The Rivers are all inside their banks, water & air temperatures are perfect. Avoid the brightness of mid day (2 PM). Many hatches are currently taking place at all the rivers. Some on again off again rain is in the area this week, but if it doesn't flood the rivers, fishing around the storm and you should get good results. The big hexes are in the air. Be ready for your big trout opportunity.
The Brown Trout menu is the most complicated to us. He is the real match the hatch trout. If your dry fly does not have a presence on the river count him out. The Brown is coy, aggressive, sneaky, and selective among other things. His feeding range, temperature wise, is up to 68 F. He is less apt to feed recklessly in the brightest part of the day. His smudge or swirling take you can almost miss.
You may catch big browns in mid-day on small streams but the fly is going to have be a streamer fished deep in log jams and under cut banks in deeper water. However the dry fly in the pattern of that day's hatch can get them up. The 8-12 inch Brown will feed with its cousins the Brook and Rainbow Trout. He will still be in the tougher cover but he is there to be caught.
My technique with the Brown, as previously mentioned, is the "hustle". Problem is if you just happen to trick a 16 inch Brown you better be fast on the "hustle" or you will be tying on a new fly, angry with your missed opportunity. Browns of all sizes lurk in the smallest of streams year 'round in northern Michigan, be ready to fight one; it is a challenge. Rainbows and Brook Trout make up 90% of your takes in the smaller streams so that 10% Brown strike can catch you off guard. I have missed so many big Browns, due to its strength, size and surprise, it is almost comical. Big Browns that come up for a Adams Para # 14 or 16 just tear up my rig. Patience is needed in fishing the Brown. If you know he's in a hole repeatedly casting you fly can eventually bring him up. However, knowing what to present is important (match the hatch) and Royal patterns rarely work with him.
The Brown has one down side, he can attain such a large size then rule a stretch of the river as to chase away or eat all the rest of the trout. I have holes that after many years suddenly becomes trout-less...a big Brown is in there.
The silver with red stripe of the Rainbow, the purple and orange spots of the Brook are beautiful, so when the golden Brown Trout does hit his coloration is startling. The golden coloration and spots is as beautiful as any trout.
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.