River Report - September 10, 2015
You can definitely feel the change in the air. I surprised myself today when I looked at the calendar and couldn't believe we are already well into September...summer flew by. The morning air is cool and brisk, with a slight chill to it that is unmistakably fall in northern Michigan. However, it is still September, and the cool mornings are often pushed off by calm winds and beautiful sunshine warming the woods and water to the late summer weather we all seem to enjoy.
How's the fishing? It's pretty awesome actually. We have had some great late season weather over the last few weeks. Cool days followed by hot days, pressure fronts continually moving through, and rain...and lots of it. The water levels are much higher than normal for the start of September before the fall rains start towards the end of the month. This has meant happier, less stressed, trout...and typically better angling. Brook trout fishing is still hanging at the top of the list as the headwaters continue to fish well and the fontinalis are starting to show their fall spawning regalia which definitely helps them hold their spot as one of the most beautiful fish species in North America. Ants and beetles are the go-to for fall brookie fishing. Swung and twitched wet skunks continue to produce as well. Streamer fishing is continuing to gain steam as the days start to cool and the rain is more consistent. Small streamers are still the name of the game, however look for the coming weeks to start turning the page to the larger patterns for much more aggressive pre-spawn browns looking to gorge on some big meals. Predatory territorial instincts start to become more defined as well as they start to stake out their spawning grounds.
The salmon have started. The Bear is the hot-spot in the Tip of the Mitt right now. Guys have been aggressively stripping large salmon streamers down in the lake just outside the mouth for a couple weeks now with good luck, especially early in the morning. Gotta love a silver king chase down a stripped streamer before they enter the river and start turning to zombies. The Boyne and Jordan are soon to follow, and fish should start stacking at the river mouths within the week. A few fish may trickle into the systems with this last rain, but I still think we are a good week or so out based on the reports from the charter guys off Charlevoix.
And for you bird guys...grouse season is only a few days away...so grab your O/U, throw on a bit of blaze orange, ready your favorite bird dog and head into the aspen woods to start busting birds!
Autumn is one of the most blessed times to be a sportsman (or woman) in northern Michigan! Brook trout, brown trout, salmon and bird hunting...throw in a cigar and a sip of bourbon and life is good! What more could you ask for?
Get out and enjoy all we have to be thankful for! Cheers~