At some point in every young angler’s life, you’ll have to sit them down and have “the hex talk.” Conversation timing completely depends on the person. Some may not be ready, some will, and others are already experimenting with hex—without you even knowing.
Here are a few key points to remember when it’s time for that all-important heart to heart, considering a lot of what’s portrayed in the media is not real:
1) You don’t just go out and immediately start having hex. The hatch bounces around, and a stretch of river that was blowing up with bugs one day won’t fish well the next.
2) Every hookup isn’t going to be with a trophy. Don’t feel bad about lowering your standards at times.
3) Just because every fish in the river is up and eating on the surface, doesn’t mean you’re going to score. You still need to spit a little game in the form of a well-timed drag-free drift.
4) Bring a wingman. Doing it in the dark is a team sport—especially if you’re in a boat. Good positioning is essential. Your wingman needs to be hyper-aware, focused on opportunities. And the guy on the rod needs to perform.
5) When it’s good, it’s addicting. Make sure they know their decisions can have lifelong consequences.
Finally, once you’ve had the talk, accept the fact that new anglers are going to be the ones making these decisions on their own. As much as you might want to, you can no longer control or dictate their actions.
And I already know what you’re thinking, If I sit down and talk hex with them, won’t that just make them want to do it more? Absolutely.