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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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Summer_doug has attached this picture to this report. The message is below.

Report at a Glance

General RegionMetro Detroit
Specific LocationPaint Creek
Dates Fished5/5/2020
Time of DayLate morning
Fish CaughtRainbow

Details and Discussion

Detroit, MI

Posts: 46
Summer_doug on May 10, 2020May 10th, 2020, 6:00 am EDT
In order to put off cabin fever and have a small break from my energetic children, I was blessed with a couple hours to hit a commonly known stream in metro Detroit.

I’ve never had success in this stream, but, despite my incredibly rusty nymphing techniques, I was able to hook into a handful of small rainbow trout (probably steelhead smolts?).
From Michigan
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on May 10, 2020May 10th, 2020, 11:05 am EDT
Good for you. Do you know if the stream is typically stocked with larger trout? If not than they probably are steelhead smolts. I'm assuming this creek enters into Lake Michigan? How have you been? I've been meaning to email you, and others, but this being stuck at home has gotten me into a somewhat depressed mood not wanting to keep up with my letter writing. It has been unseasonably cold and I have only been out three times since mid March and only to local stocked waters. Building any rods?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Detroit, MI

Posts: 46
Summer_doug on May 11, 2020May 11th, 2020, 5:55 am EDT
Due to the virus, I think most stocking has been put on hold. This stream is usually stocked; however, I heard that it has not been planted this spring. I saw a bait fisherman with a stringer of 5 steelhead, so I think they are probably smolts.

I haven’t made any new rods in a little while but I am redoing wraps on a couple factory rods that needed repairing. Since I have time, I figured I’d redo all the guides with color preferences I prefer more. I have an organ eye fiberglass rod (cheap Chinese blank for a bluegill rod) that I am changing from maroon to dark green and yellow. I think I’ll use it as my bushwhacking brookie rod this summer.

I’m in a similar state to you. Hard to be excited about each new day when saying hi to your neighbors is even difficult. I hope that you find the strength to write some letters. It can be really encouraging in these times.
From Michigan
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on May 11, 2020May 11th, 2020, 7:10 am EDT
Im with you guys, between this weather and the virus thing it gets to be a bit much. I can't believe how lousy the weather is around these parts, its more like November than May! Oh well, hang in there, things will get better.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on May 13, 2020May 13th, 2020, 12:54 pm EDT
Hey Doug, sorry I didn't reply earlier. I've caught a few browns and rainbows about the same size you have there in Paint Creek, having grown up in Troy not too far to the south. Nothing good though, haven't ever run into any good hatches out there and given the location I'm sure it's pounded. in fact one night I was invited up onto the banks for a few drink by one of the landowners there ("Do you have any good tequila?") and they said every opening day it was just stupid with people. Easy access! And it is a pretty spot, then again I don't know of any ugly trout streams anywhere...

C'mon up here when the insanity ends and we'll put you on some bigger ones! As I found out a couple weekends ago, there's a few pigs swimming around in the millpond right off US 23 in Harrisville! Not to mention the Rifle, the Pine, and a few secluded woodland ponds and lakes...

Tight lines and good luck next time out!


P.S. There's some artificials only with a 14" minimum limit waters there on the Paint between two major roads. Where were you? I have typically hit it from where Livernois (Main Street) does that dogleg thing, park there and go upstream in that reach. Looks decent but I've caught more chubs there than trout. Big chubs, but still chubs...
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Fenton, MI.

Posts: 28
Brian314 on May 18, 2020May 18th, 2020, 10:15 pm EDT
Another near metro Detroit :
Back in the 90s they used to stock a short section of the Huron at Proud Lake in March w trout and let the flies-only guys in there for a month before the opener. It was difficult wading but I caught a number of trout in there. After the opener, the banks would be lined w bait-fishers throwing hot dogs, marshmallows and lord-knows-what - the trout would be completely cleaned out in no time.
I haven't been there in 20+ years.
Anyone know if they still stock that section in the early spring ??

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