Holy cow, these warm temperatures have really been wreaking havoc on our river temperatures this June! Thankfully, it looks like we'll be getting some cooler overnight temperatures next week which should help bring things back towards safe temperatures for trout fishing.
I know we've hammered on the subject before, but we'd like to remind everyone that when water temperatures approach 70 degrees, trout begin to experience stress due to lack of oxygen. Even when fought briefly, well handled and released fish may not survive despite swimming away. Please be a responsible angler and take the temperature where you're planning to fish!
Unfortunately, we've been closely watching the temps on the upper Manistee flirt with the seventy degree mark. You can too, check out the gauge that's located at M72 here, and the one below CCC bridge here. This is normally prime-time for dry fly fishing in Northern Michigan but to be successful and feel good about catching these wild fish, we need to change up the game plan. In terms of bugs, you can find Isonychias and Brown Drakes. If you're an early riser, you should be able to find some Isonychias and if you're staying out late be prepared with Brown Drake patterns.
Patterns to have:
Isonychias: McCoy's All-Day & Boondoggle Drakes, Potters Opal Drake, McClain's Drake, Ted's Tilt Shoot Iso
Brown Drakes: Alex's Palmered Parachute, McCoy's All-Day & Boondoggle Drakes, Robert's Yellow Drake
Amazingly, The Boardman, which typically runs colder, has been seeing early warm temperatures just like all of our other Northern rivers. Daily temps are reaching high into the sixty degrees and fishing has been hit & miss. Anglers having the best success are getting out early and fishing during the low light conditions. If you're itching to fish dry flies, make sure you pack some basic caddis patterns and some classic attractors like patriots, royal wulffs, and Adams. Nymphs have also been working well with simple flies working the best; things like pheasant tails, pat's rubber legs, and hare's ears.
Warm water opportunities have been great the past week or two with anglers able to find smallmouth, pike, and bluegill. The occasional carp has been caught as well in shallow out on east and west bay. We think more anglers in Northern Michigan should take the time to explore our wonderful warm-water fisheries. While we're stressing about the low & hot trout streams, our local lakes are thriving. If you've never felt a smallmouth try and kick your fly or see a pike inhale a streamer, you're missing out.