Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Midge Bread and Butter 101 on the Muskegon/Big Manistee


                                 ( Morning midge feeder on the Muskegon - who say's a 20 incher won't t                                                                           take size 20 dries?)

Diptera midges have completely taken over two tailwaters significantly in Michigan- the FERC re-licensed rivers of the Muskegon and Big Manistee. Due to low stable flows/plankton from impoundments, these rivers have seen increased vegetation/decaying detritus which harbors massive benthic diptera and Simulium midges beyond epic proportions.The ridiculous sucker populations of both rivers ( they feed 90% on midge larvae as they turn their suction noses on a rock and flash their golden sides) are a direct result of the insane midge populations.Either fish big drakes and Hexes in the evening, or prepare for morning sippers now on midges and then eventually caddis and tiny bwo's as the year progresses.6 and 7x will be the norm with long 14-18 foot leaders and 2/3/4 weight 10/11 foot rods. Trout will sip midges daily from now thru the summer thru November and December.
(The ideal fine gravel/vegetation mix of  these rivers favors midges/clinging mayflies and scuds)
PRESENTATION
Target pods of trout in slow pools and back eddies/gravel shelves. Use a midge emerger dry and dropper pupae ( my WMD-weapons of midge destruction in last year's Fly Fisherman article are deadly) If you get refusals go down in size and silhouette- but the trout will eventually make the mistake of a take. Try twitching your presentation to get your flies noticed in the maze of naturals.
You can  now tie size#26/28 midges using # 20 wide gap hooks from Daiichi for better hooking percentages and short shank bodies. Also the supple Varivas tippet material is ideal for presenting minutiae  down to 8x/9x
Enjoy this wonderful way to fish in a traditional manner where  trout sippers can be ultra fussy but pleasing to dry fly aficionados. 

Check out the massive midge larvae cluster found on a stick!....click on the link below 







Monday, June 20, 2016

Selectivity Book Comments/Review


I was VERY honored to receive the comments below Saturday from one of the  biologists I have a high degree of respect for- Gary Whelan: Project Manager/Research for the Michigan DNR. 

Gary , who is a fly fisher and has traveled extensively and knows progressive fisheries management like no other, was the former Director of Hatcheries for Michigan and was instrumental in developing the FERC "run -of - river " flows for the Muskegon/Manistee/Au Sable during their unprecedented re-licensing. 

He predicted that The Muskegon's food supply and salmonid natural reproduction of salmon/steelhead, and incredible growth rates of trout will occur as a result of the increase in bio food mass from stable flows/ bubbler oxygen/ temperature controls, which enhances the benthic and migratory ecosystem environment. 

Any time I get comments form biologists,  they are the most important barometer and index for me to judge that my vision and work was 'dead on' the subject and not just my hypothesis/rambling/theories and emotional anthropomorphism ( which was often brought to my attention from my beloved editor J. Nichols ), which has often been my critics best case for rebuttal,  since I love this subject matter and live it passionately  ...Thanks Gary!!! 

" Matt,

I wanted to let you know that I am reading your book right now that I was able to get through interlibrary loan.  It is both factual and very well done with outstanding photos.  It is my opinion that you got the biology correct which many fishing books just miss.  You should be very proud of this piece of prose and I intend to add a copy to my personal library.

Super work.  Hope all else is well and that fishing is still going well up there.

Take best of care,

Gary-6/19/16 "

Monday, June 13, 2016

BIG BUG SEASON ON...HOW DOES SELECTIVITY SHAPE TROPHY TROUT FEEDERS

                                           ( REALISTIC MAYFLY PATTERNS LIKE HERE WITH THE J:SON WINGS/FOAM DO THE TRICK FOR ULTRA SELECTIVE /REFLECTIVE LOW WATER GULPERS- TAIL: MOOSE MANE...BODY 2/4MM FOAM CUT BY HARELINE MAYFLY FOAM CUTTER BOXES-RIBBED BY GRAY THREAD...GRIZZLY HACKLE TIED PARACHUTE...JSON WINGS AND BURNERS FROM HARELINE...FLY TYING TIME; 10 MINUTES MAX----(Flies can be bought from your local fly shop distributed by Angler Sport Group for those that dont tie)

What to expect during the big bug hatch progression :

DAY 1- Trout not yet familiar with the onset of new big bugs- Habituation at play ( see Selectivity book)

Day 2-5- heavy Aggressive/active feeding

Day 6  thru wainning days..ultra selective fussy behavior where sparse silhouette flies like the J:SON foam above comes into play


Friday, June 10, 2016

Now is the time to Wet Fly Swing...classic style!

Swinging ( classic Atlantic Salmon down-and- across UK wet fly broadside swing, inspired by A.H.E. Wood greased line technique), is not just limited to migratory steelhead and salmon. Now is the perfect time to do the same floating line technique on light 12 foot 3/4 weight switch rods , swinging articulated swimming nymphs as Isonychia/Hex race heatedly towards emergence. Here is an awesome brown taken by my client last night in very shallow fast water where the nymphs are emerging ....the" poor man's atlantic salmon- the brown trout!", is an ideal way to experience this wonderful way to fish all year- soft hackles etc....cheers! ( HINT: If the water is over your thighs, you are fishing too deep- get out of the boat and wade these shoals/tight to the bank swift runs where the donkeys are hunting swimming nymphs.......natural:JGMiller image