It’s that time of year, Maine is bombarded with tourists from around the country and the Hexagenia hatch has started. You just yelled to your wife or buddy and said, ” what the hell is a hexaginia?”. The Hex is a larger version of the green drake. It’s yellow and about a inch to inch and a half long. Typically, I can see them on the water from long distances. This is the most exciting hatch of the year for me. Simply put, the big brook trout just get stupid during it!
Maine has hundreds of lakes and ponds. Many of them have mucky bottoms and are full of old dead cedar trees. Both are ideal for these big yellow mayflies. They live on the bottom of these ponds and lakes. So if the bottom of the lake is rocky, it is less likely to have a good hatch.
I like to fish a couple of patterns for this hatch. During the day I will fish a big hex nymph just under the surface or Maine’s famous Maple Syrup fly. If I see a rising fish in the middle of the day I will try to get a cast to it and the nymph often produces a strike and a large trout. I will also use a sinking line and strip the nymph through different water levels looking for a strike. Often the day is unproductive because the fish are waiting for the mayflies to hatch. The hex will sit and dry their wings and this is when the big fish take advantage. I use a light yellow muddler and cast to the rising fish. Many times they will come right back for another meal. When the fish are keying in on the adults , I will use an extended body yellow mayfly pattern.
Usually you will only have a half hour to an hour before dark to really get into some great action. I will typically have two rods ready in case I tangle or break one off. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of all that action and breaking a line and needing to stop and prepare another rod. I have been there and it isn’t fun trying to get back in the game. Especially when you have large trout making huge splashes right beside your boat.
I have seen them hatch as early as the end of June and as late as August. Spend time on a pond that you think has them, talk to other fishermen or check out www.maineflyfish.com, people often post when they start seeing them.
I would love to hear how you do, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.