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> > The drought is over and some pretty fishies are biting

Jmd123 has attached these 4 pictures. The message is below.
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A very richly colored pond brookie
A very richly colored pond brookie
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Very pretty rainbow, biggest from the Pine in four years!
Very pretty rainbow, biggest from the Pine in four years!
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Joe-pye-weed on the banks of the Pine
Joe-pye-weed on the banks of the Pine
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Spotted touch-me-not on the banks of the Pine
Spotted touch-me-not on the banks of the Pine
Jmd123August 24th, 2016, 2:03 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Our absolutely awful hot and dry spell has finally come to an end, with about 3 1/2" of rain in a week and a half and more on the way any minute now. I quit fishing for a full three weeks to give the poor trout a break, not wanting to further stress any fish and figuring the big ones wouldn't bite anyway. Well, decent fishing conditions have returned, and I've been itching to get back out there (pun intended since I actually got a leech bite last night!). Monday night I went to the Pond and didn't have a lot of action but still got four, including a very dark and colorful 10-incher on a #10 hopper. Almost no bugs, very few fish feeding, but no deer flies or mosquitos either! Nice not to have to douse oneself in DEET for a change. And just a beautiful, relaxing evening to be in the kayak on glass-like water as the sun goes down...

Last night I hit the Pine and had more success, in spite of again next to no bugs and nothing but little guys feeding. The #10 hopper is certainly the ticket right now, got all fish on it including this colorful 12-inch rainbow, along with about 10 smaller ones including a nice brookie. Again, no deerflies or mosquitos, but sadly only the second leech bite I've ever gotten from this stream, and I have a nice allergic reaction to them these days, it's getting good and red and itchy right now...but I did get a close view of a grey fox on the way out, and it was another beautiful evening, the banks covered with blooming goldenrods, Joe-pye-weed, boneset, spotted touch-me-not, and turtlehead.

Back to the Rifle as soon as weather permits!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PartsmanAugust 24th, 2016, 10:43 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 320
Jonathon, thanks for a some great pics and fishing report, my mom and dad have been visting for a few weeks from Arizona, so a good reason to stay home and let the fish be for a while. I got the itch for a new rod, picking up a orvis 5 wt. recon tomorrow, maybe next Tuesday will be a good day to break it in. Thanks again for the pictures.

Mike.
TimCatAugust 26th, 2016, 11:33 am
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Nice fish and flowers. All the rainbows I caught last year on the Pine were little grey/silvery dinks with hardly any color. That one was a beauty compared. I'm heading up there this weekend to visit my family. I think I'll be wading up the pine myself.

Yesterday I fished the headwaters of the Rogue after a good afternoon rain. The water was finally cold enough to feel comfortable about catching some trout in there (Last time I drove 1.5 hrs to realize the water was around 70F when I got there). I caught a 12" brown just before sunset. It's been nice having a few days under 90-85 degrees with this rain too!
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Jmd123August 26th, 2016, 1:46 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Hey Tim, let me know when you get into town. There is a hike-in stretch of the Pine above Buhl Dam that looks juicy and there's no deer flies left to drive you outta there. I'll work on getting some hoppers tied up for my next adventures out there...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RogueratAugust 26th, 2016, 2:41 pm
Posts: 456
Crazy, 4 Michiganders on the site at the same time...!

Tim, you were in my neck of the woods yesterday, although I haven't been on the Rogue in more than a month- too hot, work, or exploring the Boardman and points north. I've rarely fished the headwaters, either- guess some exploring closer to home is needed.

I'm throwing hardware tomorrow, future son-in-law is taking us out lake fishing on a pontoon boat!? (yeah, I know...) and I'm breaking out the bait-cast rods.
Sluggo's, Carolina rigs, and jig 'n craw time...Yee Hah!

It's all good, all the same.

