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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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Northern Michigan

Posts: 30
Bcvizina on Jan 11, 2011January 11th, 2011, 12:06 pm EST
Near my house, there is a marsh area with a little creek that feeds into it. This area is low and has a good amount of standing water that stays unfrozen all year. I want to know if there are fish in it, based on the information I can provide.

The marsh area is very mucky and has sparse grasses that grow through most of the standing water. Upon closer inspection, I can see little minnows near shore. I didn't know if these were brookie hatchlings or little baitfish. I know there was once a time when brook trout could be seen in the creek spawning, but I don't know the last time this was witnessed. It seems the shallow water would stay cool because it is spring fed, but I have never seen a fish rise in there.

I have been told there are not any fish, but from what I can tell it looks like it would even support trout. Are there any surefire signs to tell if there are fish?
Posts: 2
Valleyridge on Jan 11, 2011January 11th, 2011, 12:19 pm EST
I would throw a woolly bugger to find out, if there are brookies there (or any type of fish species), they will more than likely take a look, at the very least. Do you ever see any birds around the water that are fish eaters (herons, etc.)? They are usually pretty good indicators. Pick up some rocks to observe insect life. It is encouraging that it is spring fed as potential life would not be as affected by extreme air temperatures.
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Jan 12, 2011January 12th, 2011, 4:23 am EST
No other way to find out than fish it-unless you can find someone else who has and can tell you about it.

The woolly bugger idea is a good one. If there's anything in there you should be able to hook up with something like a #12 Woolly-whether it's brookies, sunfish, bass or whatever. That's how I find out if a marginal creek holds fish.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach

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