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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 Grammotaulius betteni (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This is a striking caddis larva with an interesting color pattern on the head. Here are some characteristics I was able to see under the microscope, but could not easily expose for a picture:
- The prosternal horn is present.
- The mandible is clearly toothed, not formed into a uniform scraper blade.
- The seems to be only 2 major setae on the ventral edge of the hind femur.
- Chloride epithelia seem to be absent from the dorsal side of any abdominal segments.
Based on these characteristics and the ones more easily visible from the pictures, this seems to be Grammotaulius. The key's description of the case is spot-on: "Case cylindrical, made of longitudinally arranged sedge or similar leaves," as is the description of the markings on the head, "Dorsum of head light brownish yellow with numerous discrete, small, dark spots." The spot pattern on the head is a very good match to figure 19.312 of Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019). The species ID is based on Grammotaulius betteni being the only species of this genus known in Washington state.
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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TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Aug 1, 2016August 1st, 2016, 6:38 pm EDT
I think I found a beaver pond by where I'll be fishing this weekend (google earth is pretty cool!). Does this look like one to you folks?

Also, what tactics come to mind when fishing them? I've never fished one before. My ideas are to throw some hoppers or stimulators, and maybe a black leach or wooly bugger. Possibly a griffiths gnat for the midges... Of course you never really know until you get to the water. What do you guys do on the ponds you've fished?

"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 1, 2016August 1st, 2016, 6:50 pm EDT
Tim, your tactics sound just about right. Hoppers are hot everywhere right now, just got a bunch of pond brookies on them myself tonight! Woolly buggers and leech patterns are also a good bet. Maybe a small popper or two to imitate frogs? I haven't done this yet but I do have a little green and red one that I need to toss out there one night...

Good luck and take some pics if you are successful!

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

Posts: 121
TimCat on Aug 1, 2016August 1st, 2016, 6:55 pm EDT
Frogs eh? Not a bad idea.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Aug 11, 2016August 11th, 2016, 10:26 am EDT
Big hair bug, or big bucktail, at night. Esp if there are browns in it. Otherwise, your list sounds about right.

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