The mother of all dry-fly hatches happens at night, in slower, sandy, silty water (often in June). The Hexagenia is worth traveling to Michigan or another state where these bugs hatch at least once in your lifetime. It’s difficult to cast this huge dry fly (usually two inches long or more) for long distances, but because they fall at night, you don’t have to pump out a long cast to fish the Hex with effect. Listen for the slurp, make the shot, and get ready.
The days are hot and it’s bright out there. Many of the mayflies have been gone for weeks. River currents are warming, clearing and dropping to seasonal lows. And the trout are riding out the lull between the epic hatches and full-on hopper season. They’re notoriously fickle, easily spooked, and opportunistic eaters at best.
In other words, it’s my favorite time to fly fish.
When other anglers choose to sit things out, I beat a hasty path to my home waters in Michigan specifically to play some “night games.” Because now is when I have a chance to surprise myself and make the big fish eat, provided I know what fly to throw and how to make it dance, just so. Here’s a little primer to help you fish after-hours flies...