The Hex bugs have taken the main stage for fly anglers right now as consistent and warm weather has made for good emergences and spinner falls on all the local rivers including the Au Sable, Manistee and Boardman Rivers. These nocturnal bugs get the attention of fish in that last half-hour of light and into the night, but they also have the attention of a lot of anglers – be prepared for a few more people fishing your favorite section of water.
Other bugs on the water have been sparse except when skies are cloudy or overcast. Have some isonychias, brown drakes, gray drakes, bat flies, little yellow sally stones, medium brown/yellow stones, light cahills, along with yourhex fly patterns. Terrestrial/attractor fishing has been bringing some fish up to the surface while small streamers fished on a floating line working sub-surface for when fishing with a little more sunlight out. Check the batteries in your headlamp, make sure you have some bug spray and take a nap throughout the day – it’s time to fish a second-shift schedule.
Not in to night fishing or looking for something to do in the day? Carp and smallmouth bass fishing on the bay has been good. Some carp are starting to spawn but majority of them are in a pre-spawn mode and tend to eat better. This sight fishing pushes angler’s abilities and mettle but when the line comes tight after a good cast and presentation, it’s worth it. Hex nymphs, crayfish, leeches have been ideal for carp while the same and small baitfishand goby patterns have been working for the smallmouth bass.
Lakes are still fishing well for bluegill and bass. These affable fish are still a great way to spend some time on the water and/or teach and introduce someone to the sport of fly fishing. With more weed growth (think lily pads) target drop offs and other structure/transitions. Bigger bass are eating the bigger flies like divers and swimming frogs. Gills/sunnies/panfish continue to eat the surface flies – predominately smaller terrestrial patterns – they have a weak spot for rubber legs.