Friday, September 19, 2014

Trickle In Effect- TK's Sept. 19, 2014 Fly Fishing Report

Trickle-In Effect

The nice weather is continuing to hang-on leaving us a little behind in weather and our run of migratory salmon. With the lack of consistent (or at least a few days) of North or Northwest winds to really drive the water up along the shoreline with the fish, the salmon will continue to trickle into the area rivers. It is looking to be a long run on the rivers this year.
The Betsie – with it’s cooler water (low 50s) – has fish in it but there are more to come. With the calendar advanced and the cool water temps, some fish are starting to begin their spawning while some fish remain in holes.  For the bigger, brighter and fresher fish look for the deeper holes and pocket water to hold the aggressive fish – any consistent pattern this past week has been chartreuse with orange egg patterns and black stone flies but since they are salmon, sometimes you have to go through the fly box to find what might work on that particular day.
The Manistee also has some fish in it, but there are many more in the lake that need to point themselves upriver to improve the fishing. Looking at the forecast, I don’t necessarily see that happening but there are fish to be caught – just not as many as there should be for this time of year. A steelhead or two are within the river and like the salmon, these numbers will only increase with time.
Trout fishing reports have been mixed on the Upper Manistee. The higher water levels offered some good streamer fishing however it has slowed with the water dropping and getting closer to normal.  Look for this weekend’s rain to change that. The nice weather in next week’s forecast should get the terrestrials back to the river’s edge and hopefully on the water to get the fish looking up – the late summer/early fall can be a great time with terrestrials on those days when the bugs are active in the warmth. This time of year you pretty much have the trout fishing to yourself – enjoy it.
Good luck,
Ted

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It's Starting to Feel Like Fall Fishing-TK's Fall Salmon and Steelhead Report


After last week’s heavy rain, conditions have improved but salmon numbers are still off. The water came up significantly but has also come down since and clarity has improved making it almost ideal conditions especially with bright skies. Today’s wind out of the north should help push fish closer to river mouths and get fish sniffing around  looking for their native river and eventually head upstream. If anything it has been close to a month since we have had good north or north-west winds to get fish staged close which is why last week’s rain didn’t influence an abundant number of fish to migrate upstream. With today’s wind and rain it is starting to feel like fall and fall fishing.
There are some King/Chinook salmon in the Betsie and Manistee rivers but they have been hard to target as they have been on the move. Most years they stage very well but his year for some reason they haven’t been.  There hasn’t been a predominate fly pattern that has been working better than another so mix it up and hold on tight when you do hook-up as they are still fresh and strong.
The trout fishing has been off a little on the upper Manistee thanks to the high volume of water. This can be a great time for the streamer angler as water temps continue to dip and the days get shorter. When the water is stained and the angling pressure is light some of those ornery browns slip out of their cover and can eat big.
Good luck,
Ted

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Weekend Fly Fishing Report


Labor Day Weekend Fly Fishing Report


With Labor Day weekend here, we find ourselves with summer like conditions which might be fitting considering how long it took summer to get here.
The trout fishing on the upper-Manistee has improved especially when combined with overcast conditions.  Most days though when the sun is high and bright the fish are gone into the wood piles making for mornings and evenings the best time to be on the water. The Tricos are still around mid-morning but they are winding  down – like most mayflies this year their emergence was spotty. The smaller streamers have been working well when fished with a floating line and rapidly twitched. Terrestrials and rubber-legged attractors have been fun to fish with some days the fish really responding well to them – especially twitched.
Because of the nicer weather and lack of rain, the migration of salmon into the local rivers (Betsie, Manistee, Boardman) has been very limited. While we have had some rain – and more is expected – we haven’t had the winds to congregate fish near the river mouths that combined with the wind bring the fish in. Each year is different with the run so you have to be flexible even though in the past this time of year has been great.  I suspect that with the lake temperatures being what they are and the fish scattered, fish will trickle in until conditions unify. Look for the salmon run/migration to be long lasting and prolonged this year.
Good luck,
Ted

