While this is a great time of the year for dry fly fishing, the cooler weather has kept the fishing from being hot. It won’t take much sun to change things – however, know that our hatches are running 7 to 10 days late this year. There is something seriously wrong wearing fleece and long underwear in June.
What’s been hatching on the Upper Manistee: a number of bugs, but not in great numbers have included: March Browns Spinners/Rusty Spinners, Little Yellow Sallies, Sulphurs, BWOs, Size 10 Brown/Yellow Stoneflies, some Mahoganies, and size14-16 Tan Caddis. I have been seeing the first of the Isonycias, but not any significant number. Look for hatch densities to increase and Iso numbers to build and Brown Drakes to start with rise in water temperatures. The fish will look for them too as they are the first good-sized bugs to emerge bringing some great fish to the surface.
Fishing below Tippy Dam is still fishing well despite getting some color from this week’s rain. A mixed bag of smaller, stocked fish to larger fish past the teens can be had by those fishing both streamers and nymphs. Look for this water to change into a technical dry fly fishery over the next few weeks as temperatures stabilize and the tail water hatches increase.
The Boardman is running high, but Sulphurs and Grey Drakes have been emerging along with the caddis. Look for Brown Drakes to start any day after some heat and the fishing to get really improve. Now is not a bad time to cast some large streamers imitating leeches/lampreys as the fish are taking advantage of the dirty water and what food it is washing downstream with it in the seams.
Carp are fishing well in the bay despite the cooler water and air temperatures. In some areas the spawning is taking place heavily and others, just starting. Regardless, not all of the fish are spawning right now and they are the ones to target, as they don’t have their minds set on one thing. Some smallmouth bass have been seen, a few caught and look for them to come shallower cruising for a crustacean snack. The best flies for carp and smallmouth have been crayfish patterns, clouser minnows and leeches/woolly buggers.