River Report - July 26, 2018
Summer is in full swing here in the Tip of the Mitt. Most days are a wonderful 75-85 degrees, sunny, blue skies. Some days have a chance (yup, just a chance...) of rain or storms, but for the most part, the top end of the lower peninsula is playing nice with the Great Lakes giving us some beautiful weather. Nights have been cool for the most part, which has kept the water temps in great shape - in fact, what started as one of the hotter summers I can remember has turned into one of the finest July's I can remember. It seems that the dog days earlier in the season gave way to some wonderful seasonal temps for mid-summer, rather than the other way around.
The morning trico bite is crankin' along, and has been pretty good on most mornings as the day heats up. Olives have their place and although you sometimes have both, where you don't have tiny white winged blacks...you'll find the olive wings. On the cloudier days, olives will pop all day, but regardless...the trout know what they look like and love to munch on em. Evenings have been characterized by cahills and isos with mixed reports on the day and system. the terrestrial bite has been pretty good - especially on the smaller bugs. Hoppers have been producing fish - and sometimes a few nice ones - but not with the consistency of the ants and beetles. Even if the brookies are eating tricos or olives in the morning, it never hurts to double up and float a beetle or ant in front of the smaller bug - the bigger fish like the bigger meal and are more likely to move for it. For the middle part of the day, small streamers can get you down under the wood... or in those locations where there are rainbow trout populations, nymphing and swingin' soft hackles through the riffles and faster runs can produce since the sun doesn't penetrate the same as it does in the slack water.
Full day floats on the upper Manistee, and backcountry walk-ins are your best bet for guide trips right now. Half day floats offer a quick jaunt amongst busy schedules, but don't give the amount of time needed to truly dial things in this time of year. We've been significantly up on traffic this summer, but finally looks like we have some openings in the schedule for August so give us a call and we'll get you out onto the brook trout waters.
New gear will be available from Sage, Redington & Rio Products starting August 1. As a Sage Elite, I'm happy to offer some suggestions on any of the new products from Farbank - the new Ignitor and Dart rods are real slick and I'm definitely looking forward to them. The Ignitor is for your streamer geeks and bass masters - ultra fast action badass. If you're looking for a creekin' rod, the Dart is on point - small size, big attitude - KonneticHD tech for a price cheaper than the MOD! Another sweet skinny water stick is the updated Redington Butterstick - in my opinion, a great little rod for the money and the throwback graphics are a step in the right direction. If you're interested in anything, give me a shout and I'd be happy to help you out.
Don't let the summer dog days keep you on the boat, at cocktail parties, and bonfires... get to the river where you belong - we'll help point you in the right direction.