Well, the Drakes are here in all their glory. These large mayflies hatch in the late evenings and can lure even the smartest lunker off the bottom. This is the time of the year where the team in the shop is running on fumes, spending late nights chasing nocturnal dry fly eats from trophy trout. Listen for the "slurp" cast carefully, and if you hear an eat, set the hook!
The Drakes not only prove to be a awesome hatch for trout fishing, but smallmouth as well. Our top-water bite only improves as these bugs hatch in rivers and lakes. Target typical structure in lakes with medium to small sized poppers and transition to small poppers and large dry fly patterns as you notice more bugs in the water. The best method for smallmouth in still water is to pop and twitch these patterns in order to attract fish, but leave long pauses in the retrieve. Sometimes I will count to 30 before moving my fly again.
A few tips to help with after dark fishing.....
1. A quality headlamp is a must. I prefer to use a red-light option when I'm on the river to reduce the chances of spooking fish.
2. Check your fly and leader often. Once the sun drops it difficult to track your cast and tell if your in a tangle or not. I prefer to check my leader and fly every three casts as a general rule.
3. Stay still and once you detect a fish stalk it slowly. In order to increase your chances on these fish, put yourself in a position to make the perfect drift on the first few casts.
If you're still struggling after dark consider picking up a floating glow line from the shop. These lines work well throughout the day and the sun charges them for after dark. If you need a quick charge it just takes a UV flashlight and you're good to go.
Remember to stay safe out there and wade carefully. Good luck out there and stop by the shop to chat up the team and grab the right flies to put fish in the net.
The skeeters are out and so are the mayflies, caddis and some stones. Stream temps range from the mid 50's to upper 60's. Cool nights and rain have kept the trout comfortable, but some hatches were delayed. Look for steady stream of bugs coming off in the evening and some good activity at dawn. The warm water fishing is on fire and top water action is really heating up. The shop is open 10 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday.
Life is slowly returning to normal in the Upper Peninsula and we are getting around to opening the shop up to customers and looking forward to taking out the first clients of the spring. The shop is currently open for curbside orders and in store shopping by appointment only. We are able to guide clients, but would like to keep it to locals only for the time being. The fishing options are endless at the moment and we are getting good reports from those targeting steelhead, smelt, trout and bass. Pike and walleye open on Friday and I for one am really looking forward to a good fish fry. River levels have dropped and temps range from the mid 40's to mid 50's. Lake temps in the area are under 50, but with warmer days ahead our warm water species will wake up soon. Stay safe and see you soon!
Spring like weather has settled in and we are starting to see our spring fishing opportunities as the ice clears. The rivers have have come up on a couple occasions from melt and even some rain. Fresh steelhead are trickling in and we have open water on the big lake. In the rivers I have been using rainbow warriors, clown eggs, nuke eggs and olive buggers. Hardwear folks are reporting fish on Mepps #3-5 and 2" Hot N tots. Spawn, beads and jigs and wax worms are taking more fish though.Now is a great time to practice social distancing and do some fishing. We have guides available if you would like to get out and put a few fish in the net. It is likely that we will have to shut down the storefront in the near future if health concerns warrant it. Please consider browsing our online store or giving us a call directly and let us do your shopping for you. The shop is currently open, but we are cancelling all of our fly tying classes.
We have a couple feet of snow on the ground and people are starting to hit the ice. Ice reports vary and there is some open water on some lakes at the moment. The rivers are in great shape with great flows and little shelf ice for now. Bobber fishing is the main tactic for fly and float folks, but streamers and hardware have been really hot when you find fresh fish. The shop is stocked up and we still have guides available for another month or so.
The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are falling into the 40's at night with regularity. The last major mayfly hatch (white flies) is in full swing and salmon are trickling in. The warmwater species including some huge northerns are starting to bite again. It has been a great month with some very large browns and northerns hitting the net and keeping our clients pretty happy.
The long awaited summer season is here to stay and we are enjoying the diverse fishery in our backyard. Over the past week we have caught browns, brookies, rainbows, pike,walleye, smallmouth, crappie and musky from the boat and wading. It is really hard to pick what to target and many of our guided trips will be split days from now on so we can target nearly everything in one day. Trout fishing is going strong on smaller rivers where the temps are still in the low 60's, but the bigger rivers have heated up so early mornings are the only option for fishing them. Smallmouth, pike and musky fishing is going great and the topwater bite has really picked up for us. The skeeters are out in full force so bugstopper clothing from Simms is a necessity and the shop is fully stocked with shirts, gloves and buffs. Checkout the closeout deals on the shirts at our online store. www.superioroutfitter.ecwid.com. Click on the pictures for a link.
I am pleased to announce that it has stopped raining and water levels are falling to fish able levels across the U.P. I have been itching to get out for trout on dries, but the high water levels have made most of my favorite spots inaccessible. The small spring creeks have been fishing really good when the weather has cooperated and we have been seeing bugs and rising trout on a few of them for around three weeks. The larger rivers have had bugs, but the trout haven't responded quite yet. This is going to change any day now and the hatches are going intensify and with any luck take on a more consistent pattern. I am seeing decent numbers of hendricksons and BWO's along with a few caddis and stones. While we have been waiting for safe river conditions the drift boat has seen some use targeting warmwater species and the fishing has been pretty good. The larger bass seem to be deep still, but pike and musky are still in close. Topwater action isn't on yet so streamers on sinking lines have been the best bet. The next month is my favorite time to be on the water so give the shop a call if you would like to get out wading or in the boat with us.
Opening weekend of trout season was typical of the U.P. with cold temps and high water! The good news is many of the local streams have settled down and are very fish able right now. The larger systems are running high and we still have some snow and ice to get rid of. The small streams that just opened up are a great bet and many are loaded up with spring steelhead and they smelt are joining them. We will be running our spring steelhead trips for a couple more weeks and then its on to resident trout and hopefully some dry fly action by the middle of the month if the weather cooperates.
We are slowly moving into spring in the central U.P. and the snow and ice is clearing up on our lakes and rivers. The southern U.P streams are wide open and good steelhead reports have been coming in over the last week, but the Lake Superior tributaries are lagging behind as usual. The local streams by the shop are rising and the ice dams are breaking up making the fishing a lot easier, but we have yet to see a good push of fish. Stragglers are being caught along with winter holdovers and resident browns. The shop is full of new gear and the online shop has the basics along with hard to find salmon eggs and skein. Kole and Nick will begin running steelhead trips in a week or so and we will likely be offering them through mid to late May this year if your interested in seeing what our streams have to offer.