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
PartsmanAugust 26th, 2016, 7:27 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 320
Hey Rogue, have fun and congratulations on the future son in law! My daughter and son in law live over your way, my daughter works for the Grand Rapids Foundation and was trying to put together a group to help clean up on the Rogue. I gave her a 5 wt. St. Croix to play around with, she really seems to want to get into flyfishing, I hope she does. Have fun,

Mike.

PaulRobertsAugust 27th, 2016, 10:13 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Nice J. Glad your getting out. Man those droughts just suck the life out of the land. Hardest thing to see here in CO.
Jmd123August 27th, 2016, 1:07 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Paul, I'm just glad that the terrorists - er, I mean TOURISTS - didn't set the woods on fire this summer because some knucklehead didn't mind their campfire! I'm surrounded by big pine trees and my front grass is still brown, except for the crabgrass...at least the trout are now catching a break. Still, haven't seen much insect life other than bees (got stung by one yesterday in a big patch of blooming goldenrods) and Odonata (been particularly abundant this year, collected lots of nymphs everywhere we sampled in class this summer). And the mosquitos were pestering me again in the woods yesterday, but the deer flies are GONE.

Mike, I've got friends in the GR area who are fly fishers (they like any kind of fishing, including big flathead catfish). Let me know if you would like their contact info to pass along to your daughter.

"Crazy, 4 Michiganders on the site at the same time...!" Yes, but where's SPENCE?? Normally our most verbose Michigander, he has been strangely silent lately...BTW, pontoon boats make great fly-fishing platforms! I would take my 9-footers and a box of big poppers, streamers, Woolly Buggers, etc. If required to use spinning tackle, well break out the Jitterbugs, Rapalas, Little Cleos, Mepps, Daredevles, etc. To be honest, I have piles of the stuff in my basement that I never use anymore, except for the occasional salmon, steelhead, or lake trout adventure, and it also serves as guest gear when I have visitors who don't fly fish.

Tight lines and mucho hoppers to all my fellow Michiganders and other troutnuts! As our weather eventually cools, some of our best fishing of the season is ahead. In 2013 and 2014 I took my biggest trout of the year in September, and last year it came in November!

Jonathon


No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RogueratAugust 27th, 2016, 7:36 pm
Posts: 456
hardware report: one small LM (guess that's sort of an an oxymoron) on a Rattle Trap...

I've also got tackle boxes full of hard baits, soft baits, jigs, and a closet full of spinning and baitcast rod/reel setups (a dozen) all which lay dormant for nearly 20 years until recent events and 2 daughters with serious boyfriends who happen to own a powerboat and a pontoon respectively, and who fish hardware exclusively. I'd started divvying up the lures among the grandkids, a few at a time, but the remainder were called back to somewhat active duty this summer.

It's still fun and, like riding a bike...it all came back.

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe


TimCatAugust 28th, 2016, 5:49 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Jonathan- I gave you a ring on Friday with the cell number you sent me and left a bumbling voicemail. Hope everything is alright on your end. I fished the pine Saturday morning around 7am to 1pm at cruzen. There were quite a few micro white caddis hatching. The only way I could tell they were caddis was from watching them squirm in spiderwebs on the fallen trees. They were tiny, but the hatch was prolific. I don't think I saw any fish wasting any effort on them, although I did see some rises here and there. I fished a grayish blonde deer-hair emerger (tied with my lab's underfur and Adams grey hareline dubbing, size 16) and hoppers upstream and swung a soft hackle spider back down. I caught 5 rainbows in the 5-8 inch range and a couple chubs. The little guys were pretty. I'm going back up next weekend so maybe we can try that spot of the trail you mentioned.

Rogue- the headwaters area I fished was off a trail in the state game area of the rogue. If you have the "Michigan Trout Streams: a fly angler's guide" by Linsmann and Nevala there is a spot mentioned that I went to. Pretty tight but a lovely forested stretch. I would bet it doesn't get much pressure.

