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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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Jmd123 has attached these 9 pictures. The message is below.
Cold water and warm, humid air
Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), a.k.a. duck-potato
First cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) I've seen in bloom this year
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) - just had this on my Field Botany exam
Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) - all four of these wildflowers were growing around a small spring
Mysterious misty water
Bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
That's better!
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 23, 2018July 23rd, 2018, 3:54 pm EDT
Didn't see many fish feeding, or very many insects on the water - except of course for the deer flies buzzing around my head. I did manage to smack at least 5 of them tonight...and they left me alone once it got dark, and wonderfully so did the mosquitos! The water was nice and cold, not typical for late July, and there was mist on the water the whole evening. A scattering of small caddis and a very few mayflies were all that I saw, and mostly small fish feeding but there were a few that were bigger, like the one above. A bit unexpected were some nice wildflowers blooming on the banks! Overall, the night began a bit rough, with deerflies and the sun bouncing off the river right in my eyes, but the end of the evening was most pleasant and I did get one nice one, plus a couple of little guys.

My fishing activities are finally picking up!

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 23, 2018July 23rd, 2018, 4:38 pm EDT
Nice looking water. It sure looks like it could hold a good number of 16" - 18" browns.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 23, 2018July 23rd, 2018, 5:36 pm EDT
Matt, so far the Rifle has yielded me one 18-incher and two 16's, one of the latter from this water. the limit here is 15", and I have gotten many, many 14-15" fish from this water (and my other favorite spot upstream). It gets heavily canoed and fished, so I suspect the big guys only come out at night. The three big ones above all hit after dark or as it was just getting dark. And I only fish on the week nights, skip the weekends with all those obnoxious canoes and kayaks and etc. But yes, it's a nice looking reach, tonight I managed to capture it almost perfectly. Would have been a perfect night without the deer flies, but hey, nothing's perfect. I'm very happy the mosquitos were a no-show, after my last two trips where they swarmed me at dusk while fish were biting!

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

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 24, 2018July 24th, 2018, 5:38 am EDT
Beautiful photos. Thanks Jonathon.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jul 25, 2018July 25th, 2018, 12:34 am EDT
Jonathon, great pictures. We are lucky here in Michigan to have so many nice streams to fish. I went up to the Mason Tract yesterday, water is very low and clear. It was a good day to explore the river, there were some fish rising to bwo,s, I caught a few small brookies and saw one really nice brook trout. I think im going to spend some time looking around and trying to learn that system a little more.

Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Jul 25, 2018July 25th, 2018, 3:34 am EDT
Good stuff Johnathon, thanks for sharing , wish I could be there !!

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