July 14th, 2011: Pike & the Hex

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So I’m fishing one of my usual haunts looking for a single larger trout to wrestle with then head home. I’m tossing a #8 Olive SMB when a swell in the surface of the water appears as I’m stripping my fly in, my line goes taught then pulls…HARD, then…nothing. Limp. My line has no fly attached to it. I figured since I didn’t see the culprit that it must have been big. I tie on another fly and get back to it when whack, I set the hook. This fish is fighting hard, I get it to my feet when I realize it’s not a trout. It’s a decent small mouth bass? Ok I guess, then right as I’m about to net the fish he shakes my hook. Not a big deal. I go back for more. Three casts later I’m looking at a good sized rainbow but before I could even think about reaching for the net I get the shake…again? Ugh. So by this point with the heat, the weeds, the humidity…I’m maybe frustrated. I decide a couple more casts then I’m gone. Last cast of the day when I get a hit and bring in…a northern pike, my first on a fly. Serious? My thoughts then turned to the first fish, the line breaker. Was it a larger pike? Perhaps. On my way home I stopped to get gas and noticed the first of many, Hexagenia Limbata. The attendant said the firsts ones started showing up around 5am the morning of the 14th. They are here and the big hatches are going to pop soon.

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4 Comments:

  1. Teeny pike. They are what i suspect would be the dominate native bio-mass in the majority of our creeks if the exotic Browns and Rainbows were not about.

    Hex peak was Thursday/Friday. Sometimes they cycle emerge meaning another big pop could happen again, for a day or so, wihtin the next week.

  2. Looks more like a small muskie to me because of the vertical pattern of markings on the body (muskie) as compared to a horizontal pattern of markings on a northern pike. Count the pores on the bottom of the lower jaw to tell for sure.

  3. Nope. That’s a pike. The sloping of the snout is a dead give away. I catch a few teeny muskies every year tossing flies to smallies and the snout and the coloration (heavy Dark bars on a light background indicate a musky; whereas thin light bars on a dark background indicate a pike). The round tips of the tail also indicate a pike. Most of the muskies I run across generally don’t have any spotting or markings on their fins either. FWIW.

  4. Thanks for the feedback guys, I figured it was a pike but thats only because I knew where I was and I believe pike are far more common than muskie. Either way a pretty cool looking fish and rather unexpected.

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