"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
RogueratAugust 29th, 2016, 1:18 pm
Posts: 456
Tim,

got the book, found the spot on the map; was it as muddy as I seem to have imagined? I had visions of slogging through muck to find the stream nearer the headwaters, probably a misconception that kept me from exploring that area.
I've been upriver as far as Grange Ave and the now-rebuilt bridge there, lots of water weeds/cress and some fair fish for the efforts.

tight lines,

Roguerat

'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
TimCatAugust 29th, 2016, 2:14 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
The river was tight, but the water was only a little dirty. It rained earlier that day. The bottom ranges from muck to sand/gravel. Your boots sink into the muck in some spots. It can be a bit "sticky" while wading, but I've slogged through worse in the water. I had on my neoprene waders for this, because I was nervous I'd lose a boot. The trail to get there was basically an old, no longer used two-track. Not too marshy/muddy. I first scoped it out in jeans and tennis shoes before I went back to the car to grab my waders and rod. Not hard to get there at all.

It has limited casting windows here, but I like streams like this. Nice and shady too. I only explored about 100 yards upstream throwing a comparadun. I bet heading downstream with a streamer or soft hackle could be more productive due to the casting difficulties upstream. Swinging and stripping with the roll/spey casts would definitely cover more water.

Have fun if you decide to go! The brown I caught was feisty
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Jmd123August 29th, 2016, 5:48 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Hey Brandon, I hope you got my phone message, sorry I missed you! As I said in my voicemail, I'm not much of an early riser on Saturday and I also usually avoid the weekends and the crowds. Glad you had at least a little bit of action. Did you run into many other fisherman? Get in and out before the rain? Wildflowers?

I'm heading for the Rifle tonight (Sage Lake Road) and Wednesday I'm hiking into the new place I want to fish on the Pine, supposed to be a high of 74 that day. I will let you know of the results tonight and in a couple of days. I will probably be heading downstate to visit my folks and avoid the likely massive Labor Day crowds. I know, I live up here and get to go trout fishing anytime I want, and you have to drive up on the weekends...but the season is still open for a while so if you make it up in September let me know. Again, sorry I missed you this time around, but I'm not going anywhere anytime soon so I'll be here whenever you come up. Hey, Reid Lake and the Rifle below Sage Lake Road stay open all year...and October can be fantastic if the weather cooperates!

Tight lines, guys! Keep those MI fishing reports coming!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TimCatAugust 29th, 2016, 8:31 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Hey Jim, I just noticed your voicemail. My phone was dead when you called and I didn't see it after. My bad. I'm not a morning person either. My family was very surprised I was gone before breakfast. "You got up at 630?!"

I fished through the rain. It only came down enough to get my sweatshirt significantly wet for about a half hour. I ate my "brunch" under some trees while it was happening. Most of it was staggered, light-moderate sprinklings, which I was hoping would cause some hoppers to get washed in and start a bit of a "hatch". I really wished I'd had some beetle patterns to drown when my hopper wasn't getting much action. The soft-hackle swung on the way downstream got the most strikes. The water temps were perfect at about 60F on my thermometer. I saw some of those Joe-pye-weeds above along with some clustered yellow flowers while I was eating (don't know the name but they weren't like the 'spotted touch-me-nots' above). I didn't take any pics of the fish because I like to get the little guys swimming again as soon as possible, and that's all I landed. I was reeling in a 10-ish inch bow that got off on a jump though.

I didn't run into a single person except for the trucks driving by while I was gearing up. I also pulled some toy cars and a couple plastic chairs from the riffle under the bridge. It seems that some inconsiderate kids threw them off the bridge for some seriously cheap thrills.

