With July upon us we are catching our breath from catching fish, lots of late nights and looking forward to what’s ahead.
On the Trout Rivers and streams, the Hex hatch has been one of the better ones of recent years due to a long period of stable weather that concentrated the hatch. On the Manistee we are on the other side of the peak with more bugs to emerge and spin, however they will be thinner in density due to cooler nights and simply because we have already had two-weeks of good emergence.
Other bugs on the water include Isonychias, Light Cahills, Bat Flies, Big Stones, Gray Drakes, Little Yellow Sally Stones and Olives. Evenings and mornings are the better times to be on the water with the water being low and clear. If its a cloudy day it should be even better. As we approach the other side of the Hex – the crescendo of mayfly fishing -there are other bugs and approaches to consider when hitting the water. Click here to read “Fishing after the Hex Hatch“.
The smallmouth bass and carp fishing on the bay are winding down. While there are still fish around, the bass are finishing up and moving deep again while the Carp are becoming even more unpredictable as we near the end of their typical migration to shallow water to feed and spawn. Consider traveling outside of the bay to find fish moving into shallow water. Don’t give up yet, but alter expectations a little.
The lake fishing for largemouth bass and bluegill on inland lakes is still good. With the weed growth bass are more predictable to target with top water flies and divers. While the big bluegill are pretty much in deep water now, the smaller gills continue to play along with the dry flies and provide a great way to introduce and teach someone to fly fish.
The smallmouth bass in the lower Manistee is getting better as the water is warming up. While these fish aren’t as large as those found in Grand Traverse Bay, they offer anglers the chance to cast streamers on sink-tips and diving flies on floating lines. Not ideal for beginners, but for those looking to improve their skills and catch some fish along the way.