Cooler temperatures, rain, no evaporation, makes the rivers continue to rise to the delight of the river fauna. Some warmer days this past week did create some unusual hatches. The Black River, in the Pigeon River Forrest area (on year 'round waters), is where I did have big trout success. Polished redds and still pools we're the areas that had the trout feeding. Smaller trout hit hard but the big 12 inch breeders showed little aggressive behavior and took the dry fly with an almost undetectable smudge.
This late in the year the hatches were welcome. I did try some streamers but the drys did the job. The air temperatures we're 58 Farenhiet with water temperatures at 50 F. Drifting drys over redds at close range I could actually watch the trout come to the fly...rare.
Elk were bugling, tree colors were vivid. It was all I have come to love about the northern Michigan fall. These conditions are fading fast as the dicot trees drop their leaves en masse. The El Neno, that NOAA has forecast, is a real gift for our area. It will be cold weather gear, socks, gloves, knit hat, but very enjoyable. The desolate streams are a beautiful adventure. Soon snow will drift along the ground and I will finish the year Grouse hunting, until that happens my eyes are on the trout.
As the cold settles in and the winds calm, trips into the rural areas of northern Michigan are a time that fills the senses. All is quiet on the northern front. Enjoy it, late fall serenity, many city people don't get the chance...or even know about it.
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.