Thursday, May 31, 2012

TK's May 31, 2012 Northern Michigan Fly Fishing Report

Weather – Ups and Downs

The weather has had its ups and downs the past week and as a result the fishing has followed suit.  While last week’s heat had condensed the hatches and dry fly fishing into the final 15 minute of each day and into dark , the cooler weather this week has slowed things down. The good news is we got some much needed rain in our rivers and water temperatures have stopped warming rapidly.
While the dry fly fishing had been decent on the Upper Manistee, AuSable and Boardman Rivers, the bug’s emergence and spinner falls have become difficult to peg. Brown Drakes, Sulphurs, March Browns, Mahoganies and stone flies have been  on and hovering over the water but the past few days not so many.  Typically the evenings are a good time for spinner falls and emergences, however with the cold front upon us, look for late mornings and mid-afternoons to be a time for sporadic hatches. As the more seasonable temps return, look for typical emergence/spinner fall behavior to return and the trout to take notice. The good news is this weather and the rain we received improves streamer fishing conditions.
Fishing below Tippy Dam on the Manistee has been off a little due to the carp in the river spawning. Targeting the trout with nymph rigs downstream of the carp has paid off but it still isn’t what it should be as the fish are keyed in on a heavy supply of eggs. Streamer fishing  the first couple of miles downstream of the dam is a good way to cover water and find those larger, more aggressive fish.  The crayfish have molted recently are soft-shelled making them a good pattern to have along with your other favorite streamer patterns fished on sink-tips.
The Carp and Smallmouth fishing has been mixed with Smallmouth Bass offering the more consistent fishing. With the heavy winds, changing temperatures and storm fronts, the carp are more than ornery and aren’t on their predictable schedule of time and place like they were in last week’s heat. A lot of moving around and careful attention by anglers is necessary to get a shot or two at the “Golden Bones” of West and East Grand Traverse Bay. While looking for carp, keep an eye out for the smaller, but still fun smallmouth bass cruising around.
Lake and Pond fishing continues to offer good fishing for the bluegill and bass angler. Also affected by the fluctuations in weather some days have simply been better than others with these species. The surface fishing hasn’t been as good  as normal so consider swimming nymphs and small streamers sub-surface for improved results.
Good Luck,

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