My fishing pal and I were ready for the legendary Hex Hatch on Fall River. We had been reading up everything we could find on the internet about the hexagenia limbata. This time in late June was perfect and we were ready!
Our arrival at the Spinner Fall Lodge felt just right in the late morning sun shining through some big trees that separate a big meadow from the lodge. Some of the fellas from the Shasta Trinity Fly Fishers club were just finishing packing to leave. They had booked the first three day segment, and we had the final three days. They told us some fish were caught, but not nearly as many as in years past. They suggested we use one of the guides since we were beginners in this fishery.
We checked in, talked to Cody Waltrip about a guided trip for the following day (it’s best to book him through the Fly Shop), and headed right for the launching ramp. A small detour was necessary though. Since the hex hatch happened right at dark, we would need a spot lamp to navigate back up the river, so we went into Fall River Mills to buy one. Then we went right down to the launch for the beginning of our exploration.
After we got on the water, a few minutes were spent looking at the river near the red barn, and then headed up river where some other boats had gone. We found a couple of nice looking spots to fish, but flailing away at them produced maybe one small take. Oh boy this is going to be tough!
Sitting in the blazing hot afternoon sun on the water in an open boat started us thinking maybe a short nap was in order. Further more the hunger bug was bugging us too, so back to the lodge we went. The hex hatch was still about four hours away after all. We may as well rest up!
A few luxurious minutes of nap time recharged our excitement, so off to the dinning room we went. I didn’t take notes about what we chowed down on, but the chef sent us some really great meals. (I was told there will be an even better chef there in 2013) We made it back to the boat about seven o’clock, and headed down river where the hatch was slated to be. Luckily we followed a couple of other boats that left at the same time. This was a stroke of good fortune, because the distance traveled was a bit more than first thought. On our own we may have stopped short of the hex hatch area, and missed out entirely.
We found a spot to anchor up a few hundred yards down river of the confluence with the Tule River, and once again began flailing away. Our fly selection was about what we perceived the literature to recommend, and what some other angler’s had described, but there were no takes. The fish jumping everywhere around us drove us a little crazy. We were afraid the hex hatch was going to be a bomb.
The funny thing is the hex hatch had not even started yet. When people said “right at dark” they were telling the exact truth about it. At our lowest point of excitement, and thinking about heading back to the barn, the hatch started!
We had anchored so our casting was right into the moon light. Luckily that was perfect. The water just exploded with fish, and there were these gigantuous bugs flying around everywhere. We only had a couple of grabs, but boy was that exciting. We couldn’t wait to get back there the following night!
I will continue on with the next day in a post a few days from now. I hope you have found it entertaining.