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Entomology Basic entomology for the fly fisher to help identify insects that one might encounter on the stream or in a stillwater.

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Old 06-12-2013, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Hexes are here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silvertip8k View Post
I get a lot of missed strikes with the extended body flies. I must not be tying them right.

you might be tying them just fine...but the old count to two rule can be of help too...

unlike nymphing , a slight bit of time is necessary for the trout pulling down a dry...I always count to two...then lift up the tip and set the hook.

if this is not the issue for you please disregard...OK...no insult intended at all...

I know folks can have what we have called the "nymph twitch" and not wait long enough...
No insult taken. It's a good idea.

However, in my case, I fish for hexes during the dark so I don't actually see the take. I estimate just about where the fly is and I listen for the slurp. Sometimes the fish has not taken my fly but a real hex. Other times, the fish has taken my fly but I have not hooked the fish.

I get way more hook ups with the flex hex than the extended body hex. Before switching to the flex hex, I would "miss" 4/5s of the slurps and with the flex hex, I hoop up 3/4s of the slurps. Because I rarely see the take, I can't say for sure what is happening.

It was pitch black when I caught this one.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Hexes are here!

Thanks for the kudos guys, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I figured messing around with the new camera is a good practice and when a subject like this offers itself, even better!

Interesting pattern you shared Sliver, thanks for that. That's a beauty of a fish by the way! The stream I fish that gets them turns into a smallie stream once the warmer months hit so I am primarily targeting smallmouth when I am casting them. Like you silver, I'm doing so in the dark and often intermixed with white flies (Ephoron Leukon). I have my share of misses with both, it's a real challenge at night but let the fish do the work and hook themselves.

What hook were you using with your EB Hexes silver? I switched to a #8 2499BL from a standard hook. I can't say for certain if it's made a significant difference but the fly seems to ride better anyway.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Hexes are here!

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Originally Posted by jaybo41 View Post

What hook were you using with your EB Hexes silver? I switched to a #8 2499BL from a standard hook. I can't say for certain if it's made a significant difference but the fly seems to ride better anyway.
I can't remember what hook I was using. Probably a standard dry fly hook. I'm thinking I should have used a shorter shank hook with a wider gap.

For those of you that have never fished the Hex "hatch" (actually a spinner fall), it my part of Wisconsin it can get really spooky. I've had big animals crashing through the woods not 20 feet from me. Although I know it is probably a deer, I'm always afraid that it is a bear.

When the Hex start to fly over the stream, the bats come out and they sweep over the river. I've hooked bats several times.

Another key element is that I always fish a part of the river that I know very, very, well. Although I am fishing in the dark, I can place the fly accurately by feel. The way you do this is to either "pre-fish" the river during the day or fish the same area year after year. You stand where you plan to stand in the dark, close your eyes and see if you can cast to a spot with your eyes closed. I rarely hang up.

Our spinner falls are so heavy that I catch most of the fish at the beginning of the fall. When the spinners are full blown on the water, there are just too many flies on the water. So early in the spinner fall, I am pretty sure that a slurp is to my fly. Later on I am pretty certain that it is not and I have quite while the fish are still feeding because you just can't catch fish. The best nights of fishing are when there are enough flies to bring the fish up, but not so many that the fish get sated. During those times the fish feed throughout the spinner fall. So earlier in the Hex hatch season and then near the end of the hatch when the hatch is tailing off can be better fishing than when the spinner fall is heavy.

Sometimes when the spinner fall is really heavy, I will twitch the fly in an attempt to attract the fish to my fly. Usually it doesn't work though.

It's a paradoxical situation to most spinner falls because the Hexs are so large that the fish stop feeding during a heavy spinner fall and the actual fruitful fishing time can be relatively short, for example, 45 minutes or so. In most other mayfly spinner falls, the fish feed throughout the "hatch," Not so during a heavy hex "hatch."

Remember when fishing in the dark, take a backup small flashlight. I've had a batter go dead on me. So I take a head lamp and a small backup flashlight. Years ago, I came upon another fly fisherman whose flashlight had died.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Hexes are here!

That pretty much describes how it is for me here as well fishing the hexes and white flies. It's dark and there are animals crashing through the woods. Then there's the bats. You can see them as the sun starts to set dive bomb the stream and pick up the hexes, slate drakes or white flies. All of this can certainly be unnerving. I, like you, fish areas that I know well and am always certain to take not only my head lamp but a flashlight or two with me.

Up your way silver, that hatch is so prolific it shows up on radar. We get a good hatch of them, but not nearly as dense as what you get in your neck of the woods. I have also heard rumor of wolves in some of the counties were you could fish, it could always be those as well. One thing's for sure, be careful.
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Last edited by jaybo41; 06-13-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Hexes are here!

I took a couple of shots of it a while later that I did not upload, here they are. This guy was really working the camera.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Also played around with a photo editing program.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Hexes are here!

The Mississippi hatch is unbelievable. The highway dept gets out the snow plows to push the dead mayflies off the roads.

They like the bright lights of gas stations.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here are radar images centered on LaCrosse, Wi. In the upper right of the first image, you can see the city of Steven's Point which is about 30 miles to our south. My city is not labeled.

Until you have seen a major hex spinner fall, you can't imagine how heavy it can get. And you can't catch a fish because of how many naturals there are.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Hexes are here!

That's just unbelievable. I have seen images such as these before but each time I see radar images and the photos like these I am amazed by the significance of this hatch. I'd imagine we might have fished some similar waters, though in general you are NNE of where I am typically fishing when I'm in your state. The other thing that is interesting to me about this hatch is that while there are some great hatches and quite a variety of them for that matter, most are much more sporadic than this one. Or at least the ones I've come across so far anyway. By no means am I an expert on your region, I'm quite the newbie in fact.

When I fish the white fly hatch here on one of my streams for smallmouth, I often find myself in a similar situation. There are so many bugs it presents a problem to land fish. I keep a small (but larger than the natural) white popper with me for that reason and sometimes that gets the job done.

Really cool stuff Silver!
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