Saturday, August 16, 2014

TK's Fly Fishing Report for Traverse City Area- Manistee River, Boardman River

Cool-Down and Warm-Up Coming

A bit of a cold front came through the region slowing the fishing a bit, but providing continued cool water temps and a bit of rain that the rivers and fish both liked. You will still find the rivers in good shape and fishable including the Manistee and Boardman.
Hatches have been pretty much limited to Tricos in mid-morning – with late morning being the case after a cold night. Attractor patterns and terrestrials (hoppers, Foam and Rubber) are bringing some fish up to the surface and more often than not they are looking for that bug to be chugging, twitching and skittering rather than dead-drifted.  Below the surface, look for medium sized streamers fished on either floating lines or small sink-tip lines to tease some fish into playing our game.
Bass and bluegill fishing on the lakes is still a good bet with water temperatures staying cool. Some days are better than others and I suspect the forecast over the next 10 days will provide some stable and warm conditions ideal for getting these fish back on the feed.  Surface and subsurface flies are working – it’s just a matter of which or what they want any particular day.
With the recent rains, cool down and northerly winds, a few salmon have staged at the river mouths and even a few have slipped into the local rivers. The warmer weather in store should put a hold on the migration until later but there is no doubt fall is right around the corner – what happened to summer?
Good luck,
Ted
 Tricos and Terrestrials for Trout – July and August  fly fishing for trout on the Upper Manistee River
Salmon- Fresh fish can enter rivers as early as mid-August and offer great fishing through September.
Fall Steelhead- From the end of September through November – this is the time of year for Steelhead.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tricos and Terrestrials for Trout-TK's Fly Fishing Report

Tricos and Terrestrials for Trout

Our cooler summer is keeping  water temperatures nice and cool and the fish sassy.  Ranging from the upper 50s to low 60s and with a good flow, the upper Manistee and Boardman look a little different for this time of year.
Mid-morning hatches of Tricos have been taking place but vary a little based on how long it takes for the air to warm up; some mornings it takes a little longer for those small bugs to hit the water and the fish to look up.  There aren’t many other bugs on the water right now except for a light hodge-podge of mayflies – including Cahills, BWOs and Isonychias.  
With fewer bugs on the water and hatch to match, now is a good time to transition into the terrestrial fishing – that is hoppers, ants, beetles, cicadas and most patterns tied with foam and rubber legs.  As the summer extends these land-loving bugs find themselves on the water and vulnerable to trout. Fish them dead-drift with the occasional twitch and if that doesn’t work, put a lot of twitch and motion in them (not necessarily drag) for some reaction. 
Small streamers, too, are working when the surface activity isn’t taking place. Work the structure with weighted patterns on a floating line and see if you can’t tease some fish out of their bunkers.
The lake fishing remains good for largemouth bass and bluegill fishing. The bigger poppers and sliders have been fooling the larger bass where the small spiders, swimming nymphs and streamers are working for the bluegill/panfish. Weed growth and lily pads have been a great place to start as is structure near breaks in water depth. 
Smallmouth fishing in the lower Manistee remains an option for those looking to fish streamers for these fun fish. While they aren’t as big as the fish in the Bay, these bass keep it visual and are often eager to please.  This is not the ideal species for the beginner but for the angler who has the basic skills and looking for a fun way to further develop your skills.
Good luck.
Ted
 Tricos and Terrestrials for Trout – July and August  fly fishing for trout on the Upper Manistee River
Salmon- Fresh fish can enter rivers as early as mid-August and offer great fishing through September.
Fall Steelhead- From the end of September through November – this is the time of year for Steelhead.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

