Thursday, May 6, 2010

Northern Michigan Fly Fishing Report 5-5-10

The trout fishing continues to be decent with the mild temps – both air and water. The forecast is calling for things to get cooler but not for a prolonged period of time. Once water temperatures stabilize or increase - thanks to sunshine and milder night temps - look for fishing to be more predictable (trout hate a sudden drop in water temperature). Thankfully, we got some much needed rain on the local rivers to add a little stain to the water and improve streamer fishing conditions. The spring winds have made spinner falls tough to time but usually the wind dies in the evening when the air is still warm enough making for a nice spinner fall.

Hatches have been good: On the Upper Manistee, the Hendricksons are finishing up with sporadic emergences and spinner falls at all times of the day, black quills/Borchers, medium brown stones, a few black stones, black caddis, and an odd sulphur or two. The Boardman has been experiencing good Hendrickson hatches this spring and the caddis, too, are showing up in good numbers. It won’t be long before sulphurs get going here once things warm up again.

The Lower Manistee below Tippy Dam is fishing well too. The amount of food in this river is prolific and as a result the fish are healthy and looking to eat a well presented fly. Fishing fry patterns is working with all of the salmon offspring in the river. Bigger streamers will keep you away from the stocked fish and give you an opportunity at the larger trout; the past two summers were cooler resulting in a good number of hold-over trout for this year. Caddis, midge and bwos have been emerging making for surface activity and the usual suspects for the nymph angler have been working: pheasant tails, sow bugs, hare’s ears and medium sized stone fly nymphs. This is an outstanding trout fishery for those who like tailwater fishing.

The bluegill continue to move into shallower water on the local lakes and ponds as they prepare for their spawning ritual. Bass, too, are in the shallower water along the slight drops and structure looking to eat before they get busy. More and more docks are going into the local lakes and these serve as structure for both species – target them. The best surface fishing is when no wind exists which can be difficult to find this time of year so fish the leeside shoreline when it is blowing. Keep you eyes out for the pike and musky and have a heavy rod rigged with shock tippet and a big fly for your shot at something long.

The carp are spotty in the Bays; when you find them, you will find lots of them. Wind direction, sunshine and overnight temps are crucial this time of year. Look for a Lake Trout swimming just off of the breaks cruising for baitfish as you are looking for carp.

Good Luck!

The Northern Angler

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