Fishing Report 5/1/21

Northern Angler Fishing Report for Northern Michigan

It sounds like everyone enjoyed a fun and in some cases a very productive trout opener.  The river conditions remain fairly steady and we could really use some serious rain.  The leaves are really starting to bud and the dogwood trees are in bloom and the spring wildflowers are starting to show themselves on the forest floor.  We have had some dustings of snow and a thunderstorm this past week, but it still feels like spring here in Traverse City.  We have been busy at the shop with trying to keep stuff stocked up, but Matt and I did sneak away for a “Staff Meeting” and hit the Manistee River with Cammie to plan out our upcoming Women’s Fly Fishing School events and go over the final draft of the class manual.  We were able to fish the new Echo Streamer X Rods and put those through the paces.  Very solid rod that won’t break the bank!  Everyone gave them the double thumbs up!  It felt good to get out and enjoy the river and we even caught a few fish!

Upper Manistee Fishing Report

The upper Manistee is definitely running low and clear.  A stealthy approach is key in these type of conditions.  Slow your pace and observe the river and possible fish before just flailing away at the water.  Smaller, natural streamers and nymphs have been productive during the day and there are Hendrickson’s, black stones, a smattering of caddis in areas and some bwo’s particularly on the cloudy days.  Be prepared for dry fly action and be willing to go subsurface with pheasant tails, prince nymphs, copper john’s, and caddis nymphs.

The water temps did cool down some this week, but the next few days look like that could change.  Upper 40’s have been the norm this week.

Manistee River Below Tippy

The Manistee below Tippy has been steadily declining with steelhead numbers.  There are still a few around, but those are the last of the spring run, which was pretty lackluster overall as far as returns this late winter and spring. It’s definitely time to switch gears for trout and smallmouth streamer fishing below the dam and look for the trout to start rising on caddis in the evenings.  This is a great place to take some kids and get them fishing for the trout or even the suckers that are spawning below the dam.  

Boardman River Fishing Report

Low and clear definitely describes the Boardman.  The water temps have been in the mid 40’s and there are some areas that have had some dry fly action, but smaller streamers, nymphs and soft hackles are the name of the game on the Boardman for the time being.  Go explore some new to you areas on this river, it is truly a gem.  Browns, brookies and now quite a few rainbows (steelhead yearlings) are being caught throughout the system above the old Sabin Dam sight.  Again, go with a stealthy approach for best results on fishing the Boardman.


Inland Lakes Fishing Report

Some of the smaller lakes are warming up where we can start targeting bass, pike and panfiish with the fly.  Bass and pike fishing has been productive if you are willing to grind it out and put the effort in to get the results. Bass are in the pre-spawn mode, so when you find them, they will be aggressive.  It won’t be long and we will be enticing the bass and panfish up with poppers and rubber spiders.  If you are into the warmwater thing-make sure you check out our 4th Annual Cheese Cup Event!