Northern Michigan Hex Hatch

Posted On: July 1, 2015 BY Delamere

          I recently got back from a Northern Michigan fishing the hex hatch. Had a great time….

          Starting about mid-June and through about mid-July the largest species of mayfly in North
America comes off of the waters of Northern Michigan rivers. When the hex comes off strong it seems to be more out of some horror movie than an actual biological event. You can hear them flying around with their giant wings beating. You look up into the moon light and see thousands of them passing by every second.

Size 4-8 dries and 0X-2X is the norm with these big guys at night

          What makes the hex even crazier is that the spinner fall occurs at night. The whole culture of the hex hatch is based around darkness. We would drop the drift boat in at around 6pm and trailer up around 4am. We would row down to hex water, anchor up, then wait. Once the fish would start rising you would give them some time to get into a rhythm. Then we would listen for good fish to rise. Row over to it and work it. The first fish I got into broke off 1X 13lb tippet. Not something that you want to happen. A real heart dropping moment. To my luck, less than 15 mins later another fish started rising 10 feet away. I hooked and boated it. A solid 22″ beautiful brown (first picture).

Isos would hatch pre-hex and spin right before offering a different dry fly opportunity.
Great rod for dries, but save the 6 and 7wts for the hex, you’ll need it…
A solid 19.5″ brown on the hex
Some mid-day fun waiting around for the big hatch 

          Hex fishing has a toll though- being up four nights in a row with about 100 mosquito bites isn’t the most fun you can have. But for having legitimate shots at two foot browns every night on dries I’ll put up with way more than sleep deprivation and bad bugs.
          On our way back to spent a night on the Pere Marquette River hex fishing with Tommy Lynch, one of Michigan’s best known fishermen. He knows the PM better than the back of his hand.

          Solid trip all around and such a different experience than anything we get to do in Cincinnati. Call us up if you have any questions- (513) 871-3474.

Tight Lines,

Alexander Helmicki

Cincinnati, OH  45208 
(513) 871-FISH
Mon-Thurs 10-8

Sun 11-5



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