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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 Limnephilidae (Giant Sedges) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
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.


Posts: 1
Maxmiko on Jul 30, 2020July 30th, 2020, 9:43 pm EDT
Im very new to this and i want to know two things.
1. Can i use a 5wt line and reel on a 4wt rod
2. how can i tell fly line wts. i understand wf is weight forward but does this mean a 5wf is a 5wt.
if anyone could help me find a good casting fly line in 5wt please let me know
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jul 31, 2020July 31st, 2020, 5:29 am EDT
Hello Victoria,

Okay to answer your question yes you can typically under line, or over line, a rod by one line weight but it isn't advisable to use a line two weights lighter or heavier because the rod was designed to ideally cast say a #5. If you put a #7 on it it won't cast as nicely. That is the simple explanation - no need to get too technical. Your second inquiry is not clear. Are you asking if the line is designated 5wf is it a 5wt? Yes the 5wf means a #5 weight forward fly line. Designed for a #5 weight fly rod. But you can use it on a #4 rod. A heavier line "loads" the rod (makes it bend more) so your shorter casts may not be as delicately presented as the #4 line. However you will be able to cast further with the #5 because the line is heavier and permits you to cast longer distances with less effort than if you were using a #4 line. This line/rod discussion could be many pages long if I wanted to really get into the technical stuff. Suffice to say for a average fly angler who may fish 10 - 15 times a season you will be fine. Any more questions feel free to ask.

Regarding question #3 - how much are you willing to spend? There are lesser prices lines, mid range lines, and high end lines with all the bells and Whistles. Let me know your budget and I will recommend a few lines.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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