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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.

Artistic view of a Perlodidae (Springflies and Yellow Stones) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to lead to Couplet 35 of the Key to Genera of Perlodidae Nymphs and the genus Isoperla, but I'm skeptical that's correct based on the general look. I need to get it under the microscope to review several choices in the key, and it'll probably end up a different Perlodidae.
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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Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jan 18, 2020January 18th, 2020, 8:06 am EST
I have the worst time spinning tapered dubbing noodles using low tack wax and get much better noodles using tacky wax.

A couple questions for the SAGE fly-tiers :

Q1 : What is the advantage to using low-tack wax, or, in what fly tying situations would low-tack be preferred over sticky ?

Q2 : Anyone ever use vaseline as a tacky wax substitute ???
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jan 19, 2020January 19th, 2020, 11:52 am EST
I never apply any fly tying wax to my thread. Some synthetic (maybe most) dubbing material can be very hard to spin onto the thread to create a dubbing noodle. Natural furs, and especially those without guard hair, are very easy to spin onto thread without any wax. Even Hares Ear dubbing that is chopped with some added Antron is pretty easy to apply. I wouldn't call this a trick but I just apply a bit of saliva to my thumb and index finger and just remove very small amounts of fur and start to create the dubbing noodle. It is easier if you use less material. You can always add more material if you want a more robust body. PM me if you want more info.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jan 23, 2020January 23rd, 2020, 4:17 am EST
Brian, I use overtons dubbing wax when I need to wax my thread. I agree with Matt, I very rarely use the wax, but there are a few patterns I tie that are touch dubbing technique. Typically with Austrailan opossum fur. It looks pretty cool but very subtle. Synthectics are a pain to dub, but really offer some different and cool looks. Good luck and keep at it.
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Jan 23, 2020January 23rd, 2020, 7:26 am EST

Ditto on Mike's 'use rarely and sparingly' insights. I used wax early on for everything and things got messy and gooed-up until I figured out how to apply dubbing to the thread using the finger-rolling method. Now the only time I use wax (Wapsi, affordable and available) is when I touch-dub thread for a dubbing loop. Other than that, any time on the water? Here in W MI we've had rain, rain, and more rain the last couple weeks and local streams were blown-out, only now getting even close to normal flows...

Tight lines if you get out,


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on Jan 23, 2020January 23rd, 2020, 9:12 pm EST
Thanks guys. I've been tying a lot lately with "antron sparkle dub" and have had a hard time getting spinning up properly tapered noodles with it. I finally just stopped using wax all together and started using saliva - works better. Thanks for the advice !!!! BTW - I really think part of the problem anyway, is my exceedingly dry, old-man fingers ... LOL.
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jan 24, 2020January 24th, 2020, 6:26 am EST
Brian, for sure taking care of your hands this time year here in S.E. Mi. is job one. I put my wifes lotion on at least two or three times a day. No snagging your tying thread or destroying fine materials. Just make sure you don't lotion on when you start tying, things start sticking together that shouldn't. Rogue, I have been patiently waiting for water levels to drop to safe wading depths, every time they get close it starts raining again. As I look out my window now its raining and snow is melting again. The river I like to fish up north is running way above average, I hope this weekend doesn't bring any bad surprises I may go one day next week.

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