Hex were everywhere …on the water, over the water, on the boat, on me, everywhere except where the fish wanted them to be; where ever that was.
My friend Joe Reed had invited me to float for hex on the Au Sable. We vacillated back and forth because of weather, but finally pulled up our skirts and went. Joe’s boat is a comfortable craft with options I don’t have on mine, like an automatic anchor retrieve. Nice Boat.
The trip was great and for most of the seven hours we didn’t see anyone else. Eventually, several guided floats passed us on their way to their favorite spots to await the hex. We weren’t that focused and fished the entire float.
Off again / on again rain kept us scampering for our rain jackets, taking them off as soon as the rain subsided, to keep from sweating in our waders more than we had to. A break for a sandwich and Bloody Mary made the float even more comfortable.
Three fish were seen rising and each one had the same tactic: It rose once, not to be seen again. Three times that happened, once resulting in a hook-up, but only momentarily. Nothing we showed them made a difference.
By 11:15 p.m. the hex appeared and appeared and appeared. They were everywhere. The sound of them buzzing us was a welcome change from the pesky mosquitoes that were unbearable without repellent. It was one of the most prolific hatches of hex I’ve seen; certainly this year.
This next paragraph should describe the sound of trout rising, gorging themselves and the hits and misses of casting to the sounds of their splash, but there were none. For several hours we sat amidst the hatch waiting, listening for anything other than the sound of swarms of hexagenia limbata. It was mindboggling.
By 1: 30 we were off the water. We were off the water but the hex stayed with us. The boat, our gear, waders and coolers were still covered with them. Even when we removed the stuff from the boat, some remained for the ride back.
I can’t account for the lack of interest from the browns, I can only hope the scene of hex blanketing the water will be repeated and trigger a feeding frenzy.
It’s all good. And yes, it was worth the trip.