River Report - May 18th, 2017
'Ever the river has risen and brought us the flood, the mayfly floating on the water. On the face of the sun its countenance gazes, then all of a sudden nothing is there.' - Epic of Gilgamesh, circa 2,000BC.
Sure, mayflies don't just happen in May - they used to be referred to as 'Dayflies' - but regardless, the life of a mayfly is brief, and the epic spring transition from one species to the nextcan sometimes feel even moreso. And each year, those seasons feel shorter, proving that perhaps...in the grand scheme of things... our days are sometimes as limited as those mayflies - so we better take advantage of them!
Let's be honest for a minute - there are bugs, and a lot of them. And any given day can produce more bugs than the average angler is willing to discern. For the most part at this point, hendricksons are tapering off, sulphurs are in full swing, mahoganies are ramping up, borchers and pseudo-gray drakes have their place, etc etc... and then there are the stones and the caddis just to add to the mix.
The rivers in northern Michigan have woken up, especially after some really nice HOT days this last week. Look to the next few weeks as being some of the best dry fly fishing of the year, with every evening emergence or spinner fall offering something a little different than the last.
Last week I was able to get out an explore some water I haven't fished since I was a little kid - let alone ever with a fly rod in hand - and it was one of the most gratifying experiences I've had on the water in a long time. This is small water creekin' country, and betwen hopping the beaver dams and keeping my flies out of the brush...the sub-foot-long beauties of brook, brown and rainbow trout that came to hand that day made up for their lack of inches by their colors and tenacity.
Evenings on the bigger water have been producing nicer fish every day. Each day those fish seem to find a better rhythm - a quietude of steady food and limited pressure. Sulphurs will only enhance their presence, and if you don't manage to get some nice fish to hand through sulphurs and mahoganies, the drakes of late May and early June will help you find your place on the water.
All in all, season is off to a wonderful start here in the tip of the mitt. Grab your rod, throw your waders in the back of the truck, and head north. We'll see you when you get here!