Fork of the Black River.  After a 3 mile hike in, some of which was vertical, we arrived at this small beautiful stream.  It was full of wild brown trout.
An upper meadow on the West Fork of the Black River.
A West Fork of the Black Brown.
After spending the day fishing about two miles of the West Fork, we stopped for a photo, and then started the three mile hike out of the canyon.  To say the hike back wasn't easy would be a bit of understatement.  At the elevation it was hard to catch our breath at times.  Then we had to cook dinner back at camp and crawl into our sleeping bags in 42 degree weather with the wind howling.  I won't forget that day anytime soon, not would I trade it for anything.  We slept pretty well, except for a few times waking up gasping for oxygen in the thinner air, or pulling the sleeping bag over our heads to warm back up.
Then the lap of luxury.  An old desert motel, with a real bed!  And a shower.
Our final fishing, up the the dam above Lee's Ferry, with guide Jeff English.  If you go there, go with Jeff, get to the landing at 6:45, and fish on Sunday.  The Lee's Ferry Anglers website will give you a sense of why to do this.  Jeff is a superb guide, a bit of a curmudgeon, who really knows his stuff.  If anyone can put you onto big fish there, Jeff can.
Jeff estimated this one at 19"; I had another take me downriver fast.  After I followed it as far down as the shore would let me, it popped the 6X like thread.
A grand finale to the trip.

Report at a Glance

General RegionArizona
Specific LocationAll Over
Dates FishedMay 18-May 24
Time of DaySunrise to Sundown
Fish CaughtLargemouth, Smallmouth, Bluegill, Apache Trout, Browns, and Rainbows
Conditions & HatchesThe temps varied from the low 40's to the upper 80's depending on elevation. We camped at 9,000 feet on Big Lake and it was chilly. No hatched besides midges at Lee's Ferry.

Details and Discussion

Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 26, 2016May 26th, 2016, 7:34 am EDT
This great trip was planned by my nephew Marvin Forte, who some will recall, fished in Pennsylvania last year. He had planned on spending a good bit of time at the San Juan, but it was blown out due to snowmelt, which came early this year. But we saw all kinds of geography, and fished many different kinds of waters, and the photos will show why I have no complaints. What a beautiful state!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Marvinforte
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Phoenix, Arizona

Posts: 4
Marvinforte on May 26, 2016May 26th, 2016, 9:24 am EDT
A fine report on an epic trip. So great fishing with (and being outfished by) my Uncle on my home waters.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 26, 2016May 26th, 2016, 10:18 am EDT
I seem to recall on the Pennsylvania trip you had the biggest fish, the 26" walleye and 18" brown trout. But in truth, you were just too busy taking great photos to fully focus on the fish this time. And we had a great, great trip. Here's to 2017.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 26, 2016May 26th, 2016, 1:01 pm EDT
"Here we are before the trip at the botanical garden in Phoenix."

BEEN THERE!! Cool place isn't it?

Good for both of you guys!! What a beautiful and invigorating trip, and your photos show it very well. Nice fish!!! You guys got to do the fishing I wanted to but didn't when I was in Phoenix in 2006. Oak Creek Canyon was closed due to fire danger! That year half of Arizona was on fire...did make it up to the Canyon though, even hiked down from the rim about 1200 feet or so...absolutely mind blowing! And watch your step, don't be backing up for selfies!!!

Did you see any California Condors while you were there? They were flying right at eye level when I was there, not hard to see them at all.

Fabulous Louis, and great that you got to share with family.

Jonathon

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

Posts: 4
Marvinforte on May 26, 2016May 26th, 2016, 1:44 pm EDT
Jonathan,

Thanks for the comments. I actually thought about taking us to Oak Creek Canyon. Next time we will.

We didn't see any condors because we arrived at sundown. I have seen them though, stunning.

Marvin
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on May 26, 2016May 26th, 2016, 2:55 pm EDT
Good for you guys. Looks like you had a great, memorable time together. Thanks for posting the photos. I'd sure like to see more of them.
Partsman
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bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on May 26, 2016May 26th, 2016, 4:23 pm EDT
Beautiful trip, my mom and dad live in cottonwood and I have to some of the places you went to. I have been to oak creek canyon, its beautiful! That whole area, Sedona and Jerome are just plain cool. The Grand Canyon should be on everyones to list. We are going out there next month, no fishing for me just catching up with mom and dad and sisters and brother. Thanks for the cool pics.
Mike.
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 29, 2016May 29th, 2016, 12:40 pm EDT
Thanks for the comments, guys. Bruce, I'll try to put up a few more photos, if I can find anything else of note. Hope all is well with you and that you've had a good season so far.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Steps25
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Connecticut

Posts: 31
Steps25 on May 30, 2016May 30th, 2016, 9:53 am EDT
Gorgeous
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on May 31, 2016May 31st, 2016, 2:07 pm EDT
Nice Louis! Someone finally got you out of PA for a moment. :)

I too have been to the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. My sister-in-law lives there. Got my first Gambel's Quail there on my birthday in Jan 2003.

