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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.

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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Landscape & scenery photos from the West Branch of the Delaware River

This fish almost got me into the coveted "20/20 club."  It's a 20 inch brown caught on sulphur-flavored Galloup's Cripple tied on a size 18 3X-fine dry fly hook.  It's also my biggest fish to date from the Catskills.
An 18-inch Catskill brown trout.
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
This is a common sight on the large Catskill rivers in early May, a mother goose guarding her nest.  They like to nest on midstream islands where anglers are prone to walk from one fishing spot to another, and they do not back down.  This one was hissing at me and I didn't want to get any closer.

From the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
A tributary on the left approaches the large Catskill river on the right.

From the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York

Underwater photos from the West Branch of the Delaware River

Here's the head of a sea lamprey which migrated up the Delaware River to spawn.
These are red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens.  Thanks Gonzo for the ID.

From the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
Here's the body of a sea lamprey which migrated up the Delaware River to spawn.
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
The West Branch of the Delaware River in New York

On-stream insect photos from the West Branch of the Delaware River

A thick mating swarm of Tricorythodes mayfly spinners hovers the West Branch of the Delaware near Hale Eddy one early fall morning.  View the picture full-size and you'll be able to make out the wings and tails on most of those little white dots.

This was one of many such clouds visible all up and down the river.  The mayflies were impressive, but the trout did not hold up their end of the bargain -- there was not a rise in sight.

From the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
I didn't manage to collect a nymph, but here's the hollow shuck left over from an emerged dun, showing the basic pattern of the nymph.

From the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
Many beetles of this species were jumping around the rocks like popcorn on a mid-April afternoon.  I'm sure they end up in the water for the trout at times.

From the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York

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