Weekly weather update: the northern Jet stream slammed into our warm southern front creating thunder storms and torrential rains. The deluge left the Pigeon, Sturgeon, and Black rivers high and silted. The Maple some how survived the flood and has been fishable these last few days.
Many mayfly hatches are in progress on the Maple. Hook size 18-22 Slate Wing Mohageny are one of the hatches currently taking place. Silted rivers mean nymphs and streamers are the best choice...nice temperatures of 70 F by day and 45 F by night will keep the river water at very good 65 F.
So how should you fly fish these rivers?
We've discussed the 3 types of trout found in our Northern Michigan small streams; Rainbow, Brown, Brook and how they break the surface to take your dry fly. But, what flies do they favor? Remember we're talking mid day trout in small rivers, not the Jurassic monsters that will put a dent in your canoe during their spawning in spring, fall or during the Hexagenia Lambata hatch.
The Rainbow is not that selective. They will take just about every dry fly you provide in the hook size 12-18. Even color combinations from Asia that you have never seen before work. I won't say these Rainbow are dumb, how about let's just say they are really hungry. Matching the hatch with the Rainbow is not a must but of course it improves your chances.
The upside of the smaller Rainbow Trout is it's ability to feed at water temperatures of 70 F or more. The rainbow can save a hot afternoon when no other trout will feed. When my sons complain about all the small rainbows taking their dry fly, and disturbing a good hole before a Brown or Brook has a chance to strike, I say..."tell that to some working guy stuck at a desk in Detroit ." They say, "I'm catching to many Rainbow trout", give me a break...duh! The Rainbow Trout in small rivers average between 8 to 12 inches. But their big brothers and sisters, the Steelhead, are one of Michigan's great fish blessings. Good Luck!
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.