We also visited Sedona on that trip...

Beautiful pictures fellas and thanks for sharing.

Still need to see that Grand Canyon some day...My grandmother, who grew up near Oakland Maryland, use to call it, "That big ditch out west." :)

Spence
"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
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 1, 2016June 1st, 2016, 1:33 pm EDT
Spence, it took my nephew to get me out; he's a pretty strong draw. I was thinking of you as we identified birds I'd never seen before. We saw a Gambel's quail, western tanager, inca doves, collared doves, Nashville warbler (don't know what he was doing in AZ!),gila woodpecker, Stellar's jay, acorn woodpecker, western bluebird, mountain bluebird, scrub jay, and heard a hermit thrush on our long hike out of the Black River canyon.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 1, 2016June 1st, 2016, 1:35 pm EDT
Louis, with a list like that Spence is probably now contemplating his next trip out west...

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

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 3, 2016June 3rd, 2016, 7:01 pm EDT
Yes Louis...Pretty impressive. Do you keep a life list? There's some nice additions there...My wife and I were out a couple years back for the holidays. Visited her sister in Phoenix and her brother over in the high desert above Joshua Tree in CA. Every time I raised my binocs I was amazed, looking at something new almost every time!

A couple of your birds I'm still trying to find.

At her brother's place he has a road runner that comes up to the sliding door in the morning and taps on the glass for some raw burger! :)

Across the street a friend of his has a Barn Owl, but we never could get together so I could see it. Have seen them here as a youngster, but they claim they are no longer nesting here in Michigan.

Spence

PS...I'd really love to go to Costa Rica! A friend went down there and doubled his life list on that one visit!
"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
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 3, 2016June 3rd, 2016, 7:14 pm EDT
Spence...TEXAS. I saw stuff I couldn't believe down there. Ever seen a black-bellied whistling duck? And I'll never forget the parrot that was mixed in with the flock of boat-tailed grackles in Austin. Good place for reptiles, too! My daughter would like that.

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

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 4, 2016June 4th, 2016, 7:01 am EDT
Do you keep a life list?


Only in my head, which at my age is dangerous. I'm just an amateur birder, but I do enjoy seeing new species and identifying those I'm not familiar with. My nephew has an app on his cell phone that makes this easy, even down to bird songs.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 5, 2016June 5th, 2016, 6:25 am EDT
Listing can be an obsession. Might be better to just enjoy them when you see them.

Spence

Floated the lower Manistee yesterday. My buddy boated a 16 & a 19. Had gray drakes, Iso's, Cahills. I missed two really nice trout.
"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
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 5, 2016June 5th, 2016, 7:19 am EDT
Might be better to just enjoy them when you see them.


I guess. ?

Landed a 17 and 18 on your storm stream, Spence. That's where the bigger fish wrapped me (See Isonychia thread below). Off to the Little Juniata to spend a few days with my buddy John this afternoon. Will be looking for Darth Vadar. May hit Big Fishing Creek on the way. No nephew, no photos, though.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 6, 2016June 6th, 2016, 7:28 pm EDT
Landed a 17 and 18 on your storm stream, Spence. That's where the bigger fish wrapped me (See Isonychia thread below). Off to the Little Juniata to spend a few days with my buddy John this afternoon. Will be looking for Darth Vadar. May hit Big Fishing Creek on the way. No nephew, no photos, though.


Good luck, sir!

Spence
"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
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Sep 20, 2016September 20th, 2016, 5:30 pm EDT
Spence, see the last few photos. We ate at the restaurant at the Lee's Ferry Fly shop. It was amazing. And booked our guide, who knew his stuff, there as well.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 20, 2016September 20th, 2016, 7:44 pm EDT
Just looked over this post again, Louis. Man, I need to go out west sometime again, to either parts familiar (Oregon, parts of Arizona) or not (the rest - there's lots of the rest). Last trip with this much scenery for me was Isle Royale in 2012, and I didn't catch any fish...

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

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