Well, we’ve certainly gotten more rain than most of us expected this past week. Our rivers will be running higher with some good stain this weekend. I hope that doesn’t discourage anyone from hitting the water however, there is still plenty of good fishing to be enjoyed!
The Manistee (GAUGE LINK HERE)
Although most of us have shifted to fishing foam this time of year, it would be a good idea to keep your Isonychias with you for another week or two. These mayflies love riffle water so don't be afraid to dead drift a few McCoy's Boondoggle Isos or swing a soft hackle pheasant tail through before moving to your next spot. On the other end of the spectrum, Tricos have been spotted so you'll want to grab your 6X and readers if you're out in the morning.
Mid-July has us pulling out our collections of hoppers, beetles, and ants for some fun along the grassy banks. Once the water clears in the next day or so rig your five weight with a nine foot 3X leader and cast to likely spots along the banks where vegetation hangs over the river. If you’re feeling confident in your casting add an ant, beetle, or nymph dropper off the bend of the hook. Today though you might want to throw a sinking leader on and work a streamer near structure. We’ve been having some fun finding aggressive fish still willing to eat streamers in low light/stained water conditions.
FLIES TO HAVE
- ISOs (10-12): McCoy's Boodoggle, All Day Iso, Ted's Tilt Shoot
- Tricos (18-22): Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, Comparadun
- Hoppers (8-12): Chubby Chernobyl, Claudehopper, Michigan Skunk, Parachute Hopper
- Beetles/Ants: Parachute Ants, Foam Beetles
- Streamers: Bangtails, Mini Dungeons, Zoo Cougar, Sluggos, Circus peanuts. Yellow has been hot in the dirty water but go to more subtle colors as the rivers clear.
THE BOARDMAN (GAUGE LINK HERE)
The Boardman came up a lot and got dirty with the recent rains but it's still fishable. Don't worry about carrying flies to match a hatch on this river, attractors, nymphs, and streamers are about all you'll need for a fun day on the water. If the water stays stained, forget the dries and get below the surface with either a big stonefly or some bright streamers.
Those nymphing have had success working the likely spots with stoneflies, caddis, and pheasant tails. I'd be fishing streamers while the water is stained up with brighter colors like yellow and orange. Downsize once the water starts to clear. In terms of dries, throw a healthy Chubby Chernobyl near vegetation and look for a subtle sip.