Hex Hatch Reports from Merrill Lake

> Friday July 14 at 8:50 PM I spotted my 1st Hexagenia for the year at
> Merrill Lake.  My first and only trout landed for the night was an 18" brown
>  which took a Welches Fly Fishing Shop emerger which I tied at your
> Sunday Hex Clinic last winter.   The fish came on a about 9:15 PM and
> quit at about 9: 45 PM even though there were still some bugs hatching.
> It should get good next week with the warm weather predicted.  Thanks
> Tightlines________________________________________________Richard Kennon

> I got up to Merrill Lake Thursday evening and fished the north end.  I got
> on the water around 6:30pm and found the typical eerie calm that precedes
> the hex hatch, where nothing else works and no fish feed until the
> maincourse arrives.  I saw a few old hex shucks on the water, so I knew
> there would be big bugs soon enough.  I pounded the willows with a #14 BH
> brown knee hackle and got one grab in an hour.  I tried a sealbugger in
> deeper water and got one pull.  I switched to a #8 Carey Special, which
> worked for me pretty well in the past on days like this, and I landed some
> cutthroats on it.  Nobody else was doing much.  There were six guys there
> at 7:30, but by 8pm there was a significant float tube hatch and I counted
> 14 of us on the north end waiting for the hexes.  One guy told me the
> has been coming off for over a week.  He also said there weren't many
> trout around anymore, that the Washington Fish & Game guys had quit
> planting browns a few years ago, and that most of the fish you catch now
> are native cutthroat.  He said the dwindling brown trout population
> probably was the reason for the greater numbers and size of the cutthroat.
> I managed to get several more cutts to pounce on my Carey while I yakked
> with this guy.  He wanted to know what I was doing, because no one else
> seemed to be having much luck.  I figured out that counting my Clear camo
> line down 30 seconds, then stripping it up in deliberate one foot pulls
> seemed to be the ticket.  Maybe they take the rising Carey for a hex
> Beats me.  I've tried hex nymphs there before and I have yet to even get a
> hit on one.  But for some reason the Carey consistently works.  The hex
> hatch got going good around 9:05.  I had strung up my floating line with
> adult dry fly at 8:45, and I didn't get a strike on it until just before
> 9pm.  The hatch lasted until 9:40.  It wasn't as heavy as I'd seen it on
> most evenings, but there were plenty of times I looked down to see a half
> dozen bugs around my tube.  The feeding activity wasn't as frenzied or as
> explosive as I remember it a couple years ago the last time I was there.
> Maybe it's because there aren't as many browns there now.  I didn't hook a
> single brown on top.  I think I had a brown nudge me underneath on my
> sealbugger earlier in the evening, but that's just a hunch.  I didn't see
> anyone else getting towed around by anything heavy, or even hear anyone
> they had a brown, so I'm guessing we all were hooking cutts--although one
> kid told me he had caught mostly rainbows.  I didn't hook any rainbows, so
> I wonder if he knew what he was looking at.  Most of the cutts I landed
> were 13 inches.  Not bad.
> Anyhow, I can confirm the hex hatch is on at Merrill and I've got photos
> prove it.  I heard a rumor that the hexes are up at Lost Lake, too.  I
> might go up there next week some night.  I dunno.  There's so much fishing
> to do.
> Tight lines, Hank

The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

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