How lucky are we here in north Michigan? USA Today ranked the coolest temperature retreats in the country and Seattle Washington came in first. Yet their day & night temperatures were warmer than this area. Fly fish anglers, let's keep it our little secret. It has been wonderful here for outdoor sportsmen on the lakes and streams. All of nature is enjoying the mild weather with us. Forest activities are quite comfortable and the fly fishing is very good in spite of the warming trend of the last decade. We have only suffered one 3 day +90F degree period this summer. The NW wind has returned us to 50sF at night and 70sF by day. This weather pattern is going to continue this week . The cool rains are coming every 3-4 days, a perfect balance for healthy rivers.
So what's your trout, the Brown? Fish them in the late afternoon & dark of the night with bead headed Wooly Buggers or a Clouser Minnow. Is it the The Brook Trout? You can fish them all day until 9 PM with dry flies like the Adams, Royal Trudes, Hornbergs, Light Cahills, and several other flies. Is your favorite the Rainbows? They will bite on anything, including the kitchen sink, at anytime. The Brookies and Rainbows have this aggressive eating habit but the water temperature makes the difference. Brookies will slow down or stop eating around 68 F and Rainbows around 72 F.
Water temperatures in the Pigeon, Sturgeon, Black and Maple rivers start at 55 F in the morning rising to the low 60s by night fall. Water levels are starting to drop but still are at safe levels. Trout are beginning to hold up in deep holes. The best times for fly fishing is early morning 7 AM, tapering off at 11 AM. Then starting back around 4 PM and increasing in success to peak between 7 PM to 9 PM. Remember if you are going after Browns this peak time extends well into the night, knowing that without some hatch to kick start the Browns it can be a long night.
If you park on a black top road and have cell phone service your chances for trout are more of a challenge. If you make your trip an excursion into the wild, success increases. I hate to remind you that there are only 5 weeks to Labor Day Weekend, and many of us will have to return to city responsibilities...so grab your favorite fleece, it's now or never and now is very good fly fishing.
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.