TK's Northern Michigan Fly Fishing Report for July 19, 2014

Traverse City Fly Fishing Report : Hex to Terrestrials

The trout fishing continues to improve on the upper Manistee as it seems more bugs are around than they were when they were supposed to. Or at least there are a few more fish looking up to eat.  Water temps are ideal as are the levels and the clarity is maybe a little too good right now making the lower light of morning and evening your best opportunity.
Some Hex bugs are still around in sections but are most likely unpredictable – have some with you if you are fishing into the evening and consider staying past dark. It seems the bugs are showing up just a little before dark rather than the typical after.
Other bugs to have include great Olives, Isonychias, Brown Drakes (yes – still one or two around) Cahills, little yellow sallies and golden stones. If fishing in the morning – tricos have been starting to congregate offering some fun fishing for some of the smaller fish.
Terrestrial fishing (foam and rubber leg) patterns have been starting to get some attention from the fish as summer progresses. Small streamers fished on light sink-tips or floating lines are a good way to tease out some fish this time of year. More on Terrestrial Fishing >>Click Here<<.
A few smallies are still around on the flats but they are hard to find because of the ever changing water temps. The same is kind of true with the carp – they have mostly returned to the deep. It was a decent year for these “golden bones” despite the water changing temps constantly.
Bass and bluegill fishing continues to be good on local lakes. Poppers and sliders are working well on the bass and the small terrestrials with rubber legs are doing a number on the gills/panfish. This is a fun way to spend a summer day – as either an experienced angler tricking bass out of the lily pads or a beginner learning the basics of fly fishing on the bluegill/panfish.
Smallmouth bass in the lower Manistee continues to be an option for the streamer angler or those that just like river smallmouth fishing.  This should only improve as the summer continues.
Good luck,
Ted
Terrestrials, Tricos and Trout – July and August  fly fishing for trout on the Upper Manistee River
Salmon- Fresh fish can enter rivers as early as mid-August and offer great fishing through September.
Fall Steelhead- From the end of September through November – this is the time of year for Steelhead. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11 Traverse City Area Fly Fishing Report

Bugs, Fish and Sometimes Both

Trout fishing continues to keep us busy chasing the unpredictable hex fly on the upper Manistee and other local rivers, but it has been fickle with swings in the air temps and other weather fluctuations. Some nights we find bugs and some of those nights the fish are looking to eat. Even the mosquitoes have been taking some nights off. Fishing remains tougher than it should be – at least in my experience but things are looking like they are improving a bit.
We have been experiencing a few more fish looking up lately and feeding on the minimal bug activity that has been occurring and some of the fish that have been missing from their typical places – it seems – are showing up and playing along. Other bugs to have in your fly box include little yellow sally stones, Isonychias, Summer Olives, Cahills, and some flying ants. Look for the transition from evening fishing to daytime terrestrial and early morning Trico fishing as we progress further into July but be prepared for hatches that shouldn’t happen as things try to catch up from a long winter, short spring and inconsistent conditions the past couple of months.
Fishing on the bay has slowed down as the carp it appears are mostly done with their spawning and have run deep again. With the long winter I expect there to be some opportunity to fish for them if you are looking to cover water. Look for them where the warm water is getting blown into shallow flats. Sun and wind direction are key as the Bay is still so cold and any turnover can shut a good flat down with one day of wind. Smallmouth bass in the bay are like the carp – offering some shots one day, and gone the next.  Crayfish are your best bet right now for both species and some minnow patterns like Clousers are ideal for the bass. Darker versions of the Clouser (orange and rootbeer) is a good one for carp.
Lake fishing for bluegill and bass continues to be good and a lot of fun. With more lily pads around the bigger bass are taking up residence nearby and eating your bigger patters or the bluegill that is on the end of your line. Frogs and poppers have been working well on the bass with smaller terrestrial patterns working on the bluegill. Flies like the Turks Tarantula have been catching some larger gills when stripped under the water and fished like a slider.
Smallmouth bass fishing in the lower Manistee river is just starting as water temps warm up and more fish migrate and populate the river from the lower sections. Streamer fishing baitfish patterns and fishing crayfish on floating lines are a great way to cover water with the crayfish fishing  being best near rocks. Some popper and slider action has been working on the surface but I suspect that will only improve as summer continues.
Good luck,
Ted
Terrestrials, Tricos and Trout – July and August  fly fishing for trout on the Upper Manistee River
Salmon- Fresh fish can enter rivers as early as mid-August and offer great fishing through September.
Fall Steelhead- From the end of September through November – this is the time of year for Steelhead.