When you’re fishing the great Lakes and other large Midwestern waters in late June and early July, keep an eye out for hatches of mayflies. The flies are various species of the genus Hexagenia and live in bottom sediment for a couple of years as small, dark-colored nymphs before swimming to the surface, shucking off their skins, and taking to the air. While other anglers think the action has shut down, enterprising fishermen can score big using this setup.
[STEP 1] Tie a single No. 2 or No. 4 hook to an 18-inch piece of 8- to 14-pound-test monofilament.
[STEP 2] Thread a few red beads on the leader, then add a clevis and a No. 4 spinner blade.
[STEP 3] Attach a small barrel swivel to the end of the leader, and pinch a small split shot to your main line above the swivel.
[STEP 4] Put a piece of nightcrawler on the hook for the scent.
[STEP 5] Cast or troll the rig at various depths. Your presentation should be just fast enough to make the spinner blade turn. Walleyes are attracted to the lure’s small size, and a stop-and-go retrieve imitates the nymph’s natural motion.