Well , the incee weencee spider will have to go up the spout again. It and most rivers were washed out. The thunder storm was a warm 62 F and the foliage of the trees and grass limited its damage to the rivers. The warm precipitation is good for the flora, but hard on us for fly fishing. The rivers this past week end were productive but high, right on the edge. This added water pushed them back into the flood plains and silt is back.
The Maple is holding it's own but the tannin is dark again. With more rain it will have some trouble and need a day of rest.
The Sturgeon valley flows right into the river but could recover in 24 hours due to its fast flow. The year 'round waters between Indian River and Wolverine might recover by Wednesday.
The Pigeon will take a day or so to recover follow this last rain.
The Black River in the Pigeon River Forest Country hasn't had a chance to settle down this season and is still hard to fish.
More rain is in the forecast check back as we will keep you posted as the rivers change. Just going to be a difficult week with all the rain.
A peace is beginning to settle into the rivers. Your knowledge & experience is your guide to successful trout fishing. The water temperatures are right. Today water temperature on the Pigeon River started at 58 F and by late afternoon it was 64 F with a late afternoon hatch. Yesterday on the Maple River it was also 58 F mid-day but the river is still dark tannin like root beer. This evening there was a nice hatch on the Maple so as the water clears the fly fishing will be great.
"Get'er done", five months of hatches ahead. Stick with the smaller Adams and Royals. The big Hexagenia Lambada hatches are a distant 5 weeks away. Brookies, Rainbows, and small Browns are active. The big browns as usual are deep into the evening. Steelhead fishing will be winding down and we true fly fishing anglers will have the run of the river.
The Pigeon is looking the best this early in the season, the Sturgeon down stream from Wolverine is year round water and is always ready. Surprise thunderstorms coming off of Lake Michigan can be a problem and hard to predict. The upper stretches of the Pigeon & Sturgeon in the Pigeon River Forest Country are rain sensitive but the forecast is iffy for large wet fronts.
Check my first trout pictures out, how about yours, I'm never to busy to look at trout pictures. Send yours to reelwatersmi.com or upload them on the "Photos" on the site page.Happy people doing happy things...send them in?
"If this is it, dew-wop, let me know, if this isn't love, well then just say so."
Song by "Huey Lewis And The News"
Well this is it! When this weather breaks and air temperatures climb back into the 60 F range the trout will begin to surface feed. Everything will began to bite, including the black flies. Mid May has always be my traditional start of all trout activity. Global warming has been hard on my predictions, however this season we've been waiting for the May snows to melt.
Some rivers will be affected by the on and off added precipitation, but those rivers, or parts of the rivers, below their banks and have settled out are the streams to fish. Water Temperatures are in the high 40's F to mid 50's F range and will warm by the end of the week. Later this week warmer temperatures are going to be the rule. BWOs, Drakes, Adams para, are a good start, but have those nymphs in the fly box as insurance. I will land a few Brook trout this week...pictures to follow... fish frisky my friends.
This is going to be a challenging weekend with cold temps and rain until Monday. The rivers were receding into their banks and looking more fishable. With three days of rain coming the process will be slower, however a sunny outlook for next week should bring out the bugs. Still a tough time of the year as the trout are flooded with food. Nymphs, streamers and dropper rigs remain the best approach for now and the next week. For those who will not be deterred from the rivers by this weather; tight lines my friends.
Nice weather is still with us, 75F and sunny!
Pigeon is dropping, the Sturgeon has dropped inside its banks. Water is clear and Still 61 F in the afternoon, very fishable but streamers and nymphs are your only chance. Some Blue Wing Olives are out and spotty stone flies, caddis always but the trout are not looking up yet. The Maple River still has high water but is fishable in most places. Water temps are in the 50's most of the day and gets toward the 60's by later afternoon. No real bug hatch yet but there are a few BWO's around. Nothing to get the trout up to the surface. Maybe later this week we will see the trout surface feeding. The weather is suppose to hold with a little rain late Thursday.
What a nice weekend...weather wise. The trout must have been into the weather also because they weren't into my fly patterns. I fish the upper parts of the Sturgeon and Pigeon. On my journeys I did see successful fishermen landing a few Steelhead at the mouth of the Rivers, Boyne, Bear, and small Great Lake tributaries. My favorite Brook Trout rivers, the Black and the Maple, were blown out. Those rivers and their trout will not be active until the rivers settle down; at least a couple of weeks. All in all it was exiting to be back on a river with fly rod in hand.
