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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.

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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Wbranch has attached this picture to this report. The message is below.

Report at a Glance

General RegionPA section
Specific LocationBalls eddy to Shehawken
Dates FishedJuly 25 - 28
Time of Day6 - 9 a.m. & noon - 5 p.m.
Fish CaughtOnly wild browns
Conditions & Hatcheshigh water, clouds, very few emerging insects.

Details and Discussion

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 28, 2017July 28th, 2017, 6:09 pm EDT
Water high on Tuesday. Virtually no rising fish, very good streamer bite. Wednesday still high but quite a few rising fish. Was unable to reach them and didn't want to pay $30 for a shuttle. Still good streamer action in the early morning. Nice and cloudy all day,

Thursday more release from the reservoir and the water was very cold in the early morning and the fish were not really moving for streamers. Very sporadic olives during the day. Fished to 5:00 and took four 12" - 14" on top. Didn't see any really big rise forms.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jul 29, 2017July 29th, 2017, 10:23 am EDT
Matt, that is beautiful fish! Congrats, water levels here in Mi. are quite good also, and water temps aren't at a dangerous level yet. I decided to spend the rest of the year exploring waters that are very popular during the early season, aka the ausable and its branches. I fished the south branch last week and did some exploring, beautiful looking water. Maybe I can get a look a few browns like the one you got.

Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Jul 30, 2017July 30th, 2017, 2:11 am EDT
What a great fish, Matt.
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 30, 2017July 30th, 2017, 6:34 am EDT
Thanks everyone, it is my best Delaware fish of the 2017 season. Hoping for another this coming week. Going back up for three days on Tuesday.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 31, 2017July 31st, 2017, 10:00 am EDT
That's a lunker, Matt, by technical definition! What are the stats on that fish, did you get to tape it? That's a fat one! I can only imagine a long slugfest before you got your hands on it. Fly pattern, rod, rig? Congrats, well done Sir!


P.S. It's that time of the year, boys (and girls)...let's all go out and get some big ones to show off on here!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 31, 2017July 31st, 2017, 11:11 am EDT

I was able to back up and land the fish right near a grassy bank. It was virtually in front of my cabin and I called my wife on the cell before I netted the fish - pretty confident huh that I wouldn't lose it??

It is a tape measured 20" on the nose. Yes it was very deep and across the shoulders was about 3". I would love to say it ate a #20 Baetis dun delicately cast on a 6X tippet. However it ate a 4" long blue over white Clouser on a 7' 2X leader. 9' #6 3 pc Gatti fly rod I built about a dozen years ago. The water was stained and it was quite early in the morning, long before there was any insects emerging.

I lost another, bigger brown, after a lengthy fight just as I was about to slip it into the net. It was at least 21", a big hook jawed male.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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