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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 Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Apr 11, 2020April 11th, 2020, 1:19 pm EDT
Made use of my fresh MI license and found myself a patch of water to cast on for a little while. After some exploring on 2-tracks, I popped down to the Pine Acres access on Cooke Pond today, and there was no one there! No fees today either, the fee box was wrapped up tight in plastic...saved 5 bucks! Nice sunny day in the low 50s F but the wind was stiff and on occasion made casting frustrating, and nothing came out to play with my #10 black-eyed POG Bugger either, in spite of some decent looking wood on the (strangely weedless) bottom (I am usually here in the summer). It's early yet...heard the first frogs today, northern leopards were calling at Pine Acres from the grassy islands in the river! Saw several mourning cloak butterflies as well as a couple of angle-wings, midge hatches at Cooke Pond too. Felt good to be out in the woods and on the water, fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, and no people to deal with...except for two brand-new looking cars at Clark's Marsh that (again) made me turn around and go home.

It has begun...slowly...


P.S. That #10 POG Bugger got left behind me in the weeds somewhere on a cast (my last)...1st sacrifice of the year, too.
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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