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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 Psychodidae True Fly Larva from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This wild-looking little thing completely puzzled me. At first I was thinking beetle or month larva, until I got a look at the pictures on the computer screen. I made a couple of incorrect guesses before entomologist Greg Courtney pointed me in the right direction with Psychodidae. He suggested a possible genus of Thornburghiella, but could not rule out some other members of the tribe Pericomini.
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.

Barbaube's profile picture

Posts: 9
Barbaube on Jul 22, 2020July 22nd, 2020, 10:34 pm EDT
Hi fly fishers,

I have got 2 rod questions. The first one is about a 2wt rod. I can't decide wether I should get a 6ft 2wt or an 8ft 2wt. I mostly want to get a 2 wt for fun but also spooky fish in low water. I already have a fiberglass 7'6ft 4wt that I use for small free stone rivers by the way. I feel like the 8ft 2wt could be more polyvalent and do well on clear, low water spring creeks.

My other question is still about a rod. An 8wt this time. I want to fish for atlantic salmons, but also strippers from the beach, pikes, bass and lake trouts from a boats and from the bank. What would be best a 10ft or 9ft?

All these choices are driving me nuts. What do you think?

Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 23, 2020July 23rd, 2020, 1:44 am EDT
Longer rods give you more distance. Shorter rods are much better in tight quarters (little brookie creeks, like I have around here). You need to cast far, get the longer rod (lakes and ponds, big rivers). Going from my favorite little 7 1/2' 3-wt. to a 9' 5-wt. made all the difference in one of the trout lakes I fish...but on another smaller pond I stick with the smaller rod for delicacy.

Just make sure all of your long rods are 4-PIECE!! Otherwise you'll find them a pain in the ass to transport...

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

Posts: 9
Barbaube on Jul 23, 2020July 23rd, 2020, 7:28 am EDT
Make sense! Thanks for your message Jmd123. I was also wondering if it would be best to get an all round 9ft 8wt, then later get a specialized spey rod for salmon and steelhead...
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jul 23, 2020July 23rd, 2020, 9:56 am EDT
Baraube, check out Stickman rods, these rods receive outstanding reviews, the blanks for these rods are made in spain and then finished up in Hungary. From the reviews I have read these are outstanding flyrods, not only in rod design but also in fit and finish. Im thinking of 6 wt, stickman right now my self. The owner of stickman rods is very knowledgeable and helpful, so I would check them out.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jul 23, 2020July 23rd, 2020, 11:39 pm EDT
Length may also be a matter of personal preference to some degree. I agree with Jonathon in principle, but I almost never fish anything shorter than 9' even on smaller streams these days. Granted, I may not be fishing small brushy brookie streams but on Wednesday I did fish a stream that I can cross with three steps with a 9' 3 weight rod. One has to watch backcast placement, but it can be done. I used to fish a 7 and a half foot rod a lot, and I have a 6 foot rod, but I find the longer rods better for nymphing, which I do a good bit of. I had a very good day fishing another stream Tuesday; it's a small low clear spring creek. Many casts needed to be made at some distance from the fish and the 9' rod helped with that. I'd probably go with the 10' rod for the beach and boat; it will give you more distance.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Red_green_h's profile picture
New Mexico

Posts: 64
Red_green_h on Jul 25, 2020July 25th, 2020, 12:19 pm EDT
My 6'2wt is absolutely my favorite rod. For the small creeks and small ponds I frequent it is the most versatile rod I own. I can cast it 30 ft with accuracy and it is great in bushy, tight areas. I had no problem throwing a small Pistol Pete in this small farm pond stocked with 18" Rainbows last fall and I was able to land all but one I hooked. I also have a 4 piece 6'6" 2wt that I tried for the first time this spring on a backpacking trip. It's nice but I prefer the shorter 6' rod even though it's a 2 piece and a little harder to pack. It's just my preference though I've seen plenty of guys out there on small ponds and streams with 5wt 9' rigs and they seem to do fine. I'm the king of snags though so it seems that every time I use a longer rod I end up catch a branch 20 feet up. It's a lot easier teaching my kids how to cast on a shorter rod too. And then of course for the ultimate fun in small stream fishing I am becoming more and more enamored with my 5'9" 1wt. There is so much nuance involved. Every fish feels like a whale.

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