River Report - April 21, 2016
Just a little over a week until trout season opener in Michigan, but that doesn't mean that things aren't already on the up and up...
Steelhead are hot! Someone flipped the switch this week and it seems like the magnets in the rivers flipped on and drew every steelhead around to come join the party. The Boyne is packed in right now, and all the other rivers are starting to follow suit. With the warmer water temps, anglers have had success with the normal nymphs and eggs, but swinging is producing as well. With a goofy weather spring, those who are looking for chrome still have every opportunity for the next couple weeks in the tip of the mitt.
Dry fly season is upon us. No, not every fish in the river is looking up yet, but there are bugs, and we are starting to see fish rise. The Upper Man is producing blue wing olives and stones on a regular basis, with a scattering of mahoganies on the warmer days, and a few hennies here and there starting to show. The water temp is playing jump rope around the 52 degree mark - some days its 50, some days its 54. There is a good chance by opener that we will see the hennies start their dance in numbers, and with another week before that, more trout should be looking to the surface which equals a good possibility of decent dry fly action on opener, if not before. It's always a welcome treat to start casting dries to rising trout in the spring, even if it doesnt equal results. I pulled out the new Sage MOD 590-4 about a month ago during the late March warm up, and although I only saw a rise or two, it was so nice to throw a nice loop on a trout rod with a floating line, rather than chucking heavy rigs for steel or 300gr+ sink tips with half-a-rabbit sized flies. It's somewhat heavenly in my opinion.
The northern tier rivers are a little slower to warm, but I wouldn't be surprised to see dry fly opportunities on opener throughout some of the headwaters streams, especially olives for brookies in the headwaters, with a taste of hennies in the mix.
Spring DNR stocking has happened in the normal locations, and plenty of anglers are having fun playing with the sub-legal sized trout on buggers and basic dries. Coming out of the hatchery, the small browns and rainbows are pretty eager to hit anything, and they're a lot of fun if you're more interested in numbers rather than the size of steelhead or big trout on streamers.
Still need to gear up for season?! We are doing a special from Sunday, April 24 through Opener (Saturday, April 30!). Stop on in to Boyne Outfitters and pick up your Boyne Outfitters bucket. Whatever you can fit in the bucket, we'll give you 20% off. That means grab your leader and tippet, all the flies and floatant you need, a fly line, maybe a shirt, and some of the new accessories from Simms, Fishpond and Umpqua...and we will take 20% off. The bucket is a little small to shove a fly rod or a pair of waders in, but there are still tons of goodies to fill it with. And in observation of Earth Day, we'll save the bag, and you just take all your new gear home in your Boyne Outfitters bucket! So stop in and geat up for season!
It's go time in the Tip of the Mitt - steelhead, stripping streamers for big browns, and dry flies... Trout season is here folks, and I couldn't be more excited!