July 1, 2010
This is the time of year that a lot of anglers start to transition their fishing from late nights to mornings and during the day. After a month of fishing hatches into the dark, anglers will notice that the bags under the eyes are starting to go away.
Trout fishing on the Manistee and Boardman rivers has been solid lately, but not so much for the angler looking for hex flies. While the weather has been up and down, being cold one day- hot another and rainy on the third, the bugs have mostly come and gone at various times over the past three weeks; it was a strange hatch to say the least. With that being said, make sure you have hex flies with you as there will be sporadic mini-hex hatches over the next week or two as there often is after the peak, they are just difficult to predict. Other bugs that have been bringing fish to the surface include Isonychias, Light Cahills, Yellow Sally Stones, Gray Drakes (Boardman), small caddis (#18), and BWOs. To read more about the various hatches found after the hex hatch, check out “Fishing After the Hex Hatch.”
The terrestrial bite is just starting and small hoppers are in the grass fields near the rivers so make sure your patterns are small. The cool nights have made for some ideal water temperatures and the streamer fishing has been good on certain days, especially when the sun isn’t out or in low-light conditions. After a month of high water and eating a lot of food being washed downstream, the fish are well fed and looking to keep to that diet and eat some more. The fish have been plump lately.
The Manistee River below Tippy Dam is still producing trout and with the increasing water temperatures, smallmouth bass have been building in numbers and have been eating crayfish and streamers. Trout have been coming on wets, nymphs, streamers and dry flies including caddis and stoneflies despite the water temperatures increasing.
The cold nights have really had an impact on the carp fishing. Fish numbers have been down the past three weeks with fish hanging out in the deeper, more stable water. Afternoons and into evenings while the sun is high and hot are your best bet to finding fish and with the forecast calling for seasonal weather to return, the fishing should get easier. A few smallmouth bass are still cruising near their structure (rocks and docks and other) so keep your eye out and always cast to the shade side of structure.
Bass and bluegill fishing on local lakes and ponds continues to be good, however the gills are starting to get smaller as the bigger, “migratory” fish are spending much of their time in the deeper water which is hard to get to with a fly. The bass fishing has been lots of fun with the increased weed growth and their responsiveness to poppers and diving bugs in water less than 8 feet deep. Just like in the bay, fish all structures including weeds, rocks, docks, rafts, etc.
If you are looking to get out fishing, just call or e-mail!