A Hex Hatch flurry (the annual hatching of Hexagenia Mayflies) means swimming and flying creatures are about to have a banquet. Lake Almanor’s Hex Hatch is expected to begin this week, but Mother Nature is in charge of the exact dates. Photo by Jason Tucker and Alex Cerveniak

Get ready! Here comes Hex Hatch at Almanor

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

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The tough bite continues at Almanor. Water temperatures hover in the low 60s and lake level is dropping slowly. “We had a couple of weather cells drop significant amounts of rain today causing mudslides and road closures on both highway 36 and the Feather River Canyon,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association on June 12. “We will see mild weather this week before we get another cooling trend next weekend along with a slight chance of precipitation on Saturday.” High winds kept most boats off the water Sunday.

A close up of an individual Hexagenia Mayfly shows what all the fuss is about. The annual hatch means a buffet for fish and a celebration for fishermen who get in on the action. Lake Almanor Mayflies lean yellow in color. Photo by Jason Tucker and Alex Cerveniak

The trout bite was tough all week as fish continue to gorge on insects. “We go through this pattern every year when you mark fish, see them grabbing bugs on the surface and just can’t get them to bite your offering,” said Crotty. “There are fish scattered throughout the lake and you must put your time in for limited success.” Fishermen can choose their preferred method and hope for a half dozen bites a day. Boats are beginning to anchor up in anticipation of the upcoming Hex Hatch, with most guys on anchor using the Almanor Cocktail (cricket/meal worm combo), which imitates the Hex larva as it emerges through the water column. “We should see the Hex hatch get going this week,” said Crotty. Bass boats continue to catch quality small mouths off points and structures.

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There are many great articles from local guides on the Almanor Fishing Association website (Almanorfishingassociation.org) on how to fish the Hex hatch.  The West shore gets crowded and getting out of the water after dark can be challenging, that said if you are a fly fishermen, Almanor’s Hex hatch can be spectacular and well worth the trip. Quite often there will be thousands of Hex flies hatching each evening as ducks, geese, bats, trout, and bass are all feeding on the tasty high protein snacks. The local tackle stores all have time tested and proven Hex flies in stock.