This time of year anglers in Northern Michigan have lots of different species to chase with a fly rod. Trout fishing on the Upper Manistee and Boardman Rivers are experiencing some good caddis and mayfly activity and as water temps continue to warm-up the fish are keying in on them. Look for Hendricksons, Black Drakes/Borchers, Black Caddis, March Browns and BWOs. Some of the larger #8 tanish/brown stoneflies with a yellow collar are around too. With the cool nights, spinner falls should occur earlier in the evening and even late morning, but as cloud cover comes, the heat should stay in and provide both good hatches and spinner falls – be there.
Streamer fishing continues to not only provide activity but some nice fish when the bugs aren’t popping. Water clarity is a little too good and another little shot of rain which is forecast should only help things. Streamer fishing bellow Tippy Dam on the lower Manistee River continues to be a good bet for those looking to catch some nice trout as they are looking to fill their bellies with something other than eggs since most of the Steelhead are gone. These fish are simply gluttons.
There are still some steelhead around on the Manistee, but everything is pretty dark and predominately on gravel. The Betsie River still has some fish in it as does the Boardman in Traverse City up to the Sabin Dam. Fishing pressure is similar to winter fishing – light, however this time of year you don’t need to worry about frostbite or iced-over boat ramps – things are rather comfortable.
Those fishing local lakes and ponds are finding good bluegill activity in water less than 5 feet deep and the early bass season is proving some fish to play along – mostly on medium sized streamers/baitfish patterns. Pike? This is the best time of the year – look for dark bottoms as these fish are looking to warm-up and eat some food after their spawn. Some carp have been seen in the shallows of the bay, but it takes a few days of stable weather and a bright sun to get them out of the depths – things will only get better as the bay warms up.