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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 Neoleptophlebia (Leptophlebiidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Some characteristics from the microscope images for the tentative species id: The postero-lateral projections are found only on segment 9, not segment 8. Based on the key in Jacobus et al. (2014), it appears to key to Neoleptophlebia adoptiva or Neoleptophlebia heteronea, same as this specimen with pretty different abdominal markings. However, distinguishing between those calls for comparing the lengths of the second and third segment of the labial palp, and this one (like the other one) only seems to have two segments. So I'm stuck on them both. It's likely that the fact that they're immature nymphs stymies identification in some important way.
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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Report at a Glance

General RegionNorthern New Mexico
Specific LocationSan Juan River
Dates Fished12-21-2016
Time of Day11am-2pm
Fish CaughtRainbow Trout
Conditions & HatchesSmall midges, hatched around 11-12, and then just nymphing after.

Details and Discussion

Mcflyangler
Mcflyangler's profile picture
New Mexico, United States

Posts: 35
Mcflyangler on Dec 23, 2016December 23rd, 2016, 3:19 am EST
I actually made a video on my trip, check it out. I hooked up with 4 decent fish, and countless small ones.

https://youtu.be/NkFwp9oXM_k
Mc Fly Angler
http://www.mcflyangler.com
https://www.youtube.com/c/mcflylures
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Dec 23, 2016December 23rd, 2016, 9:42 am EST
6X is very strong today and I've seen some that are 3.5# - 3.7# break strength. If you are breaking tippets you need more time on the river as many guys can easily subdue 20" and bigger trout on 6X. If the hook is coming out maybe you should consider using a hook with a larger gape that might stay in the mouth of the fish. You can even use a slightly larger hook like a #20 just still tie the pattern if the hook was a #24. Many hook manufacturers produce extra strong and extra short hooks in #20 - #22.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Falsifly
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Dec 26, 2016December 26th, 2016, 1:27 am EST
One of the reasons I prefer a palming reel. I set the drag just tight enough to prevent the the spool from free spooling when I strip line. When the fish is on I get the line on the reel as quickly as possible then the palm provides almost instantaneous and highly variable drag when coupled with rod action.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."

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