Header image
Enter a name
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.
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.

TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Jul 28, 2016July 28th, 2016, 11:51 am EDT
Any other Northern Michigan anglers experiencing more and larger than usual brook trout this season? We have been getting good numbers of hefty brookies in the 10-12" range on a regular basis. Just curious.
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jul 28, 2016July 28th, 2016, 1:06 pm EDT
not a N MI angler but I'll be watching for updates here since I'm headed north next week. the upper Big Man above M-72, the Boardman, and hopefully a few more.

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 28, 2016July 28th, 2016, 1:39 pm EDT
Mine are running about normal, up to 9" from the Pine and up to 11" from [REDACTED] Pond. Wow Tim, that sounds great, enjoy it! Perhaps our milder winter had something to do with it, better survival or growth? Snap a few pics if you would and show us, brookies are just soooo pretty. Going after them tonight myself at the Pond, where I took my class today for our last field trip of the summer. We couldn't get any with the seine net, trout are just too wary, but we did catch a bunch of white suckers in the 7-9" range, and lots of cool inverts too (water scorpions, big bright green dragonfly nymphs, beetles and other bugs, etc.).

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jul 28, 2016July 28th, 2016, 2:16 pm EDT
Tim, I fish the same small stream as Jonathon for brookies. I haven't been there since the 3rd. week of the season as I wanted to explore new waters, but yes I noticed more and bigger fish, I also noted more anglers in places far from the parking spot bait fishing and throwing them in a creel. Thankfully our natural resources are resilent.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 28, 2016July 28th, 2016, 6:53 pm EDT
" I also noted more anglers in places far from the parking spot bait fishing and throwing them in a creel."

UGH. There is no stocking on the Pine, everything in there is wild. No wonder I haven't gotten any big ones out of there in a long time...time to get a good machete and go bushwhacking, I guess. Gotta find someplace away from the barbarians...at least I had no competition at the Pond tonight, biggest of around a dozen was about 9 and a half or so, all on #10 hopper imitations.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TimCat
TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Jul 28, 2016July 28th, 2016, 7:22 pm EDT
I've been fishing the Boardman river almost every weekend this summer and they've been between 6-9" on avg. I've gotten a couple 10" fish and one 12" fat guy. I've been fishing the upper reaches, because on the weekend the "canoe hatch" is heavy all day. There are probably some bigger ones downstream, but there are more browns there too. It probably depends more on the body of water. Whatever river you're fishing seems to be having a good thing going TNEAL!
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
TimCat
TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Jul 28, 2016July 28th, 2016, 7:39 pm EDT
Oh, and Rogruerat, I just remembered that I saw a TON of little cased-caddis on the north branch of the boardman. About size 16 i'd guess. Dark heads and cases. I could still see heads and legs poking out of the front. Might come in handy to have a few of those patterns. Unfortunatley, I forgot my flybox at the vise, and I had to go buy a few flies at the orvis shop to get me through the day. Hoppers and stimulators worked just fine on those feisty brook trout though.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Jul 29, 2016July 29th, 2016, 10:38 am EDT
Manistee above M-72 is one place where we have been catching quite a few really nice brookies. I cant tell you the other because it is relatively small and seldom fished, but I have taken brookies there up to 14" and one 15" was taken there this season. I fished this water three times in September of 2010 and caught (in addition to many others) 75 brookies between 9 and 11". The next year Mergansers moved in and decimated the place for two season. Recovery has been pretty good; lots of 10-13" brookies this year.

Tight lines. (I'd rather catch a 12" brookie than a 20 brown.....)

I forgot to mention they are taking hoppers really well...
Roguerat
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jul 29, 2016July 29th, 2016, 12:31 pm EDT
Tim-

Last year at this time we were on the Big Man at CCC Bridge and downstream- and yeah, terrestrials were the only flies that worked consistently.

Some of the roads- and I use the term VERY loosely- were interesting to say the least, especially when it appeared that helpful locals switched some road signs.. I had the truck in 4-wheel more often than not until I found a real road to the river. All fun in retrospect, kind of hairy at the time. My long-suffering Frau kept repeating 'we aren't lost, are we?!'

This year I'm heading for the area north and south of Co Road 612, I'd scouted this on last year's trip.

Roguerat

TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Jul 30, 2016July 30th, 2016, 8:49 am EDT
Have fun. I'm pretty sure you will find some decent fish there.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 30, 2016July 30th, 2016, 2:40 pm EDT
"I forgot to mention they are taking hoppers really well..."

Today at the shooting range (I do NOT fish on weekends due to tourist traffic) I saw a whole lotta grasshoppers jumping around, as well as elsewhere. And they have been hitting my hopper patterns pretty good. Yes, it is hopper time from now until October, and good thing, because I haven't seen squat for hatches lately, anywhere that I've fished. Not only that, but now we have an excuse to fish in the afternoon rather than waiting until sundown! Just gotta wait for the deerflies to die off now...

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

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Jul 31, 2016July 31st, 2016, 5:52 am EDT
Jonathon, have you tried a deerfly pattern? In addition to hoppers, a pretty effective fly this time of year.According to the long range forecast, hopper should be good through Sept. at least. Above "normal" predicted through October.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 31, 2016July 31st, 2016, 9:03 am EDT
I sure hope October is above normal! Last fall was just wonderful, so many nice sunny days without high winds...I spent a LOT of time in my kayak and hauled in perch and trout until the day after deer opener. And hoppers will hang on into October if there are no major freezes. As I said above, that's a good thing because hatches are so thin, and I love hopper fishing anyway. We should also be due for some flying ant falls, I have experienced those on [REDACTED] Pond and the whole place will start boiling when that happens!

I have contemplated tying a deer fly pattern - I would think a #14 with a thick dark body and some sort of delta wing would do the trick. Thing is, most times when they are out in any numbers, I can't stand to even be there! I have a spot on the Pine I want to fish that is a hike-in adventure, about a mile or so of two-track that does NOT look like a Chevy Cobalt trail. Well, from past experience that area can be deer fly hell at this time of the summer, plus the fact that the trail goes past a rather large swamp/marsh area...In a couple of weeks, though, that will be prime afternoon hopper fishing, with the Nectopsyche caddis flies following as the sun goes down. Deer flies go away!

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

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Topic
Replies
Last Reply
2
Aug 3, 2008
by Wbranch
13
Sep 5, 2011
by Sayfu
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy