Back Lake Hex Hatch Update: 6/28
Placid night on Back Lake last night, but that has been the exception lately, and definitely not the norm. Unsettled weather has been hanging around us and most of northern New England, leading one to wonder why the Hexagenia hatch has been “off” this year …
Let’s be clear – the hex hatch is going on at Back Lake, but it has lacked the intensity that it normally has most nights.
For instance, I was able to get out on the lake Monday night and while there were occasional hexes coming off around us, particularly from 8:30 until dark, the number of hexes springing in to action wasn’t anything to get too excited about. We noticed quite a few coming off however (and fish taking them) as we motored back to the dock in the waning moments of light we had left. Similar story last night – sporadic hatching until almost dark, then things really started to pop (there were quite a few at the Tall Timber dock at 10 PM last night).
A Couple of Observations:
One explanation why this has been happening could be the constant cold, rainy weather that we’ve had the last couple of weeks. Hexagenia thrive when it’s hot and humid – and we’ve had almost none of either lately, and the rain has kept the water temp colder than it usually is at this time of the season.
It’s not just the rain either … daytime temps have been cooler this past week too, and it’s been downright chilly most nights out on the lake. It was well in to the 50’s when we left the lake Monday night, and it was the same last night. One angler noted to me last night that this is the first time that he’s had to wear a sweatshirt while fishing out on the lake during the hex hatch – now that’s not right!
We always lose a couple of nights during the hex hatch to thunderstorms as well, and that has been the case this year too (Tuesday, last Saturday). In fact, there’s been quite a few rainbows displaying on the lake, and while beautiful, they usually signify unsettled weather moving in and out. We don’t like unsettled weather … we want heat and humidity.
But this seems to be a different “summer” … not much of one really so far. Let’s hope that changes quickly.
Another observation is the lack of fish activity until very late in the evening. While it’s generally accepted that the hatch and fish activity gets better the later it gets, we have noticed fewer fish “working” when there’s still some daylight. A cruising trout (an exposed dorsal fin indicates a comfortable, feeding trout) is probably the most exciting part of the hex hatch, and there has been less of that this year, in my humble opinion.
I don’t have a good theory for this one, but perhaps this works. With fewer hexagenia coming off when there’s more light, the trout aren’t “throwing caution to the wind” in their feeding habits like they normally do. When they are feeding heavily and cruising, we have a hard time seeing it, because it’s already too dark. That’s the best one I can think of …
There should be more activity on the lake the next week or two, and perhaps all of this weather will have a side benefit of prolonging the hatch. Tight lines!