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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.
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.

Jmd123 has attached these 10 pictures. The message is below.
9 and 1/2 inches of bluegill, female
Same size, male
The "little guy" for the day - 8 1/2" pumpkinseed, male
The waters, looking north from the south shore
Looking east on the south shore
A hidden treasure of the Huron NF - and I can walk here from home!
First Canada anemone blossom of the year, down by the bass pond
This beautiful little vetch species was blooming there too
Hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canescens) on a backroad in the Huron NF...
...along with New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus)
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 6, 2018June 6th, 2018, 1:22 pm EDT
It had to happen sooner or later! My first fly fishing foray of the year was out to the bass pond at Clark's Marsh, as I wanted to ease back into it without having to fiddle with waders or the kayak and I didn't want to go far. And I love pond fishing for sunfish and bass, it just totally satisfies the boy in me, though I'm no longer using worms (or even hardware). Well, my decision was a good one - just enough breeze to keep the biters down (and I saw them all today, Culicidae, Simuliidae, and Tabanidae) but not too much to mess up my casting, especially if I had it to my back...well, as you can see from the photos, I was not only successful but the trend continues - the sunfish in this pond continue to increase in average size as they are no longer being killed. I guess no one wants to eat old fire-fighting foam! The bluegills, and me, are the beneficiaries of this unfortunate contamination but actual blessing in disguise. One after another after another, I netted 9 1/2" bluegills - in fact, for most of the day that's all I caught! I got two average (13-14") largemouth on a purple/grizzly #10 Woolly Bugger, and most of the fish on a #10 POG Bugger with black beadchain eyes. The smallest fish of the day was a beautiful male 8 1/2" pumpkinseed that I teased out from under a log right in front of me. No signs of beds yet, it's just been too cold.

Every fish I caught today bent the hell out of my 5-weight! I was afraid of snapping it trying to heave these heavy-bodied, hand-filling fish onto shore. I kept swearing these things were big fat bass - "Oh yeah, this one's GOTTA be a largemouth" but then I'd see the yellow or copper-red flash...The whole environment was just beautiful today, with all of our vegetation just fully leafed out and the late spring wildflowers starting to bloom, frogs everywhere, wonderful birdsong, constant scolding by red-winged blackbirds, what I think was a blue heron (or sandhill crane?) and then possibly a green-backed heron. Didn't take my binocs which was stupid because this place is FULL of bird life!

It sure felt good to break dormancy on the fly fishing thing! And have some very receptive fish put my rod into a U over and over again! Life IS good!!

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

Posts: 46
Summer_doug on Jun 6, 2018June 6th, 2018, 11:01 pm EDT
I'm glad you were able to find some time and wet a line! Nothing wrong with enjoying the fight of some monster bluegill on the fly rod. Last week, I shook the rust off at a gill pond as well using my fiberglass 2 weight I built this winter - what a blast!

I'll be taking a couple newbies (for real this time haha) into your neck of the woods on Monday, the 18th. We will probably get into one of the big rivers and be there all day. If you find some time, feel free to join!
From Michigan
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jun 7, 2018June 7th, 2018, 10:51 am EDT
Jonathon, beautiful pictures as always, im so glad you finally got out. Those are some really nice sunfish. I know Ive told you my grandparents had a cabin on cedar lake and back when I was a kid the south end of cedar lake was big beautiful marsh. The sunfish were huge and bass and pike were huge. Oh well progress right, we got make a big lake for sking and build some big houses around it. I at least have some wonderful memories of my dad and my uncles and cousins as the things we did to get back in there, and the fish we fish we caught and the good times had by us will be some of the times of my life. Now, get out to that place we talked about, I had pretty good luck there Wednesday!

TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Jun 7, 2018June 7th, 2018, 11:06 am EDT
Nice pics! I've had a similar experience on town corner lake, right by the black river. I was throwing a olive bugger trying to see what the bass were like there, but kept catching bluegills about as big as my hand or bigger! The only largemouth I caught was relatively small. Haha. That's a lovely spot too,just like your pics imply.

"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
JerryC's profile picture
Philadelphia, PA

Posts: 3
JerryC on Jun 8, 2018June 8th, 2018, 3:31 pm EDT
Nice fish. I had a good week on a small lake in the Poconos the week before Memorial Day. The sunfish were just starting to spawn. Here's a couple of the gills that I caught.

Only caught two bass during the week. This one made the trip worth it.

"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 8, 2018June 8th, 2018, 4:05 pm EDT
Great work, Jonathon. Glad you got out, and thanks for the PM. Always good to hear from you.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 10, 2018June 10th, 2018, 7:38 am EDT
I haven't mentioned this in a while, but I do have a guest room for wayward trounuts who happen to find themselves in the greater Iosco/Alcona County area, and this is easy access, so if anyone wants to challenge their personal bluegill record on a fly rod, just let me know, fellow Michiganders! Be sure to bring plenty of repellent from now on, though...

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

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