Dry fly fishing season is upon us

June 5, 2014

image (6)For the Love of Fishing. A blog by Sean McDonald.

June is the time for dry fly fishing on our local rivers, like the Pere Marquette, the Little Manistee and the Sauble. The Gray Drake Mayfly Hatch is now in full swing. Every night since Memorial Weekend we have had excellent spinner falls of Gray Drakes. Timing is important when it comes to fishing this hatch. On hot days like we had last week the spinner fall occurs about the last half hour before dark. This week has been cooler and the spinners were falling onto the riffles along with trout feeding on them in the river from 3 p.m. until dark yesterday.

The mosquitos this year are the worst I have ever seen them. It must be from all the rain we had earlier this year. Make sure you bring long sleeves and a hat and bring along some of the best bug spray you can find.  The blood sucking pests will haunt you even when you get back in your car, I have been trying to keep my truck doors open as little as possible. I am also convinced when you need to tie a fly on they know that you can not stop tying when your hands are occupied and will bite you at your weakest point.

I have had some friends fishing walleye on Hamlin Lake from around 9pm and midnight and they have been catching a few every night. Using inline planer boards and diving body baits is doing the job. They have been catching other fish at the same time by accident- including rock and smallmouth bass.

image (8)Spring king fishing from Pentwater to Lake Michigan is also better than it has been in a few years. We still have cold water and the lake has not set up into layers yet. Meat rigs/flasher flies and spoons have all been working. The best depths have been 90-150 feet, while focusing on the top 50 feet of the water column. I have personally not seen a lot of bait in the kings we have been catching or a lot of it on the graph. The kings seem to be somewhat scattered, or in smaller pockets. If you hit a double, you think you found the “castle” and swing back around looking for other fish and it has not been producing on the second or third pass. I feel the lack of food this year is going to make them easy to catch like we had it a few years ago. The DNR is expecting a large alewife die off this spring due to the bad winter.

Steelhead  fishing should kick in soon as well in Lake Michigan near Ludington. Surface temperature breaks will be the main focus when searching for steelhead and are relatively close to shore during June.  When we have south winds for several days in a row and suddenly overnight get a hard northwest wind it will set up a great temperature break. This temperature break means steelhead feeding near the surface on bugs that collect where the warm and cold water meet.  Orange spoons trolled near the surface in combination with orange action flashers and cheddar flies will put several of them in your net when the lake is set up and concentrates the fish. If you like to catch steelhead save yourself some gas opposed to later in the summer by going and taking advantage of Junes near shore phenomena.


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