The forecast for next weekend, May 4 & 5, is well above freezing. Rain and thunderstorms will be on and off. There are still were a few patches of snow in the shady low areas to remind me of the long winter. The warmer nights will melt those quickly and the run off can begin to settle down. Hatches were a few stone flies and mayflies size #18, #20 hook, oh and one mosquito. Not Enough to get the trout looking up. Nymphs and streamers (weighted) will be the choice through the high water and Steelhead runs well into May.
My eyes still scan the water ahead as I fish, waiting for that first surfaces feed of the year. So if you attend any kind of Sunday Service, could you ask the Big Guy up stairs to hold off on any snow until November!
Almost 50 years has passed since that yard sale fly rod fell into my hands. I believe it was metal and it had the action of a yard rake. The Bristol #65 reel is still in my tackle box but few memories of those days are still with me. Even though my high school girl friend, Carolyn, and that rod are long gone. A good guess is neither are still in good working condition.
My skills in those days were actually developed by pictures of casting you would find in a book. My cast was honed at the Larry, Moe & Curly School of Fly-fishing, or so it would seem. In those days, leaders, floating lines, and in season flies were harder to get than parts for the space shuttle. The invention of the credit card and Internet has change all that. A computer lesson ( in color ) could have saved me a quarter of a century of fumbling.
Today you can put together a fly fishing outfit and trip from your work computer while the Boss is at lunch. Yet the main ingredient is still Desire! That I have. Wadders, vest, rod n' reel are neatly stored in the trunk of my car...for the next 6 months.
I am...Combat Ready! This season the entire State of Michigan has high water. Your river choice will have to be well planned. River head waters are over their banks and food and silt makes fishing difficult. I look for bigger rocky and gravel laden rivers that offer clear water. However places you fish all season will still be high and the fast current will offer a challenge to safe and successful fishing.
All things considered the weather in Northern Michigan is pleasant but hatches are few and nymphs, streamers and leach patterns are the choice. The big trout and challenges are there if you plan. The season constant is...Nature's beauty still permeates my being and the rivers ambiance will be driven deeper into my soul.
This is the weekend it begins again, Trout Season! Have you prepared for it? Cleaned your fly lines? Coordinated your fly boxes? Read as many river reports as you can find? Tried on your waters and boots and cleaned them? Got new tippet and leaders? Practiced your casting?
Ever notice how a golfer practices and practices their golf swing? Well, you should be doing the same for your fly casting. It's the one thing you can do to improve your opportunity to achieve a tight line. Grip, cast, drift (GCD) is no different to excellent fly fishing as stance, grip, swing, is to a good golf game.
Now that we are ready to fly fish, the rivers are waiting and the water is high. Be careful on most rivers now as the flows will be strong and the holes deep. Not many bugs around so use those nymphs and dropper rigs (dry fly with a bead-head or weighted nymph attached). The tippet between the dry fly and the attached nymph for a dropper rig should be a little longer then the depth of the stream you are fishing.
Enjoy, be safe, and let's go fly fishing.
With the opening of trout season just around the corner, the cold just wont go away. We expect by opening day things will be better but this will be a slow start to the season. The rivers are starting to full up - high water - and the melt (the little we have had) is on and off with above freezing in the day and then freezing again at night. We need a string of days with above freezing temps, day and night, to really get things going.
So if you are planning an opening day trip (who isn't) think about letting the river warm up as much as possible; start about 2:00 PM in the afternoon. The word for the day will be droppers / nymphs.
They have arrived and the numbers will build over the next weeks. They are the Chinook, King salmon. In creeks and rivers here in the "Tip of the Mitt", the run is on and what a majestic thing to witness. Fly fishing for them is a great challenge. They are very aggressive at this time and will attack just the right fly or egg pattern, but will more likely take off as you enter the water. Getting one of these three or four foot Kings on is a whole other story as you are in for a fight.
This week has been a great time to be fly fishing and as we come to the end of the regular season on a lot of our rivers be sure to be out this weekend. Afternoon fishing is best in order to let the sun warm up the water a bit, but enjoy these beautiful days and temperatures. The Fall is a most unique time to be out in the treasures of this area.