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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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Jmd123 has attached these 5 pictures. The message is below.
Nice pumpkinseed from Clark's Marsh on an all-black #10 Woolly Bugger
Have to try for these with a fly rod!
Round-lobed hepatica - WAY early!
Coltsfoot - THIS I was expecting to see!
A magnificent pair of trumpeter swans in Clark's Marsh
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 23, 2012March 23rd, 2012, 8:41 am EDT
I figured I would still be ice fishing right now. I kept telling people, "Oh yeah, the ice is thick enough, barring a 'freak warm spell'..."

Fly fishing so far has yielded no steelhead (no surprise), one little bass about 6", a few nice sunfish (see one above), and some yellow perch by kayak on a lake where the ice was still covering about half the lake (it holds trout but none were hitting). Our trout streams are either closed for another month or high and scary from the melt and rain. My consulting boss took me trolling off the mouth of the Au Sable on Wednesday evening and I got a 9 lb. lake trout (which see above). This fish was caught relatively shallow (trolling in 15-20 feet of water) and so I'm thinking about kayaking with the 8-weight and sink tip and some big fat streamers. The boss also showed me a spot in the river mouth, an island of rocks and pilings, to beach my kayak and flycast for steelhead...

Wildflowers are already blooming, and saw a nice pair of trumpeter swans in Clark's Marsh. Quite the freak warm spell, but now it's going to drop back into the fifties and forties...good while it lasted!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Aaron7_8
Aaron7_8's profile picture
Helena Montana

Posts: 115
Aaron7_8 on Mar 24, 2012March 24th, 2012, 8:05 am EDT
Beautiful photos thanks for sharing.
FisherOfMen
FisherOfMen's profile picture
NY

Posts: 115
FisherOfMen on Mar 24, 2012March 24th, 2012, 4:32 pm EDT
Good-looking laker there, Jonathan!
"Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught." -Author Unknown

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 9:15 am EDT
For anyone familiar with Northern Michigan hatches...

Hendricksons began to appear on the Ausable North Branch and Holy Water on March 25th.... it's going to be an early season....
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 9:22 am EDT
How early is that for you guys?
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 9:29 am EDT
At least three weeks; perhaps more....
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 10:53 am EDT
At least three weeks; perhaps more...



Ok then! So Tim, if everything stays the same, and we here in Michigan know that's impossible, my end of May trip...You wanna tie me up some Hex??? :)

You boys that live near the river can be a pain in the you know what sometimes. I recieved a phone call from Grayling last Friday and all that was said, "Spence you need to get your a** up here right now! We have fish rising right out front..." Let's see...Will my boss understand when all my sick days coincide with peak hatch activity? When he star69's my calls and someone at the Grayling restaurant answers...Am I in trouble? :)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 11:22 am EDT
Jonathon,

I just realized that I responded to Tim's email and not your wonderful photos...If you keep catching fish like that one you may give up river fishing and buy a boat. :)

I think its spelled mysis shrimp (sp?) and if you are going to try fly fishing at the mouth of the river there you should maybe find a nice recipe for them...Maybe "Bear" Andrew's pattern is floating around out there on the web somewhere.

My wife and I worked all weekend here at the office...Both Saturday & Sunday. We normally head off to the gym Sunday night but were too burnt out so we went for a neighborhood walk instead. There is a newer sub nearby that has been under construction and slowed because of the housing market etc...It is just one street...

We happened to look down this street as we were walking passed and spotted a couple new homes finally being worked on and decided to walk down and take a peek...On our right side, down on a small island in a deep retention basin, there was a female Canadian goose sitting on a nest with her head down like she was hiding from us. I happened to look to my left to see Mr. Canadian Goose in an empty lot heading in our direction with his neck out stretched and his mouth opening and closing...He wasn't too happy seeing us...

After we had made it by him we looked back and he was standing in the middle of the road still giving us a piece of his mind and pumping out his chest...Then we discovered that there was no way out but to sneak back passed him...There is one massive home that is occupied and two big Pit Bull like dogs came running out barking at us...I spotted that they had some sort of device on their collars probably to keep them in the yard...I think the goose rattled us more than the pit-bulls...:)

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 1:27 pm EDT
Right... if this pace continues, we'll have Hex by late May... I've seen it once before....
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 1:36 pm EDT
Holy crap - Hennies ALREADY????? Yesterday I saw five species of wildflowers in bloom, not even counting skunk cabbage and coltsfoot...not to mention ten garter snakes and several painted turtles, and calling northern leopard frogs. This is freaking NUTS. Geez, I might have to bypass steelhead and just start tying fresh dry flies...

Jonathon

P.S. Hmmm, there is water open on the Rifle right now...guess I had better think about patching up those waders!!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 7:16 pm EDT
Right... if this pace continues, we'll have Hex by late May... I've seen it once before....


Tim...I've seen the so-called "Early Hex" (L recurvata) in late May, but the Hex, Hex...??? Katie-bar-the-door! It may be one of those seasons special made for an old Grayling boy like yourself...Tie on a size 12 "Riser Special" or a Borchers and call it done! :)

I re-read Marinaro's "In the Ring of the Rise" over the last week...Last chapter on the Au Sable and Vinny loved the place...Fished with Art Neumann in 1966...Told a funny story about fishing on the Mainstream during a Henny spinner fall...Wonder if you might know the guide steering the Au Sable river-boat at the end of the book??? Maybe JR might know.

Take Care! Hope to see you at the "Brookie Hole"! ;)

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jesse
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on Mar 26, 2012March 26th, 2012, 8:24 pm EDT
Nice shots!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Mar 27, 2012March 27th, 2012, 4:01 am EDT
Recurvata is fairly common in late May. One time (it was in the early 80's, I think) we had "Hex Hex" in late May. By the way, for day-time Hex fishing we use a #10 2 or 3xl version of Earl Madsen's Hairy Drake. Let me know if you'd like the pattern. I'm quite certain it doubles as an emerging insect and floating nymph.... very effective, even on large fish.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 8, 2016March 8th, 2016, 1:02 pm EST
Bumped up this old thread because it both reminded me of things shortly to come, and because there is some hatch talk in it. Think about it - that year, Hennies were spotted in March! If our current warm spell continues, we could see a repeat of this...which that year meant a rip-roaring season opener! Keeping my fingers crossed...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MiltRPowell
Posts: 106
MiltRPowell on Mar 9, 2016March 9th, 2016, 8:09 am EST
Nice old post, I cannot wait, want to get some fiddle head ferns for some soup & maybe that one trout to eat with it. Spring is my only time for that dish.
I like your flowers man. I also find them in the funniest places myself. Sharpen the hooks,& patch the old boots, spring be coming. Ah! hell it's already here. Good luck, don't pass up them ferns, good as gets for soup & fish.
later, Milt....
flyfishingthecreekM.R.P.
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 9, 2016March 9th, 2016, 1:58 pm EST
Milt, I am anxiously awaiting what appears to be a good morel season (LOTS of snow still melting out there in the woods) and I know a spot for wild leeks...

Just got in from a good long walk on the Au Sable trails behind my house, and the skunk cabbage and coltsfoot were coming up in one spot! Numerous midges on the wing, some red-winged blackbirds starting to sing around Duell Lake, and four steelheader boats going down the river. Spring is here!!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MiltRPowell
Posts: 106
MiltRPowell on Mar 10, 2016March 10th, 2016, 9:14 am EST
Jonathon, I hear ya. Trust me think this year shall come to fine start. Lord willing, & creeks don't get to high. Keep it tight, & some wild vegs, & fish in the pot. Ha-Ha!!!
later Milt.
flyfishingthecreekM.R.P.

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