After some significant rains on the Upper Manistee, the water levels have receded and cleared up – it was odd to see the river like it was since this time of year the water is typically low and clear. The dry fly bite had diminished a bit with all the food being washed into the system subsurface but the Tricos most mid-mornings brought up some fish to the surface. The warmer weather in the forecast should start those hatches a little earlier in the a.m. as the forecast is calling for summer like temperatures as we near the unofficial end of Summer and August.
A variety of patterns deserve a place in your box this time of year. Besides male trico spinners, you will want terrestrials including hoppers and flying ants. It seems the fish want more action in the flies than normal – mix it up as each day’s preference is different. Other attractor patterns like mid-sized dries with foam and rubber legs give the fish a reason to eat on top, but fishing some small streamers sub-surface on a floating line can save the day.
The salmon that entered the Betsie and Manistee rivers a week ago have mostly dispersed throughout the river systems and aren’t as concentrated as we would like. Without favorable cool, n.w. winds on Lake Michigan to congregate fish near river-mouths and with warm weather in the forecast it might be a while before the number of fish improve. As “fall” and early fall-like weather approaches in September look for things to change as more fish migrate upstream.
Bass and bluegill fishing on the inland lakes have improved after last week’s cooler weather. Action around the lily pads is where once should focus on casting their flies – large poppers and sliders for the bass and smaller terrestrial patterns for the bluegill/panfish near the structure – woods, weeds, and depth changes.
Trout – August fly fishing with terrestrials and tricos on the Upper Manistee River.
Salmon– A few great dates remain in mid-September for salmon fishing on the Bestsie River.
Fall Steelhead– From the end of September through November – this is the time of year for Steelhead.