Lakes Near Seattle That Support A Hexagenia Hatch?

Breck

The Whisky Guy
#1
Hi folks,

I'm relatively new to the Puget Sound area. One of my favorite pastimes is to fish Merrill Lake near Mt St Helens in the evenings in late July/August during the hex hatches. Is there anywhere to do that around here?
 

Taxon

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Ron-

Interesting info on Hexagenia hatches in Michigan. There are likely numerous WA lakes which have small populations of Hexagenia. Lake Washington is one example, as I usually see a Hexagenia dun clinging to my garage door sometime in August each year. Unfortunately however, the Hexagenia population in most WA lakes is insufficient for the type of emergence concentration it takes to get fish looking for them.
 
#6
I can think of a couple lakes and rivers that support decent hatches of hex on the eastside. I try to hit them every year, but some summers are real spotty, while other years it's like hitting the lottery. The only place I'll give up is the Columbia River, but you have to get out and find them:beer2:
 

IveofIone

Active Member
#7
The Pend Oreille River has them south of Ione. Since most people are off of the river by the time the hex emerge they go largely unnoticed. And like other places that they hatch the river comes alive at dusk when everything from dinks to hogs get in on the action.

Ive
 
#9
There are likely numerous WA lakes which have small populations of Hexagenia. Lake Washington is one example, as I usually see a Hexagenia dun clinging to my garage door sometime in August each year. Unfortunately however, the Hexagenia population in most WA lakes is insufficient for the type of emergence concentration it takes to get fish looking for them.
Lake Washington is a big lake (obviously). Makes me wonder if there's a certain shoal or other location that would have this kind of concentration.
 

Taxon

Moderator
Staff member
#10
Lake Washington is a big lake (obviously). Makes me wonder if there's a certain shoal or other location that would have this kind of concentration.
Nice thought, Matt, but not very likely. When more that one person knows, any secret eventually gets out.
 
#11
I've seen them in several neighborhoods around the lake, however because of the wind, there's no telling where they exited the water at. Someone needs to talk to the fish, I'll bet they know!
 

Breck

The Whisky Guy
#12
I would imagine anywhere with a muddy bottom in about 4'-6' depth would do the trick. Problem is, I know more about outer space than I do about the bottom of Lake WA.

Thanks for the replies, fellas. I may just take a weekend trip to Merrill Lake this Summer. At least there, I know what I'm doing. There are hefty cutts, 'bows, browns, and the occasional brookie. I've seen the action get pretty crazy at times. You get the added entertainment bonus of getting to watch a BIG bald eagle swoop down from a high tree branch to steal a hooked fish...oftentimes YOURS. Once he jacks a nice trout though, he flies back to his perch to feast and leaves everyone alone for the remainder of the evening.

Has anyone else here fished the hex hatch on Merrill?
 
#13
Yes I have fished the Hex at Merrill. Pretty amazing and seeing all of those bugs and everything feeding on them going nuts at dusk. I try to catch the hatch early in the cycle - so I have a chance of fishing throughout the day using other patterns and still catch fish. Once the fish are just keyed in on the Hex - they are pretty lock jawed the whole day and just wait for the hatch. It makes for a pretty intense couple of hours of fishing - but that is it. Makes the rest of the day kind of boring. If you time your visit to Merrill just right and don't go too late in the year - then you can catch fish in day and then enjoy the hatch at night.

The Eagle thing is kind of cool the first couple of times it happens to you - but then it gets to be a real pain in the arse after the third or fourth time. That damn thing(s) get to close for my comfort - BTW there is a pair of them up there.
 

Tony

Left handed Gemini.
#14
Yes there is a hex hatch at kitsap lake the only problem is the time of day and the season when they come off, its very hard to fish kitsap with all the boats and water skiers that converge there. One reason that there aren't more places with them is water pollution and with all the boats at kitsap that hatch will probably be destroyed.