The rivers here in the north reached a high of 71 Fahrenheit this past Memorial Day weekend. That is very warm for this time year. The rains and cooler temperatures should drop the water temperatures to a much more comfortable 66-68 degrees for the upcoming week. Lows at night of 40-50 F and warming afternoons in the 70sF will give us that late afternoon success expected this time of year. Cold fronts colliding with southern warm temperatures bring us those hard to predict thunder storms we have been experiencing. It's nature in motion and all is green here in Northern Michigan.
The season is off to a great start as the trout are larger and taking dry flies. I am still experiencing many refusals but persistence does pay off. I knew a large Brook Trout was in a deep hold and after 30 casts with a Adams Para # 12, I landed him. The Browns however are still feeding on streamers, but the Hex hatch should bring them up in the next few weeks.
The Pigeon River in the Vanderbilt area is still getting muddied up by the dam removal. It's a process in motion with the MiDNR and their schedule is unpredictable. The Maple, Sturgeon and Black Rivers are in perfect shape.
The scheduled new bridge for Brutus Road is in the works and it will cause some difficult detours for northern Burt Lake residence. The effect on the Maple River trout will be minimal. The power dam on Woodland Road and the draining of Lake Kathleen is in the planning stage. This needs to be researched closely as it will open the upper reaches of the Maple that has been traditionally Brook Trout water. Browns and Steelhead trout, King Salmon and even Walleye and Pike will have access to land locked parts of the Maple River. I don't know if it will be good or bad, but there will be change to the water shed. I just hope our indigenous Brook Trout don't pay the price.
I've fished our small streams for over sixty years and the last 3 years, coupled with river projects for the next three years, will bring the most change to these beautiful trout streams in a half of century. Dams like the Song Of the Morning (Pigeon) and at the Dam Site Inn (Maple) are the challenge.
It is a great time of the year for a peaceful day on a river before the onslaught of visitors we have by the "Fourth of July". So if thoughts of serene, peaceful days, are a part of your personal itinerary, time has come today.
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.