We’re almost one full week into June and still waiting for summer to begin in northern Michigan. Despite the fact that frost warnings are still a daily occurrence, most hatches have been right on schedule.
One of the cool things about our area is the way you get staggered hatches on different watersheds that are relatively close together. If a bug is popping on the Au Sable, its usually half a week or so away from starting in the streams north of Gaylord. Often, that means an angler has his choice of fishing the peak of two separate hatches that don’t normally overlap on a single watershed. Do I drive 20 minutes north and fish Light Hendricksons, or 20 minutes south and get Brown Drakes?
We have our cake and eat it too.
We also have ticks. Lots and lots of ticks. Seems like every trip out so far this year has resulted in finding a tick somewhere on me when I got home. I’ve begun spraying excessive amounts of high percentage deet bug spray all over myself as soon as I get out of the car. Then, spraying more wherever a tick can find its way under my clothes- ankles, neck lines, waist lines, shirt sleeves, etc. Waders seem to help, so even when I don’t plan on getting in the water while bugging, I still put them on.
Bugging has been good. I did miss a few hatches. For one reason or another, those bugs just didn’t pop where I was looking for them. That said, I took over 1000 bug photos in May alone. Slowly, I’ll have those up on the website. Last night, I added the pics to the Light Hendrickson page. The hendrickson page is almost done and a page on ants is started. The March Brown, Grey Fox, and Brown Drake pages are next.
Did I mention its June? I actually forgot to eat the other day. And getting into some wild small stream rainbows and browns was totally worth it. Food for the soul, and a great way to lose weight…
Looking forward, Isonychia are starting. This is my favorite hatch of the year. Of course, the first hex spinnerfall should be about 10-12 days away- depending where you fish- and believe it or not, the first Trico hatches will be shortly after. Then we’re into July and the mousing that goes with it. And then salmon will be in, and we’ll all be cutting firewood and wondering where the summer went.
From Josh’s fishing report posted today at Gates’ website-
It’s on in a big way. And yesterday evening — from 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm, was everything an angler could want. There were fish rising everywhere. There were fish crushing the strong swimming Iso nymphs in the backwaters. There were fish sucking drake spinners in the slicks and tail outs. There were fish exploding on Iso duns in the riffles. There were fish eating drake emergers along the weeds. Shucks and spinners on the water. It was perfect. And it was difficult.
Well, frost warnings and all, what we waited for all winter long is here. So grab a sweater and enjoy the ride.