It’s been a frosty one!  Who would have thought, back in early June, that the water temperatures would be too cold for the hex to hatch?  Yeah, we got there earlier this week.  But the fishing remained good, spirits stayed high, fish were caught on Isos, on streamers, on cahills(?), on little olives, and last night a good flight of hex in most of the watershed rewarded that optimism.  It’s been a wild hex season, with a lot more “dead” nights than normal.  I don’t know how much is left, and since the forecast doesn’t show much in the way of hot weather, the only way to find out will be to go fishing.

Anytime you’re outside after-hours your chances of a remarkable story increases dramatically.

I know of one angler who was faced with a decision to either take a pee break or cast at a rising trout.  He made the obvious choice:  He pissed his waders and then caught the trout.

One boat of anglers had a bobcat swim over their rising trout.

Nature fact:  moles can swim!  An angler had a mole swim right across the river…fast!

Along the way, good trout were caught.  I saw some great pictures last night.  But it hasn’t been hex-centric.  The cold weather has made it a diverse and odd peak season.  Young anglers are getting brought up right:

A family fish!

The full moon has made the trout picky on the hex flies.  Fluorocarbon tippets have helped.  Lighter tippets.  Plastic-winged flies (disdained by some, but I like ’em).  Hoard the cast:  Don’t just keep throwing the fly the fish rejected.  Cast, wait, cast.  Wait for a rise.  Cast…  Go smaller:  Use a size 8 instead of a size 6.  Keep changing.  Not every night is a hex bonanza.  If the fish is super-picky, go 4x and a brown drake.

The rivers are low and clear.  Every year, the river goes from spring to summer during hex.  It’s amazing.  It seems like every weed in the river grows in these three weeks.  The damselflies and deer flies are out.  The daytime attractor fishing has improved steadily since the heat wave of two weeks ago.  Pretty soon the little tricos will provide yang to the hex yin, and the #18 olives will hatch in the mornings, and the river will be a summer river.  It’s an exciting time of year, that’s for sure, and unsettled forecasts like we have promise a little bit of everything:  Streamers, dry flies, olives, Isonychias, dry/dropper…and, for a few more nights at least, hex!