As we hit the August mid-way point, the fishing does too. After a long summer, the fish are starting to get wise to what we are trying to do and have been getting good at discriminating our presentations and angling attempts. In other words – they are getting wise, smart and elusive.
The Trico hatch on the upper Manistee and Boardman rivers is winding down after five weeks of relatively consistent match-the-hatch dry fly fishing for mostly smaller fish, but some nice surprises along the way, too. The water clarity has been commensurate with this time of year creating limited chances on the trout – one or two presentations before they get wise to our intentions and stop rising.
The terrestrial and attractor bite has slowed a bit too but is still a good way to cover the water and get some fish to rise to the surface. Smaller hoppers, obscene foam and rubber patters and smaller ants and beetle patterns have all been working most days. Smaller streamer patterns fished on floating lines and less aggressively than the heavy-handed streamer approach have taken some nice fish, too.
The largemouth bass and bluegill fishing remains decent for those looking for some still water fishing and it’s a great way to start or end the day in when the sun isn’t so bright. The typical water and smaller patterns (think rubber legs and X) have been working on the smaller fish while mid-sized poppers and divers have been taken some nice bass along weed lines and structure. Diving/swimming frogs are a favorite of mine (and the bass) and are a lot of fun to fish. If you are using a lighter weight rod, consider using a large Turk’s Tarantula to get a similar diving action without the wind resistance.
Salmon/Steelhead Combo – Late Sept. through early October offers a chance at both species on the Manistee.
Fall Steelhead – October, November and into December, these fish will bend your rod like no other – experience it.
Trout/Steelhead – The lower Manistee offers some great streamer fishing for trout in late Fall as another option.