The Hex Hatch has begun on the upper-Manistee river but they have been spotty and with the ups and downs in the weather they have been inconsistent as well. Seems to be par for the course this year. The future/forecast is bright as we are looking to have consistent weather again which should make for some consistent fishing. Fishing has been off most days prior to the big bug emergence – mostly because of the lack of other bugs not hatching. One can expect to see bat flies, little mahoganies, isonychias, light cahills, golden stones and a brown drake or two as we wait for the nocturnal hex to appear. Like the Manistee, the Boardman and other local rivers have seen some hex in various locations. Click here for a hex pattern and how to tie.
Not into fishing into the dark? Try fishing a hex pattern – either a natural looking dun or spinner in the a.m. or on cloudy days for a pleasant surprise. These hex flies are like floating cheeseburgers often giving fish that are ordinarily shy just enough incentive to eat on the surface during the day.
The river is running “full” of water thanks to the periodic rains we have been receiving.Streamer fishing is also a good alternative when nothing is happening on top; look for the low-light of cloudy days or early morning to offer your best chance. Being a holiday week/weekend you might witness a little more recreation on it from other anglers as well as canoes, tubes and kayaks so factor that into your plans. Oddly, sometimes the extra traffic gets fish out of their comfort zones and hiding spots and out into a place where you can present a fly to them.
The Bay is fishing o.k. for smallmouth and carp. The past week the carp moved into the shallows and were on the spawn big time and offering some really good fishing. It seems that a lot of the spawning is over but you will still find fish in the shallow water if you look in enough places however getting them to eat has been tough. Persistence and good presentations are required to find the players. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another wave of spawning to take place as the long winter and cool spring really has things off in a lot of respects. Same with the smallmouth bass – a lot of fish have already come and gone, but look for a second wave of fish as well as the post-spawn fish looking to eat after their annual ritual.
Lakes and ponds continue to have some really good bluegill fishing going on right now. The bigger fish have slipped into the depths again now that their spawning is over, but you can find them moving back into the shallows to eat on cloudy days and evenings. The smaller fish are still around to make fishing fun for those learning how to fly fish. The largemouth bass mostly are done protecting their nests and are eating bigger flies both on and below the surface. Target the structure – drop-offs, weeds, docks and wood for your best results as the long bright days have them seeking structure until low-light periods.
Terrestrials, Tricos and Trout – July and August fly fishing for trout on the Upper Manistee River Salmon- Fresh fish can enter rivers as early as mid-August and offer great fishing through September. Fall Steelhead- From the end of September through November – this is the time of year for Steelhead.