With another flip of the calendar it ‘s safe to say that we are in Spring with a few days feeling more like summer. June is one of the best months to fly fish Traverse City and the region because of the variety of species we can target. Fom trout to carp, smallies to bluegill, lakes to rivers – June make’s it hard to decide.
Trout fishing has continued to be a little tougher than it should be for this time of year. The Upper Manistee has been running clear and with the sun filled skies, the fish have been hiding until that last hour of light when some bugs appear along with some good oportunties. Hatches have included Sulphurs, Great Mahoganies, Light Hendricksons, March Browns, medium Brown Stones (yellow belly) and a few big stones, too.
A Borcher’s Drake and Emerger do a great job of imitating a lot of these mayflies. The next few weeks should offer some of our best but most technical dry fly fishing of the year. With the smaller mayflies, look for the real calm water to detect fish rising to spinners that only make a slight dimple in low light. It’s time to pack that head lamp and don’t forget your bug spray – the mosquitoes have been ruthless.
Bass and Bluegill are finally active in the shallows on the local lakes and ponds. Dry fly fishing for the bigger gills is typically best in the evening as the water lays flat and calm. Try a dry and a small nymph on a dropper for a deadly approach when they aren’t looking up. Small streamers up to 2 inches long also can get those big gills to play when fished on a floating line. Make sure you have your hemostats as the panfish can inhale the fly pretty deep.
The Carp and Smallmouth bass fishing is just starting to get going in Grand Traverse Bay thanks to a hot week with lots of sun, good overnight temps and little wind. That weather pattern it appears is changing. These fish can be fickle – here one day (or even part of a day) and gone the next. Look for the warmer water in the lakes and bays to be your best bet and make sure you are casting is good – they are only getting smarter because of the increased pressure over the years. Good flies include swimming hex nymphs, bead head black wooly buggers, bay toads and soon, crayfish will be around – you might try real small patterns when the fish are nose down and mudding. Smallies are still in their nomad state and will be cruising the flats looking for food prior to moving in to spawn – baitfish patterns like Clouser Minnows are basic but yet, effective.
Good luck deciding what to fish for.
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 River. Steelhead and Salmon - While Spring is late getting here, it’s not too early to reserve your Fall Dates.