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> > 18-inch Hex hatch smallmouth!

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Jmd123July 2nd, 2011, 12:18 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Rather than driving up to the trout waters of the Au Sable and fighting for a parking space and a piece of river to fish, I decided to do the Hex hatch on Cooke Dam Pond by kayak, where I had some luck on the smallies a few weeks ago on dry flies in the evening. I got there about 8:00 p.m. and it was darned quiet for the next two hours, very few insects on the water and very few rises. I thought, man, I bet they're just waiting for...and sure enough, just when it started to get dark, here comes a great big mayfly crash-landing on the water. YEE-HAW, here we go!! Within minutes there were dozens of flies floating all around me and fish started rising everywhere. I only managed to catch one - another popped my blood knot and relieved me of both fly and tippet - but he was a fat 18-incher! It took at least 10 minutes to wear him out enough to get the net under him. Geez, this was probably my first Hex hatch fishing in 20 or more years!! And like my previous experiences, the mosquitos were at least as thick as the mayflies...

I will be back there again in a few days once the tourists thin out! Got five brookies on [REDACTED] Pond last night too from the kayak - two 6-inchers and one each of 8", 9", and 10", this time all on dry flies, first four on a #12 Adams and the last on a #10 Royal Wulff.


No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TroutnutJuly 2nd, 2011, 2:54 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Looks like a lot of fun!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
OldredbarnJuly 2nd, 2011, 12:02 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Love that towel Jonathon! :)

Nice fish there fella!

I have a picture I'm trying to figure out a way to get to you. It's from 1910 and shows the rapids there that Cooke Dam impounded...Before they built the dam...The number of "rapids" that have been changed in this state due to dam building is incredible. Who knows what the effects were from the loss of those areas.

The river looked serious in this photo from back then...


I'll send it to you via your regular email address.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123July 2nd, 2011, 1:02 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Hey Spence, one thing those dams did to the Au Sable was to eliminate the sturgeon run that used to occur there. They probably also sounded the final death knell for the Michigan grayling. Really too bad, I would love to have had those two fisheries as there are plenty of other smallmouth waters throughout the state (and they were most likely there anyway before the dams), and very few sturgeon and no grayling left anywhere in Michigan. And who knows what other fish runs or native populations were affected? If someone were to invent a time machine...Well, you just have to enjoy what's there now and hope nobody else comes along with some grand scheme to screw it all up again...

BTW, the towel served two purposes: 1) keep me a bit drier from all of the water dripping off my kayak paddle and 2) keep the damned mosquitos, deer flies, and stable flies off my legs!!! (Yeah, it is rather colorful - it's a beach towel...) Our substantial rainfalls of last week seem to have reinvigorated all of the bloodsuckers...Maybe it's time to try one of those clip-on insect repellers!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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