The Hex?

I always love these stories...From the WSJ
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Some Wisconsin and Minnesota residents had a big cleanup job this week after a huge swarm of mayflies emerged from the Mississippi River, blanketing light posts, making roadways slick and lighting up radar screens.

At least one traffic accident was blamed on the infestation that lasted only a few hours Sunday evening while the bugs conducted their frenzied annual mating ritual.

Kwik Trip gas stations in Red Wing, Minn., are still recovering from the mayflies, which flocked to windows, price signs, parking-lot lights and fuel pumps, officials said. Vehicles have been coming nonstop to the Kwik Trip's carwash since Sunday, leaving it reeking of dead bugs.

"The Mississippi River is a great asset but we don't need the smell of it in the carwash," said David Ring, Kwik Trip's community-relations coordinator.

Similar swarms could show up in other regions as water temperatures reach optimal temperatures for different varieties of the bugs. The right temperature triggers the newly winged adult mayflies to emerge en masse from the water. The bugs are usually all dead within a few days.

"Their only function as adults is to disperse and to mate and to reproduce and lay eggs," said Arwin Provonsha, a retired Purdue University faculty member and mayfly expert.

On Sunday night, swirls of green, yellow and blue splashed across radar screens at the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wis., as though a rainstorm were pelting the region on an otherwise clear night.

Dan Baumgardt, science and operations officer for the weather service in La Crosse, said the swarm's size indicates another one from the same species probably won't happen again in the region this summer.

Drivers on Sunday evening struggled through the bevy of bugs as they coated vehicles' headlights. The layer of mayflies underneath their tires caused a three-car accident on the Highway 63 bridge that connects Hager City, Wis., and Red Wing, officials said. One passenger went to the hospital to be treated for injuries, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Mr. Provonsha said the bugs were more intense in decades past. Snowplows had to remove 3-foot-high piles of mayflies from roadways and bridges. But the bugs disappeared once pollution became a problem in water that they liked to inhabit.

The mayflies, which don't bite or sting, returned once the water became less polluted. Indeed, the bugs are considered a good indication of water quality, as well as a friend to fishermen.

"This is peak fly-fishing time because mayflies have landed on the water surface to lay eggs," Mr. Provonsha said.

Replies

  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 24,398 Senior Member
    I was hoping you had pics. Someone posted one on FB that was like something out of a Hitchcock movie.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 24,398 Senior Member
    10556275_772418832778462_6179560030708715358_n.png
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    joekrz wrote: »

    I've never fished the Hex Hatch at night. I've actually fished through it during the day a couple of times though. I went up one time and the water was like light coffee. The Hex must have thought it was night and were coming off - **** were they loud hatching.

    Fish had no visibility so weren't coming up. I had some Golden Stone nymphs in my box from a trip out west. I guess the fish could see them or feel them. Turned into a real good day, although those nymphs were truly a pain to cast.
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    Steven wrote: »
    Fish had no visibility so weren't coming up. I had some Golden Stone nymphs in my box from a trip out west. I guess the fish could see them or feel them. Turned into a real good day, although those nymphs were truly a pain to cast.


    sigh. . . . . '''''''''
    <Shakes head, walks away mumbling>
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    You're not getting it.

    You know how far you were casting in that video? That's farther than many Driftless creeks are wide. Try casting a heavily weighted stone fly nymph 30' straight upstream on an 8'6" 4 weight.
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    You've hurt my heart.

    My heart is with the nymphs.

    I'll sell you a 10' 6 weight :)
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 0
    sherb wrote: »
    You've hurt my heart.

    My heart is with the nymphs.

    I'll sell you a 10' 6 weight :)

    Great. I could CN on to the far bank. If there is a bank.
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,233 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    I've never fished the Hex Hatch at night. I've actually fished through it during the day a couple of times though. I went up one time and the water was like light coffee. The Hex must have thought it was night and were coming off - **** were they loud hatching.

