Trout fishing on local rivers continues to be decent with some days being really good and others, not so much. The recent weather, in my opinion, is to blame for the inconsistencies, a little snow over the weekend, warm sun a few days later, a cold rain shower or two here and there and the bugs and their emergence just hasn’t been overly predictable – who can blame them?
What I am experiencing are: The Upper-Manistee – some Hendricksons (mostly spinners at sporadic times of the day), medium brown stones, a few march browns, black quills/Borchers, caddis, mahoganies and an increase in BWOs. The Manistee below Tippy Dam is offering up some caddis hatches, BWO’s, and midges on top and the nymph bite is getting even stronger with scuds and sow bugs down low and fry patterns fished dead-drift, swung and stripped. The Boardman – Hendricksons and caddis have been emerging. Look for the warmer weather of next week to kick-off good emergences of sulphurs on both rivers which should be really good this year.
When not matching the hatch, the streamer fishing has been producing some nice fish for those looking to put the time in and the cast in the right spot. Water levels are lower and clearer than what is considered ideal, but good fish are still coming to the fly: CF Minnows, sculpins, deceivers and zonker/rabbit strip leeches have been working. The right color and the amount of flash varies with not only the day, but time of day – mix it up until you find what they like.
The cooler weather has had its effect on lake fish too. Bluegill/panfish are shallow in some of the smaller waters, and just into the deeper water on others. The nymph and very small streamer angler has had more success beneath the surface than those fishing on top. Look for that to change soon. Bass in the lakes have been getting active in their pre-spawn mode and the pike have been eating a streamer too, now that they are post-spawn feeding. When lake fishing, look for any weed growth to be a good place to target fish. The carp in the bay which were very “spotty” (not widespread, but concentrated when found) have moved back to the deeper water with a few fish coming into the flats when the sun is bright and the water temp is in the mid-50s. Pay attention to night temps, wind direction and bring your thermometer.
Ted Kraimer is a professional guide and fly tier, owner of Current Works Guide Service, and field editor for True North Trout. His fishing reports will continue to appear in T|N|T and on his website.