With Memorial Day behind us and a flip of the calendar to June, it’s time to welcome the big bugs on a trout stream near you. 10 days of near consistent (and nice) weather has helped to bring waters, hatches, and spawn cycles up to speed. This unusual streak of weather has also helped to make the fish happy since they don’t like sudden and/or abrupt changes in the weather.
While there are still a bunch of smaller mayflies around – sulphurs, mahoganies, little yellow sallies,black caddis – you will find some larger bugs too: medium yellow/brown stones (#8), Great Speckled Olives, and a few Brown Drakes on certain sections of the Manistee and Au Sable Rivers – the Boardman should have them soon. If headed out you will want to be there until dark and maybe after to get in on the Drake action – they can bring up some nice fish so bring a head lamp and some bug spray. Pack some Isonychias because they should begin to emerge any day – this is another large mayfly that emerges in the evenings in gravel sections of rivers. This is a great time for those looking for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year – click here to read more about the bugs/flies you can expect to find on the water before the hex hatch.
Because the weather has been so nice, water levels are good but a little too clear due to a lack of rain. As such, the streamer fishing has been off a little, however downsizing your flies and perhaps size of the sink-tip can help.
The lake fishing is getting good for those looking to have some fun with the bluegill and bass. Most largemouth bass are done spawning with the males protecting the beds. Fishing lakes for bluegill/panfish and bass can be a great way to spend an evening and/or introducing someone new to the sport. On inland lakes, the smallmouth are playing along, too but tend to be a little deeper where an intermediate sink-tip line comes in handy.
Fishing for carp and smallmouth bass on the flats of the bay is still a few days out – I imagine with the continued heat and lack of strong winds turning the water over, a few carp should be found doing a bit of a pre-spawn feed. Here is a favorite carp fly if you’re headed out. The potential for fishing these will only improve in the days ahead and should extend into early July.
June is one of the difficult months to fly fish in the Traverse City region – there simply are too many fish species and options to choose from.
Carp and Bass – Look for these guys on the flats of Grand Traverse Bay through the month of June. Big Bugs – The month of June is the month of Big Bugs – Isonychias, Brown Drakes and Hex – dates available. Salmon – Late August and September is when the King Salmon start to migrate upstream – get ’em while you can.