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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.

Lateral view of a Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for this one.
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 20 pictures. The message is below.
Todd in the Coppler Creek Canyon above the powerline cut, a serious bushwhack...but there's brookies in there!
Not that they're easy...but what a cool place, full of bog plants like sundews and wild cranberries
The boys in the canyon against a lush backdrop of green
I'm gonna do some more exploring down in here - if I have enough energy!
Now to the Mill Creek crossing of Indian Trail, where there's a few brookies amongst the chubs
Joe pops one!
Got me one too!
Next stop: the Millpond in Harrisville
Are there really ANY trout in this scuzzy-looking pond???
MIDGE EATERS!!! AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!
Hell YES there's trout in there!!!
WHOA!!! I didn't know it was THIS DEEP!!!!
Still...can't...reach...them!  They turned up their noses at my #16 EHCs anyway
A beautiful place nevertheless, as these irises show...
...and forget-me-nots (Myosotis scorpioides)...
...and even white water crowfoot (Ranunculus longirostris) in bloom!  Looks like milfoil until the little flowers poke up
More irises (Iris versicolor), blooming all over the place now
The boys at the Pond
The outlet to Lake Huron
Oh yeah, I'll be back here!  Gonna have to learn midges first!!
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 30, 2020June 30th, 2020, 8:15 am EDT
So, Joe & Todd have now come and gone from our Fifth Annual Fishing Trip! Not many fish were caught, but a new challenge has presented itself:

MIDGES!!!!

OMG, a pond that doesn't look the part is FULL OF TROUT!!! Right in freakin' downtown Harrisville! Right off US23, and yes, I did pull a 17" brown outta there in May (put it back too). But this I did not expect, fish anywhere from 6 to 14-15 inches LEAPING out of the water at a midge hatch that was skimming the surface. Read about it, heard about it, but have never seen this for myself, until now. At first we thought, well they just look like shiners...but then larger, orange/pink/red ones were clearing the surface..."Those are all trout!" "What are they eating?" "Dunno, I can't see anything!" Binoculars later revealed something on the order of size 20 or smaller...and in numbers. Fish were making really sloppy rises, some clearing the surface as described above, and on a couple of occasions I glimpsed a lemon-yellow belly ("Dangit, that was a NICE brown!!"). Sadly, this was not an easy one - they were far enough off shore it was hard to reach them (especially me working my dinky 6 1/2-foot 2-weight!) and even when we did (see wading photos!) our flies were too big and they showed no interest.

So what to do? Deploy the canoe and kayak! We'll get on top of 'em and hammer 'em with midge imitations (Todd had some). We were waiting most of the day for the sun to go down and the wind to die off, yet when we got out there and just into position to hit the risers, back came the f-ing wind and not only blew our boats all over the place, it blew away the midge hatch! The fish stopped rising cold, and we bagged it...only to see things calm back down and fish rising again as we were all packed up and ready to leave...well, I know they're in there, I will do my midge research, and I find it hard to believe there isn't something bigger that hatches outta there that they'll feed on! Especially with all of that weed and algae growth, it should be hatch city, but all we saw, leaving after 9 p.m., were #20 (or smaller) midgies...

But, that's not all! We also fished Mill Creek where it crosses Indian Trail and caught some little guys there, and it's a really pretty spot. And on Saturday morning my guts were bothering me (chronic condition), so I sent the boys on their way with directions to the Coppler Creek Canyon, and they had their own little lovely adventure there that they photo journaled in the pics in Part 2 (which see). And of course...they brought the strangest beers they could find, and typically shared them so they could compare the flavors, like last year but this time with plastic cups instead of my tea mugs...AND we ate up the fish (porgy fillets) I brought back from my Florida trip! Todd says that technically checks our "Foraging" box as I caught them myself...

Two old buddies that have been suffering on lockdown & needed to come up for some open space, fresh air, and some fishing! Once again, a major success! We fished in town, and we fished in the country!

Tight lines to all and enjoy the pics.

Jonathon

P.S. I did fall in that pond and filled my waders up with bog water before finally exiting...strictly for the boys' entertainment, of course. No pics, sorry!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 8, 2020July 8th, 2020, 8:23 am EDT
Looks like fun!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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