Hex on the Pend Oreille

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by IveofIone, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

    I was fishing the faster tailwater below Box Canyon Dam last evening amid a pretty big caddis hatch. I took 6 nice smallies on crawdad patterns and 1 monster red side on a caddis pattern. On the way home and just at dusk I stopped by the city park in Ione which is several miles above the dam. I was looking for big rises indicative of a hex hatch and saw many large boils and splashes across the river. I have seen big hex hatches on the river before but never seem to get around to fishing them. One of the problems is the size of the river itself which is about 1/4 of a mile wide right in town. There is more current than is apparent and once out in the center in a pontoon boat you head downstream in a hurry if not careful. Much of the water is difficult to access without a boat and launches are few and far between.

    Still it is apparent that the hexes are present and the pike haven't been able to harvest all of the decent trout. The Pend Oreille is really just the lower end of the Clark Fork so it harbors all of the species that inhabit the stream higher up. I have caught rainbows, redsides, brooks, west slope cutts and brown trout in addition to the largemouth, smallmouth, perch, crappie, bluegill and warmouth we have around here. Fishing has certainly declined in the past 3 years but the tribe and WDFW have taken out about 12,000 pike in the past 2 years I think and many of the 30# fish were among them. That should help but the gill netting was indiscriminate so that means lots of huge trout and bass had to be taken as well. Desperate conditions require desperate measures I guess.

    At any rate, I'll get down there with my pontoon or a pram in the next couple of evenings and sling some hex emergers. I still have my box of Merrill Lake patterns left over from the old days. But this evening I'll be back in the tailwater trying to trick big 'bows on caddis patterns.

  2. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Nice report, Ive. I've only fished a hex hatch once down at Merrill, what a hoot.

    I haven't been out for a while and just might have to hit the salt this weekend.
  3. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

    Knowing the Hex hatch is happening every evening right now on the UC is tickling the back of my brain. I need to get up there soon.
  4. Ron McNeal

    Ron McNeal Turtles or universes? I can't decide....


    Here's hoping you "hit" it. 'Tis a wonderful thing.
  5. Rod Wittner

    Rod Wittner Active Member

    Fishing the hex hatch is a blast. It can be pure mayhem at times. I have not had experience fishing the hex here in WA state, but in my native northern CA on the beloved Fall River. One of my good buddies took his boy out one evening last weekend and they had 4 takes, but were not able to hook up. It's still a blast none the less. I't love to find a good place to fish the hex hatch around here. Unfortunately, the UC is a bit far.
  6. I have had the pleasure of fishing the Hex hatch on the Fall river a number of times. It is something that everyone should give them selves the opportunity to participate in at some time in their fly fishing lifetime. The experience of witnessing this hatch is amazing, yes you get chances to catch big fish. Yet the fun of just trying as madness happens all around you is so delightful that when you are missing fish you get to laugh at yourself and others with pure joy. On the Fall river you also need to be careful to not hook one of the bats that may try and eat your fly.
    I also have fished the hex on Merrill lake. I have only tried it twice and for a couple of nights in a row both times. I have had success and great fun there as well. It's not the Fall river, but certainly worthy of planning a trip in my opinion.
    Rod Wittner likes this.