The trout fishing and matching-the-hatch has kept smiles on angler’s faces when they figure out what flies the fish want. This time of year on the upper Manistee, AuSable and Boardman River a lot of different bugs can be found on the water making for some technical dry fly fishing.
If headed to the river, be prepared to see: Sulphurs, little yellow sallies, medium brown stoneflies, Isonychias, the last of the light Hendricksons, caddis, Mahoganies, GSO/Basale, Gray Drakes and more. In addition to having precise imitations of the duns/adults, it’s a good idea to have a selection of Robert’s Yellow Drakes for duns and Borcher’s drakes for the spinner falls as they both do a great job of imitating many of these mayflies in those stages. Have some Brown Drakes, too. Check the batteries in the head-lamp and be prepared to fish up until dark as with the warmer weather the spinner falls have been going late into the evening. And definitely have some bug spray for the mosquitoes and ticks – it’s that time of year.
To learn more about the various bugs you are likely to see on the water over the next couple of weeks, read, “Trout Fishing Before the Hex Hatch.”
River conditions are close to ideal and already in the low to mid-60s but running a little too clear on those sunny days. The streamer fishing has slowed a little except when it’s overcast, then present your favorite array of streamers – as long as they are olive, baitfish, and/or brown.
The carp on the Grand Traverse Bay are just starting to expose themselves to the shallow waters but with the cooler spring, they just aren’t in shallow and eating much just yet. With a forecast of warmer weather look for the waters to warm further and provide some good but challenging angling for these mysterious fish. A few smallmouth bass have been in shallow on pre-spawn maneuvers so keep your eye out for these guys cruising as well as fishing any heavy structure that looks worthy of a cast.
Bluegill fishing continues to offer some really good fishing in the shallows and near breaks with protective males and hungry females coming to the fly. While top water spiders/terrestrials are a lot of fun, the swum nymph and very small streamer can produce some bigger fish. The largemouth bass fishing, too, has been good with a mix of presentations working.
It’s a great month to fish – don’t miss out.
Lost and Found: I found a fly rod and reel at 4 Mile Bend Access on the Upper Manistee June 9th. If you are the owner, contact me to identify the make and model and I will see to it that it gets returned.
Trout, Tricos & Terrestrials – Through July and August. A half-day trip on the river is a great way to start the day.
Fall Steelhead – From late Sept. through November, these fish will bend your rod like no other – get your dates.
2017 Fishing – Plan your year around your fishing – get your dates on the calendar, life will fit in around it.