Archive for the ‘Hexagenia Limbata’ Tag

Hexagenia Hassles   4 comments

Last night I did a little in-the-field empirical data gathering regarding that wonderful winged creature called the Hexagenia Limbata. I think the whole affair put a hex on my lumbago, but it was kind of a cool experience.

I’ll set the scene.

I motorcycled 30 minutes west to a “top secret” spot on Black Earth Creek. I arrived creekside at about 8:25. To my delight there weren’t any other anglers around. The wind was light, the sun was setting behind the trees, and I was eagerly anticipating some epic action.

After parking myself along the creek I noticed a few fish rising. I cast to them using some smaller caddis patterns, emergers, even nymphs, but no luck.

At around 9:30 the water began to come alive. There were tiny little rise forms all over, and very subtle “popping” sounds, almost like someone had thrown a Rice Crispie into the water here and there.

 

Tiny Riseforms on Black Earth Creek

Tiny Riseforms on Black Earth Creek

 

 

The fish started to come alive, but it wasn’t a frenzy. I tied on a #14 caddis pattern and had a few swipes at it, but didn’t connect. It’s tough to sight fish in the dark.

I waited some more, listening to the bullfrogs call out to one another. The moon was up, the mosquitoes were few, and the sounds of the night were all around.

 

Waiting for something to happen...

Waiting for something to happen…

 

Then another flurry of activity. It was now about 9:45. This time I thought for sure the hex hatch was beginning. Slowly at first, then with more regularity, there were “things” happening. Just what those things were I couldn’t tell. I had a nice view of the water with the moon reflecting off it’s surface, and I could see bugs skating along on the film like tiny motorboats seen from an airplane. But I wasn’t spotting the beautiful sails of those Hex bugs. I was expecting a swarm of hex flies carpeting the water and the sky, but it didn’t happen.

 

A few bugs on BEC

A little motorboat bug on BEC

 

I took some flash pics and upon reviewing them today, I believe there may have been a few Hex flies in the mix, but for the most part it was a mixed bag. See for yourself.

 

Some Bugs hatching after dark on BEC

Some Bugs hatching after dark on BEC

 

Is that a Hex?

Is that a Hex?

 

Fly away!

Fly away!

 

Caddis on BEC

Caddis on BEC

 

After this hatch stopped popping, things quieted down. I sat until about 10:30, decided to go home, then convinced myself that maybe the Hex would still emerge. But they didn’t. There’s something about sitting out in nature well into the night. You hear sounds you don’t hear during the day. Like crunching grass and Bullfrogs. And very large fish eating things off the surface of the creek.

Do you know how a little fish sounds when it slams a bug off the surface of the water? It sounds small. Quick. Sharp.

A big fish sounds large. The sounds of it splashing takes up more space in the spectrum of audible wavelengths. The sound of it on the surface is bracketed on either end by the sound of it rising and returning to the depths.

I heard this sound last night, but only once or twice. Big fish only rise when it’s worthwhile. It startled me and then left me longing to hear it again.

I hope to return some night to see the Hex hatching out of the mud, to see those little-but-big sails drifting along on the water, to see the frenzy that occurs when the fish realize it’s time to eat. And maybe to catch a few of those big fish who’ll surely come out to play.

 

 

 

A Series of E-Mails   2 comments

June 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

From: Tom

To: Stephen

Hope these work. Craig at Fontana had some encouraging success stories of night fishing on BEC and said the hex hatch has started. Last year he caught a 23-inch brown on a hex.

 

Hexagenia Limbata and Mouse flies

Hexagenia Limbata and Mouse flies

 

June 11, 2012 at 6:41 PM

From: Stephen

To: Tom

Interesting.

Were you serious about bringing a larger rod along tonight?

 

Tom rigging up for late evening June trout fishing

Tom rigging up for late evening June trout fishing

 

June 12, 2012 at 7:27 PM

From: Tom

To: Stephen

I am planning to fish tomorrow morning at [REDACTED]. Planning to leave by 4:20. Interested?

 

Wednesday morning on Black Earth Creek

Wednesday morning on Black Earth Creek

 

June 13, 2012 at 8:34 AM

From:Stephen

To: Tom

Did you go this morning?

I opted out as I stayed up too late with the boys watching the NBA finals.

I read this article this morning and thought it sounded like something that could be done right here in the Midwest as a moonlighting outfit.

It recalls our interest in the firehouse. How cool would it be to have a business begun that addresses all of our midwestern microbreweries!

That would be an awfully cool network to be a part of. And this could inevitably lead to making your own beer.

I could see the firehouse being used as a ‘malthouse’ and then selling microbrews and malted milks for kids using malt made right on the property. Then we could open a paddle board shop downstairs and let people test product down on the waterfront. I believe we would officially be rock stars after that. I would need to get some tattoos and a supermodel mistress.

Cool?

 

A "Stout 13-incher"

A “Stout 13-incher”

 

June 13, 2012 at 9:50 AM

From: Tom

To: Stephen

Yep, I’m in on the malt house/microbrew/paddleshop/mistress thing. I’ll have to read the article today and get back to you on what it all means.

I did go out today. I was out the door at about 4:45 and on the water at 5:15. I tried small stuff and big stuff on the surface, including the Hex Spinner that looks like a hummingbird on the water.

First fish landed was on a large stonefly nymph. It was a cool take. The nymph had just hit the water and was sinking when the fish came up from the deep and nailed it, coming out of the water in the process. It was a pretty stout 13-incher.

Then I landed a couple of smaller fish, maybe 8 inches, on a small nymph. I tried some more small dries because fish were surfacing randomly and sporadically and there were a very few little white bugs coming off. But a few hits and no hookups later, I went back to a mid-size nymph, that buggy thing with legs I got in LA, and I got one more beat up 13-inch Brown.

It was a beautiful morning.

Pics sometime today on the Blog.

Tom

 

 

...one more beat up 13-inch Brown

…one more beat up 13-inch Brown

 

June 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM

From: Stephen

To: Tom

Damn dude that is some pretty fine fishing for a couple hours on the water.

Nice! I look forward to seeing the pics.

I should have come along today. My calendar is virtually empty.

 

 

I should have come along today. My calendar is virtually empty.

I should have come along today. My calendar is virtually empty.