May 18 was a good day on the Black River, one of northern Michigan's prime Brook Trout streams. Sunny and calm. Air temperatures 60 degrees, water clear and 58 degrees, time 2:30 PM.
Four different massive hatches at the same time. Caddis being the majority. I must have seen hundreds of surfacing trout. I had a 100 refusals but did land more then ten. Three were foul hooked.
Those Brookies made a fool out of me. Nymphs, mergers, dunns you name it, I used ever pattern known to man since the last Ice Age. Nothing was dependable.
I finished the day with a Adams Para that gave me one catch out of ten hits success rate. I wasn't beaten, but I was humbled. It is just one of those days in the early fly fishing season that the trout are on the edge of looking up for bugs. Similar to warm water refusals when water temperatures reach above 70 F.
The cool jet stream is hanging over northern Michigan, but the sun was ever so warm. The temperatures and trout are rising this week and many hatches have begun. Streamers still get the big Browns but dry flies are my favorite. Everything is coming to life and all those techniques, tried and tested in those secret river holds, seem to put last weekends snow flurries in the distant past.
From mushrooms to wild asparagus to trout, what's not to like about spring in northern Michigan!
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.