    Fish had no visibility so weren't coming up. I had some Golden Stone nymphs in my box from a trip out west. I guess the fish could see them or feel them. Turned into a real good day, although those nymphs were truly a pain to cast.

    I used to fish it religiously when it came off for about 10 years straight. I would leave the house around 7pm and not return until about midnight - 1am. I even did this during the work week...3-4 times a week plus the weekend. Spent many a days sucking coffee trying to stay awake at the desk.

    The novelty of it has somewhat wore off for me. Seems I only make it out once a year now. Made it once last year in late July but haven't made it this year.

    Have only caught it twice during daylight hours. Once at 6am when out for tricos and another time at about 2 in the afternoon. No dirty water conditions at all...they just started hatching outside of their normal time frame.

    I have some video footage of the afternoon hatch but can't seem to locate it right now.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,233 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    You're not getting it.

    You know how far you were casting in that video? That's farther than many Driftless creeks are wide. Try casting a heavily weighted stone fly nymph 30' straight upstream on an 8'6" 4 weight.


    Not a problem. I cast size 6 heavily weighted thin mints in the driftless with my 9' 3 weight in March and April.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
  • magallowaymagalloway Senior Member Posts: 1,030 Senior Member
    I spent yesterday evening fishing a golden drake hatch here in Maine--something I'd never experienced before. It was forty-five minutes of pure carnage, and I actually stopped fishing after six fish just to sit there and watch. These things' bodies alone were the size of my little finger, and throwing a #6 Wulff into the mayhem and hoping a good fish would choose it out of the many hundreds on the water at any given moment seemed like the lottery rather than fishing with any skill involved. It was something else to cross off my bucket list, though, and pretty damned exciting to see. Cindy the Retired Lady was still up reading when I got home, began to ask if I'd had fun, then saw the grin on my face and said, "Never mind."

    Jim
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 10,043 Senior Member
    On the Yellow Breeches in Boiling Springs, PA there is an annual hatch of humongous brown drakes. Unfortunately it coincides with the white fly hatch. The instant the size 16 white flies appear each evening the trout go for them, ignoring the size 6 or 8 drakes that are almost as abundant. Those white flies must be really tasty.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 4,824 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    You've hurt my heart.

    My heart is with the nymphs.

    I'll sell you a 10' 6 weight :)
    I didn't know you had a heart...
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,334 Senior Member
    I didn't know you had a heart...

    Good point, he can't possibly be a real conservative.
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,233 Senior Member
    George K wrote: »
    On the Yellow Breeches in Boiling Springs, PA there is an annual hatch of humongous brown drakes. Unfortunately it coincides with the white fly hatch. The instant the size 16 white flies appear each evening the trout go for them, ignoring the size 6 or 8 drakes that are almost as abundant. Those white flies must be really tasty.

    White fly being the Ephoron hatch or are you referring to a different mayfly?
  • WetdogWetdog Senior Member Posts: 5,149 Senior Member
    I remember one night driving across the bridge to La Crosse, I never saw the bridge because of the May/flies or whatever they were. I was barely able to see the center line. If I hadn't seen it we were going to be screwed. Not as scary as the drive up that mountain overlook of Denver. Swicthback after switchack, narrow, one and a half lanes, no guardrails and the dreaded moth hatch. I still don't how we made it.
    I find the assault on free thought disturbing,
    I find the willingness to give it up frightening.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 10,043 Senior Member
    Wetdog wrote: »
    I remember one night driving across the bridge to La Crosse, I never saw the bridge because of the May/flies or whatever they were. I was barely able to see the center line. If I hadn't seen it we were going to be screwed. Not as scary as the drive up that mountain overlook of Denver. Swicthback after switchack, narrow, one and a half lanes, no guardrails and the dreaded moth hatch. I still don't how we made it.

    Same thing happens along the Susquehanna when river white flies hatch (larger than the Breeches' white flies). At times bridges are closed and the AA Senator's ball games are suspended. They play on an island at Harrisburg.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.

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