Trout and hot weather do not mix. If you are not a believer in Global warming...... in the past the Petoskey area rarely experienced 90 + degree weather. It would only happen maybe every 4-5 years in July prior to 1997. It took a south wind. Northern Michigan is surrounded by Lake Michigan to the west, Lake Huron to the East and Lake Superior to the north. Our Northwest prevailing wind was protection against the heat. This 4th of July forecast was 92 degrees if we reached that temperature...it was a new record.
The rivers can take some 90 F days, but not a steady diet of it. Ground water keeps the rivers cool, and timely rain feeds the ground water. We ...actually the trout...have been lucky thus far. Thunder storms are keeping the rivers out of drought conditions...so far!
So what's the river report? Fish the coolest times of the day...first light...get in the river at 5:30 AM or last light 8:30 PM.
The hatches are still with us. So Browns will be feeding at night. Rainbow Trout feed even in hot water over 70 F. Brown Trout will venture out at dark in warmer water during a hatch, to a point. The indigenous Brook Trout have the least endurance when it comes to water temperatures over 70 F. The Brookies will hunker down in a spring fed hole and wait the heat out.
If it doesn't rain at least once a week this time of year the rivers will suffer. The Maple River fares the worst, the Black River 2nd, the Pigeon & Sturgeon can take the hot, dry weather the best...but you must fish the deeper gravel areas down stream. Next week, what fly fisherman do in very, very hot weather.
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.