Good luck on the Rifle and Pine trips coming up for you! I'll give you a ring again next time I'm up there. I just moved to Lansing, am taking classes at LCC, and am in-between jobs, so I may be heading up for my next trip during the middle of the week.
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Jmd123August 29th, 2016, 11:14 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Hey Brandon, is there still a fly shop in Lansing called The Troutpost? That's where I took my fly-tying class back in 1990 - and subsequently dropped a big chunk of change to get my material supply up. I actually still have some materials I bought waaaay back then...I was curious to know if that shop still existed.

Best of luck at LCC! In case you didn't already know, I teach biology at Alpena Community College. And I love it, especially when I get to teach Field Biology during the summer (like I did this past one, posted some pics if you haven't seen them yet).

Glad you had the stream to yourself. There's a lot of goldenrods blooming along the Pine right now, could those be your yellow flowers? I always have to comment on how that stream just turns into a wildflower garden throughout trout season, it certainly adds to the appeal to this (U of M trained) botanist. Got to do some botany on the job today too!

I did well on the Rifle tonight, comparatively speaking - biggest was a 13-inch brown, got a couple more in the 10-11" range and several smaller ones (and rainbows). A very heavy Nectopsyche caddisfly hatch (a.k.a. White Millers) over the water as darkness fell, and I caught all fish on EHCs in size 12, first a light-gray one and then an all-white one. Put on a #12 Royal Wulff for the finish but got no rises on that one. There were some very cool wildflowers there called turtlehead. I'll post a few pics later - I know I can always count my fellow Michiganders to comment, since we all love these beautiful little streams so much.

Teaching tomorrow, first day of class, and supposed rain. Back to the Pine on Wednesday!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
PartsmanAugust 30th, 2016, 7:09 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 320
Jonathon, the fly shop in east lansing is now Nomad Anglers, I think the troutpost is were I used to go back in the late 80s early 90s when I worked Lansing spo. The shop was in a little strip mall on Marsh rd. spent a lot money there back in my steelheading days. Nomad anglers is a nice shop and I try to do as much of business there as I can. I went up to the rifle this morning, got a couple of decent fish and a bunch of small ones. There seemed to be a bit of a trico hatch going and the fish were rising but were very selective. I'm still trying figure out the new phone and new lap top, so when I do lots of pics.

Mike.
TimCatAugust 30th, 2016, 10:59 pm
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
Like Partsman said, the only flyshop is called Nomad Anglers. They are Orvis endorsed/sponsored. They moved from marsh to grand river recently though. A good shop no doubt. They have a good selection of tying materials as well as being friendly and willing to share info about the area. Good folks.

You guys ever fish the east branch of the Au Gres? I read that's a decent trout stream


"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Jmd123August 31st, 2016, 1:14 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2473
Brandon, it's been a long time since I tried the East Branch Au Gres. I have only been in it at M-55 and it's pretty skinny, shallow waters, as in I couldn't find any holes to hold decent-sized fish (now unfortunately the case also at Buhl Dam on the Pine). Though, there's a lot more to explore and it's open below M-55 all year. Maybe a fall adventure once the Pine closes?

Jonathon

P.S. I have seen and even caught a few nice smallies in the mainstem of the
Au Gres. One day there on spinning tackle many years ago, I had this interesting mixed bag: an 8" perch, a 10" rainbow, a 12" largemouth, and a 14" smallmouth. Not many places you can catch all of those in the same day! Also, steelhead runs in both streams...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchSeptember 7th, 2016, 2:59 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
The drought might be over for some forum members but it is surely not over for those of us who live in the Susquehanna Valley. The Susquehanna River where I live is at least a half mile wide in many places and close to a mile wide in a few others. In the spring flows of 50-60 thousand cfs are quite common and summer flows are usually between 10 and 15 thousand cfs. The flow at the Marietta gage is only 5380 cfs. At flows this low it is dicey to even run my jet powered bass boat. I've had it out a few times but pretty much can only idle around as there are so many huge boulders just inches under the surface. If I ever hit one at speed it could either launch me out of the boat or hole and sink the boat. Most of my fishing has been confined to wet wading.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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