June 16, 2011
Stable Bugs, Weather and Fishing
With stable weather the past week, the fishing too has been stable and relatively good.
The trout angler is finding that this time of year offers some of the best dry fly opportunities of the year. On the Manistee and Boardman Rivers, you can expect to find a plethora of different bugs on the surface: Brown Drakes, Isonychias, March Browns, Mahoganies, Yellow Stones, Big Black Stones, Little Yellow Sallies, Tan and Black Caddis, Blue Wing Olives, Sulphurs and Bat Flies. Evenings are best as bugs emerge and spinners collect above riffles, but on the cloudy days they can start earlier. This time of year many focus only on the hex and with a few more days of warm weather they should be around in fishable numbers – stay tuned. The bad bugs – mosquitoes and no-see-ums, have been pretty thick after our damp spring - don’t forget your bug spray or it will be a short fishing trip for you. Hex Dates still available if you are looking to get out in a boat for the big bugs.
Water levels and temps are ideal and the progression of the hatches and seasons are almost in step rather than being behind. Streamer fishing has been decent especially on the cloudy, overcast days. With the number of chestnut lampreys on fish, streamers that look like them are worthy of fishing, while the bigger patterns stripped aggressively get that territorial and aggressive strike – this is a great way to spend time waiting for bugs to emerge.
Fishing below Tippy Dam on the Manistee has turned back on with all of the spawning carp pretty much gone. Wet flies, nymphs, streamers and dries – this section of river offers it all. The caddis and midge hatch in the evenings is a lot of fun, where the streamer fishing has been finding fish in the deeper, shaded spots. More smallmouth continue to trickle in as we get further into summer.
Carp and Smallmouth bass fishing remains good on the bay with fish building in numbers and some fish are in real shallow on their spawning mission. With the full moon, the crayfish should be your number one fly choice, but as always having variety goes a long ways some days: black leeches (buggers, etc.) clousers and hex patterns should be in your box.
The bluegill/panfish fishing remains good and now that most bass are off their nests/beds, the bass fishing has ratcheted up. Sub-surface streamer fishing with baitfish patterns along structure and breaks is a good place to start with surface bugs in the early and late hours of the day. Diving/swimming frogs/baitfish fished on an intermediate line is very effective this time of year.
As you can see there is no shortage of species to target, waters to fish, etc. – the hard part can be figuring out which one to do. Good luck,