Some warmer weather recently has had an effect on getting our seasons back on schedule but they seem to still be off considering hatches, etc. The Upper Manistee and Boardman still have a lot of water in them and have a slight stain thanks to some rain last week but water temps are getting closer to where they should be. The high water – I think – had washed in a lot of food (worms) and both the streamer and dry fly bite was off making for some tough fishing.
With more warm weather in store look for Sulphurs, March Browns, Great Speckled Olives, Black Quills, BWO and little Mahoganies to offer some great dry fly fishing – most likely in the evenings. Between hatches and surface activity try streamer fishing with patterns that suggest chestnut lampreys, night crawlers and sculpins. If fishing waters with smaller brook trout and stocked brown or rainbow trout, use patterns that look similar. Below Tippy Dam the carp are starting to show up and spawn which can slow the trout fishing down. Consider nymphing right behind the carp as the trout often sit right behind them to eat their eggs.
Ponds and lakes are just starting to come on-line with fish moving into the shallows. The bass have been slightly more active as the bluegill begin their spawning. Some of the year’s largest fish are taken on the fly over the next month as the big and wise fish stay deep most of the year. Surface activity is slower than subsurface right now so try small streamers and nymphs retrieved slowly but have some dries ready should the wind lay down and fish start looking up.
Spring steelhead are pretty much all done on the Manistee and Boardman although you will find a fish or two throughout their spawning grounds finishing up their important work. 2014 was a great Spring run with a lot of fish moving through once winter let up. I already look forward to the fall season and if the steelhead eat in the lake as well as they did last summer, we will certainly have our hands full with some strong chromers.
The big sun, warm temps and lack of winds over the weekend will help warm up some of the shallow water on the flats and get the carp and smallmouth bass fishing going soon. Pre-spawn carp can offer some of the best fishing of the year, they can just be fickle and difficult to find. When you do find them, they will often be nose down and “mudding” looking to eat.
Hatches and Big Bugs - Few dates remain in June for the big bugs - Isos, Drakes and the Hex. Terestrials, Tricos and Trout – July and August fly fishing for trout on the upper Manistee. Steelhead and Salmon - While Spring is late getting here, it’s not too early to reserve your Fall Dates.