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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 Glossosoma (Glossosomatidae) (Little Brown Short-horned Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
I caught this tiny larva without a case, but it seems to key pretty clearly to to Glossosomatidae. From there, the lack of sclerites on the mesonotum points to either Glossosoma or Anagapetus. Although it's difficult to see in a 2D image from the microscope, it's pretty clear in the live 3D view that the pronotum is only excised about 1/3 of its length to accommodate the forecoxa, not 2/3, which points to Glossosoma at Couplet 5 of the Key to Genera of Glossosomatidae Larvae.
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.

Adirman
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Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Aug 22, 2018August 22nd, 2018, 8:42 am EDT
Gettin to be that time of year for the big run! Starting to think about my strategy in order to formulate a plan. I’m wondering if I might get a better drift with my flies using either a sink tip or a full sinking line as opposed to the traditional shot above the barrel swivel/ floating line setup. My feeling is that a lot of times my fly isn’t in the strike zone until much later in the drift and by that time, I’ve wasted a lot of drifting water holding Salmon. Or, there’s too much weight added and you nothing but hangups and the presentation is unrealistic anyway. What do you think?

Thanks ,

David
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Aug 22, 2018August 22nd, 2018, 6:34 pm EDT
I have always preferred a floating line, micro barrel swivel, tippet leaving the tag end long enough to put the split shot on the tag end so if they get snagged the shot pull off and you get to keep the tippet and fly. Even when I would swing for salmon or steelhead I always used a floater but would weight the fly.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Strmanglr
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Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Aug 27, 2018August 27th, 2018, 9:38 am EDT
You may still need to add weight to a sinking line.

I've always used floating line w weight. Not the prettiest casts but gets the job done.

Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Aug 27, 2018August 27th, 2018, 10:13 am EDT
Even when swinging streamers ? I would be concerned the shot would impede the streamers motion trough the water column on the swing and make it appear less realistic
Strmanglr
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Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Aug 27, 2018August 27th, 2018, 10:26 am EDT
I strictly egg fly or nymph for salmon.

Steelhead I'll swing but I weight the fly before I tie it. Usually do the same fly in two weights, between that and mending at the right time gets em down. Don't do a ton of steelheading with flies t though, I'm a puss when it comes to cold temps.
Adirman
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Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Aug 27, 2018August 27th, 2018, 11:06 am EDT
Swinging doesn’t work that well for Kings you think?
Strmanglr
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Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Aug 28, 2018August 28th, 2018, 7:26 am EDT
I don't, never done it though.

The fresher the fish the better odds. I've caught kings on spinners that I made that look similar to flies I tie to swing. It's hard to get them to take.

When drifting an egg fly for instance one of three things is gonna happen...1.fish thinks it's an egg an eats it, fish on! 2.salmon mouths are constantly opening and closing, the fly literally drifts right into it's mouth and gets hooked, FO!3. The fly drifts in and the leader is horizontal and the fish gets flossed, FO! I can't see in the water so not sure exactly what happens there.

I've seen people intentionally floss fish, technically legal but not honorable.

You start swinging a fly through a hole, high probability you're gonna floss or snag, low possibility the fish actually takes
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Aug 30, 2018August 30th, 2018, 10:17 am EDT
You may still need to add weight to a sinking line.


Excuse me but that just sounds weird. What do you mean "add weight"? Split shot? Never heard of anything like this. If the sinking line you are using isn't getting the fly deep enough get a faster inch per second line or head.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 31, 2018August 31st, 2018, 7:25 am EDT
"Don't do a ton of steelheading with flies t though, I'm a puss when it comes to cold temps."

Well, that's when you get out those little short rods, and a big fat drill, and a tent with a heater...that's the warmer (and drier) way to fish in the winter months. Brrrr, let's not think about that yet! Got another couple months of decent fishing weather (I hope). Our streams around here got blasted by our recent heavy rains, plus it's our (hopefully) last tourist assault weekend, so I'm laying low and next week planning on restarting the fishing.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Strmanglr
Strmanglr's profile picture
Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Sep 11, 2018September 11th, 2018, 11:23 am EDT
You may still need to add weight to a sinking line.


Excuse me but that just sounds weird. What do you mean "add weight"? Split shot? Never heard of anything like this. If the sinking line you are using isn't getting the fly deep enough get a faster inch per second line or head.


I've known many people who do this. How many lines do you want to use? Gonna change that out at every hole that runs different? Not as uncommon or "weird" as you may think.
Adirman
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Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Sep 11, 2018September 11th, 2018, 9:26 pm EDT
You have a point there I guess
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Sep 14, 2018September 14th, 2018, 12:29 am EDT
Gonna change that out at every hole that runs different? Not as uncommon or "weird" as you may think.


I'm old and opinionated. I still think it is unusual if not weird. That is why I prefer to always employ floating lines and can add as many split shot, in sizes B - #7, as I like. I have never used a sinking line for kings or coho's and have caught dozens of them.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Adirman
Adirman's profile picture
Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Sep 17, 2018September 17th, 2018, 10:48 am EDT
Matt , what is your favorite setup for the Kings during the run; do you use the heavy big shot to get the fly down fast?
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Sep 17, 2018September 17th, 2018, 12:07 pm EDT
It all depends on the flow. Just like any other river system. Faster and deeper water will require more split shot to get down near the bottom. At big flows on the SR I wouldn't hesitate to use 3 - 4 3/0 Split shot. With this much lead you are no longer fly casting because you surely don't want to over work your fine rod and additionally you don't want to get smacked in the head with that much lead traveling fast past your head.

It is more of a lobbing technique. If you have a fast action 8' 6" or 9' #8 rod you will be able to roll cast pretty good. I prefer to let the shot and fly drift below me and then use my rod hand to lift everything near the surface. Then with one fluid motion lob it all back out into the flow. With practice you can get 20' - 25' long lobs. There is no point in trying to cast any further.

Sometimes I would just put a small diameter level line on the reel. Small being like about the size of a heavy leader butt. This line shoots really well through the guides. But if you use a level line with a lot of shot you will be limited to nymphing or drifting egg flies. You won't be able to swing more traditional steelhead type flies. Cohoes and some kings will strike a swung fly.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Adirman
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Monticello, NY

Posts: 479
Adirman on Sep 18, 2018September 18th, 2018, 10:29 am EDT
Thanks for the info my friend, and that’s what I thought : swinging is more for cohos and dead drifting more for Kings . Is there any enough cohos running though to be worth while to swing during the run?
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Sep 19, 2018September 19th, 2018, 11:19 am EDT
Since I no longer fish the Salmon River I couldn't answer that question. Here is a link to the Douglaston Salmon Run. I read the report for today and it says the lower river is "crammed" with kings and cohos and "you can't make a cast without hooking one".

http://www.douglastonsalmonrun.com/
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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