River Report - June 17, 2017
"There are nights in the month of June when I think I would rather enjoy being a trout." - Bob Butz
Afternoon and evenings are still dominated by isonychia, gray drakes, cahills, along with a scattering of pale evening duns, and some fair reports of batflies in the mix. Brown drakes are still showing up in several of they systems, but are definitely losing traction. Isos are key for the afternoon hours of searching, but if fish are showing prefefernce to the other offerings, feed em what they want. Even the sports that don't want to stay out after dark have been having decent luck throughout the daytime hours. As the daylight starts to fade however, hex are taking the spotlight.
They're here! Yes, it's a little early for the tip of the mitt, but they're here nonetheless. Regardless of the tardiness of the drakes, the hex hatch is early and off to a strong start across all the major systems. The Au Sable started a few days before us, but what usually is 5-7 days turned into a few nights, and pop they went. Hexes are showing from the Upper Man to the Jordan to the Boyne, and all the typicaly haunts in between. Big bug season is on, and you should be making plans to get here while it's good.
The hex hatch is widely considered the pinnacle of midwest dry fly fishing for trophy trout. These bugs, the Hexagenia limbata, often refered to as B-52s/flying steaks/etc. due to their size...have the ability to make even the wariest of large trout lose their focus and succumb to an anglers imitation. Everyone has a different way of describing it. Many just call it "The Hatch", regardless of the multitude of insects around this same time of year. Many old timers consider it the Michigan Caddis (yes, it is a mayfly), and the general populus call them Fish Flies. Regardless, in certain locales they emerge in such numbers they have been caught on doppler radar. And that type of biomass brings those big fish up. Between the numbers of bugs and 'the fish that got away' stories - this bug is attributed to more myths and tales than any other in the upper Midwest. Want to land a trophy trout at night on a dry fly? Work on your cast...during the day...in your yard...with your eyes closed. Learn to mend and stack. And learn the differences in riseforms and sounds. Want to catch some quality trout? Just go fish in the dark with a hex imitation this time of year...and with any luck...you'll put a few in the net.
The end of June is when magic happens.