May 26, 2011
Memorial Day Weekend
Weather has been the biggest factor impacting the fishing lately. When temps are relatively stable accompanied by mild nights, fishing is good. Cold fronts, storm systems and other factors have been keeping bugs/hatches at bay and the carp and Smallies deep.
The Manistee and Boardman Rivers are in good shape – they have good flows and temperatures at about 60 degrees. The hatches are still a good 7-10 days behind for this time of year, but there are still lots of different bugs when things are emerging, including: Sulphurs, Black Quills/Borchers, Stones (gold), BWOs, March Browns, caddis and the last of the Hendricksons. As always, be armed with dark brown/rusty spinner patterns because this time of year the spinner falls can be really good in and around riffles; when conditions are right the bugs drop to the water and fish take note. Streamer fishing has been decent with fish often being in the shallower lies on the overcast days and bunkered in wood when it’s bright. Keep casting and changing up your presentation and patterns.
The Manistee below Tippy Dam is fishing well with a variety of different presentations. The wet-fly swing takes a number of planters where the nymph and streamer angler will catch some of the bigger fish. Crayfish and baitfish/stocker patterns are bringing the bigger fish out when fished on a sink-tip line. Surface activity has been decent for the caddis angler (#18 - tan) as well as midges and BWOs.
Panfish and bluegill are building in numbers in the shallows and are responsive to dry flies, but the nymph and small streamer angler is having the best success. Bass fishing on the local lakes has been a little slow due to the weather and there are a number of fish sitting on and around beds.
Carp fishing on the bay has been hit and miss. While it hasn’t been “on fire” there have been some decent days where there are decent numbers of fish to cast to. Wind direction, overnight and daytime temperatures and sunlight are the key factors of whether you will find fish and if so, where. Some smallmouth bass are amongst the carp and share similar waters – crayfish and hex patterns have been working well for both species along with small baitfish ties like Clouser Minnows specifically for Smallmouth Bass.
Have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend with good fishing.