June 17, 2010
Big Rains, Big Bugs & Big Fish
Some big storms dumped a little too much rain over the last week and has the local rivers up and dirty. The Manistee River still has bugs coming off, but unless they are big or are in shallow runs the fish are not responding strongly because of the clarity – they simply can’t see them. With all of the dirty water moving downstream there is a lot of food washing downstream and the fish are getting a belly full – it’s a great time to fish a big streamer. Barring any rain, levels will start to drop as the water clears – it’s still fishable just carefully watch your step. The Boardman is still running a little high, however the impoundments have filtered out a lot of the water and clarity is better than the Manistee.
Bugs: The Hex have started on the local rivers, but not in huge numbers. Look for densities to build with all of the hot weather forecast – that should get them up and out along with the remaining other bugs that include: the last of the Brown Drakes, Isonychias, Bat Flies, Medium Brown Stones, Little Yellow Sallies, Gray Drakes (Boardman) and more. The rain coupled with the heat should incubate a heavy mosquito hatch, too, so be prepared for more than just no-see-ums while you are out there.
Carp fishing on the flats of Grand Traverse Bays has slowed due to the lack of heat and sunshine, but the forecast is more than favorable to change things. They like it hot. As water temps increase again look for the fish to get going strong with their spawning activities. Smallmouth Bass fishing has tapered off from what it was a few weeks ago, but it is still good – look for fish around rocks and drops - structure. Also, this time of year you can get some good cruisers looking to eat now that many of the fish have finished their spawning.
The lakes and ponds – like the rest of the local fishing – took a little step back with the past week’s weather. It should get good again with the weather that’s forecast (I know, I’m repeating myself). This is the time of year that the Largemouth Bass really get going on both the surface and just below. Have your Bluegill flies with you because they, too, can be more than responsive this time of year – more like aggressive.
With an increase in angling pressure on the banks, remember to be polite to one another and enjoy the water and fishing. Please practice catch and release – the mature, spawning fish of the Boardman and Manistee are the only hope of future fish populations on these rivers as they are not stocked but are wild producing fisheries.