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Big slate drakes

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2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
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Good article in this month's Fly Fisherman magazine on "Big slate drakes" (Hexagenia atrocaudata) that come off streams in mid to late August. Anyone ever fish this hatch? Looks like it could be productive if you're willing to stay til dark to wait for the spinnerfall.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 12:14


Re: Big slate drakes
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Quote:

wgmiller wrote:
Good article in this month's Fly Fisherman magazine on "Big slate drakes" (Hexagenia atrocaudata) that come off streams in mid to late August. Anyone ever fish this hatch? Looks like it could be productive if you're willing to stay til dark to wait for the spinnerfall.


I read the article. It was written by Paul Weamer. The hatch he wrote about is not Isonychia, often called "slate drakes." The big slate drakes he refers to are on Penns Creek, and are found, or at least hatch in the slower water / mud bottom areas. Not a huge hatch to follow. But the Isonychias are on some streams and rivers. It is the summer - fall hatch to fish in the Delaware River.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 12:27


Re: Big slate drakes

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From Dauphin PA
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For a few years....we have used the slate drake pattern simply known as the isosarus. Usually tied on #8 or #10 if they are being selective.

I've used them on many streams and the fish respond.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 12:41
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Re: Big slate drakes

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ISOSAURUS eats all other patterns. Nom nom nom nom

Posted on: 2013/6/18 13:22
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Re: Big slate drakes

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2010/6/30 14:13
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Yup, Big Slate Drakes and Slate Drakes (or Hexes and Isos) are two completely different hatches. Up north in the ADK's and New England the Hex hatch is a big deal on many lakes and ponds (and in the ADK's they only have one brood for the Isos- the fall hatch.) I've never caught the Hex hatch up north or here in PA but my favorite hatch around here is definitely the Slate Drake (Iso) hatch- both spring and fall broods.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 14:31
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Re: Big slate drakes

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Those black nymphs man, the isos, oh man, swimming nymphs, rip the rod right out of your hand, and its a later hatch when the wild fish and the survivors of stocking are around and most people are done fishing.....it's magic.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 15:50


Re: Big slate drakes

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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I've never heard the hexes called big slate drakes... That's a new one for me. But there's no such thing as "wrong" when it comes to common names. People use the term "sulpher" for bugs that aren't even in the ephemerellidae family, or "BWO" for bugs that aren't in the Baetiscadae family, etc.

As long as people recognize that hexes and iso's are very different, despite some using the common name slate drake for both, it doesn't much matter.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 16:37


Re: Big slate drakes
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As long as a "slate drake" pattern work for the Hex hatch and vice versa, who cares?

Posted on: 2013/6/18 17:31
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Re: Big slate drakes

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2008/6/25 9:41
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When you think about it, common names for mayflies can be unusual to odd to downright funny:

Angler's Curse -- Caenidae
Coffin Fly -- (We all know that one)
Batfly -- Baetisca
Darth Vader -- Teloganopsis deficiens
Iron Dun -- Epeorus pleuralis
Michigan Wriggler -- (no, not a stripper from Detroit) Hexagenia limbata
Pink Lady -- Epeorus albertae
Flavs -- Drunella flavilinea

And a lot more.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 18:01
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Re: Big slate drakes

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2011/5/9 15:37
From Ohio
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Billy: "You doing any good?"
Bob: "Yeah, stuck a few"
Billy: "Nice, whatcha using?"
Bob: "A size 16 Drunella caenidae ephemerellidae..."
Billy: "Cool. I caught 10 using this tan dry fly thingamajig"

Posted on: 2013/6/18 18:13


Re: Big slate drakes

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2009/5/7 14:38
From Collegeville, PA
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In article, it states why the hatch is mostly unknown and under fished. The fly tends to hatch in the time of the summer when must of the streams that it hatches in are too warm for trout fishing. Also, the flies tend to hatch in stream sections that most fisherman would consider frog water and probably skip over. In the article, Weamer mentions finding the nymphs burrowed into the real muddy bottom in water that might only be a few inches deep. In order to find the nymphs, he had to shovel the mud onto a screen.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 20:27


Re: Big slate drakes

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Quote:
As long as a "slate drake" pattern work for the Hex hatch and vice versa, who cares?


Sometimes it doesn't. Often it does if you are trying to figure things out. For instance, if you are trying to experience the "slate drakes", and picking the right streams, stream sections, and times to meet such a hatch, perhaps it matters a lot.

In addition, there's a fairly LARGE difference between these two.

Iso's don't hatch in the water, they crawl to shore like a stonefly. So dun patterns are rather unimportant during the hatch. They're very good swimmers, so dead drifting nymphs in the film is also likely to strike out. But if you see a lot of duns flying about, you can infer that there are nymphs swimming towards shore in mass, and likely trout lining the bankside drop-offs waiting for them. Not seeing risers is normal, doesn't mean the trout aren't on em. Swimming nymphs around like a streamer towards the banks can be deadly, as Beast Brown alludes to.

But hex's, that's a different story. Nymphs swim to the surface and duns emerge on top. Dead drifting nymphs deep, in the film, using emergers, or duns, are all in play during the hatch itself.

The spinner fall for both can be similar, except for which locations get em and a slight difference in time of year.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 21:05


Re: Big slate drakes
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Although Isonychia nymphs can be found on rocks don't kid yourself thinking the duns are not in play.

Slate drake (Isonychia) spinners fall at dusk while the Hex's usually don't come down til after dark.


Posted on: 2013/6/18 22:17
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Re: Big slate drakes

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And the article states that the hex spinners usually don't fall til after dark. The whole magazine actually isn't too bad and is worth a read. I typically don't buy it, but a lady friend was showing her benevolence, so I accepted...

Posted on: 2013/6/18 22:48


Re: Big slate drakes
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On the breeches during the whitefly there are always hexes hovering like small birds. Its always enjoyable seeing that many big bugs in the air but fishing to them is futile. Sometimes slapping a big spinner down will garner a strike but its not very productive.

And I am not sure when they actually hatch but I cannot say that I have fished an "active" hex hatch. Who knows they may hatch at night too.

Now on the Susky I've seen them on the water in the evening floating by like sailboats. but thats a warm water stream in August...(80's) I am pretty sure it may be different in a cooler stout stream.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 23:06
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?



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