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The Specimen

Hexagenia limbata (Hex) Mayfly SpinnerHexagenia limbata (Hex) Mayfly Spinner View 13 Pictures
Collected June 26, 2005 from Atkins Lake in Wisconsin
Added to Troutnut.com by on May 26, 2006

The Discussion

DaleeahrensJune 16th, 2016, 11:58 am
winneconne

Posts: 1
in my area, central wisc, the hex hatch has just started, although i havent seen a one, this is my first yr fishing the hex. any help what so ever would be gratly appreciated, thanx, standing by
WiflyfisherJune 17th, 2016, 8:45 am
Wisconsin

Posts: 603
in my area, central wisc, the hex hatch has just started, although i havent seen a one, this is my first yr fishing the hex. any help what so ever would be gratly appreciated, thanx, standing by

Hexs burrow in the slow silty/mucky bottom areas. The hatch generally doesn't start until dark and can go into the late night hours. When I have fished the hex hatch I don't even go down to the river until dusk and sit and wait for the hatch to begin. Sometimes I wait and nada and other times it bursts into clouds of flying insects that sounds like little birds flying all around you in the dark along with loud gulping sounds of big fish gorging themselves. I have also witnessed it on lakes and it seems like every fish in the lake, is gorging themselves on Hex nymphs and emerging duns, even walleye.
John S.
https://WiFlyFisher.com
WbranchJune 17th, 2016, 11:35 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2502
Talking about every fish eating mayflies when there is a huge emergence. On the Susquehanna River in PA around Wrightsville and Columbia the white fly emerges from early to late July. It has an interesting adult life in that it changes from dun to spinner virtually right in front of your eyes. The duns start to emerge at dusk and there are millions of them. They land all over you and if you are wigged out by bugs crawling over you don't stay on the river as dark is approaching. I button my collar button and put in ear plugs to keep them out of my ears. If you observe the dun closely you will see in very short order the body starts to quiver and it starts to transform from dun to spinner. The dun skin splits and the spinner crawls out of the shuck and the shuck does not disengage but stays attached to the spinner.

Besides the smallmouth bass rising with abandon the channel catfish come into the shallows and just hold position in very shallow water with their mouths open and keep sucking in the spinners. I've also seen crayfish in the shallows with their claws sticking out of the water so they can grab a spinner as it floats by.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
WiflyfisherJune 18th, 2016, 9:00 am
Wisconsin

Posts: 603
It has an interesting adult life in that it changes from dun to spinner virtually right in front of your eyes.

Matt, are you thinking of Ephoron luekon? Hexagenia limbata spinners return to the water 1-3 days after their emergence.
John S.
https://WiFlyFisher.com
TNEALJune 19th, 2016, 11:36 am
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 275
If you don't like fishing at night, most rivers have daytime emergences of hex flies . It may not be heavy, but the fishing is excellent; taking fish in the 20" plus range is not uncommon. Most are locked in to the night time stuff, so there's far less traffic in the daylight hours. I use a smaller fly; generally a #10 3xl for daytime hex fishing. If anyone wants the pattern, message me.
WbranchJune 20th, 2016, 9:13 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2502
Matt, are you thinking of Ephoron luekon? Hexagenia limbata spinners return to the water 1-3 days after their emergence


Yes. Over the past few days there has been an epic emergence of a very large, #8, mayfly on the Susquehanna. I don't know what it is as I've only seen the spinners on the ground under the lights at gas stations.

The body is about 1.25" long and about 3/16" in diameter. The color of the abdomen and thorax is a tannish yellow and there are some brown markings on the dorsal side of the body. Any ideas as to what it is?

I thought I might get to fish to the duns last night and stayed until 9:20 but never saw a single dun.

BTW the wings of the spinner are much clearer than those of the Hexagenia limbata spinner on the Troutnut page. No brown tinge at all.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TNEALJune 21st, 2016, 2:43 pm
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 275
that size and color combo sounds like hexagenia... very similar to our big flies in MI
WiflyfisherJune 22nd, 2016, 6:48 pm
Wisconsin

Posts: 603
Matt, are you thinking of Ephoron luekon? Hexagenia limbata spinners return to the water 1-3 days after their emergence


The body is about 1.25" long and about 3/16" in diameter. The color of the abdomen and thorax is a tannish yellow and there are some brown markings on the dorsal side of the body. Any ideas as to what it is?

I thought I might get to fish to the duns last night and stayed until 9:20 but never saw a single dun.

BTW the wings of the spinner are much clearer than those of the Hexagenia limbata spinner on the Troutnut page. No brown tinge at all.

Matt, see my page here... http://www.wiflyfisher.com/hex-limbata-mayfly-hatch.asp. Does that look more like what you saw?
John S.
https://WiFlyFisher.com
Jmd123June 22nd, 2016, 7:17 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
Anybody here in MI see any Hex yet?? It should be any day now, yesterday I saw a few big flies on the front steps of my college...Brown Drakes hatched around here about 2 weeks ago. I don't have Hex in my trout waters, but those Cooke Pond smallies just love 'em!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TimCatJune 24th, 2016, 1:40 am
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
I know the hex hatch is famous for the emergence at night, but how is the nymphing during the day? TNEAL mentioned a smaller hatch during the day which is nice to look for, but anybody have any experiences nymphing during the later part of the day before a "classic" hex hatch that evening? Do they emerge from the silt-dwelling nymph to dun pretty quickly? I'm curious.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Jmd123June 24th, 2016, 1:32 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2379
The Hex hatch is ON!! Big fat Cooke Pond smallies were taking them, along with Brown Drakes and Light Cahills. The summer hatch season is now in full swing!

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

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