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Old 07-08-2008, 09:57 PM
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Default Michigan Fly Advice

Hello everyone! This is my first thread on TNAFFF, so here it goes. I am planning on making a trip to northern Michigan towards the end of july and am going to be in the leelanau county area. I have been researching rivers in the area and am considering trips to the boardman, jorden, and platte rivers. i was hoping to plan ahead and get flies sooner rather than later. can anyone recommend what flies to get for these streams? also, does anyone recommend one of these rivers over the others? please keep in mind that i am relatively new to fly fishing!
Thanks for your help!
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

Tricos and terrestrials...hoppers to be specific...

Dan
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

I too live in Michigan ( Ada, near Grand Rapids ), but have never fished the rivers you mentioned. My first suggestion is to contact a local fly shop in
the area you will be heading to fish. I know that there is a good fly shop
in the Traverse City area, but cannot think of their name at this moment.
( maybe use goggle to find them ) They should be able to give you advice
on what fish are typically in those rivers & what are the best flies to use.

Best of luck on your trip,

Tie One On----------------------<*)))))))><
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

Hey lumberjack,

First, be sure to tie on an Adams at some point during your expedition for good karma--- it was invented for the Boardman and other rivers up there. Otherwise you could throw the universe out of whack.

Second, don’t forget the flies you already probably have. Some of these streams hold some very large browns, so stripping a black wooly bugger or big black marabou muddler thru pools or near logjams and under cut banks could pay off. General utility flies like a Partridge and Orange Soft Hackle wet fly are easy to fish (cast downstream and across and just let it swing) and are good to use as searching fly, and even during a hatch as an emerger (especially if there are caddis around). A Parachute Adams is often close enough to match a hatch as long as it’s the right size. And some grass hoppers (size 10) and ants (16) are always a good bet in summer

Here are some links you might find helpful. The Betsie is nearby too.

Fly Fishing the Jordan River in Michigan

Fly Fishing the Platte River in Michigan

Fly Fishing the Boardman River: description and fishing

Fly Fishing the Betsie River in Michigan

As far as specific hatches, Tie said it best. Your best bet is to stop in a local fly shop and pick up a few flies they recommend. And they’ll have the latest info on hatches that are coming off, and can probably point you in the right direction in terms of access to stretches that have been producing well. It’s money well spent. Your money, but still…

If you tie and wanted to get a head start, or pick up few flies in advance these are a few hatches you are apt to run into on these streams (and many others in the mid west and northeast so they won’t go to waste).

Personally, I’m a big fan of Comparaduns and Sparkle Duns, for dries but parachutes and traditionally hackled ones work too. I’ll leave off emergers, but the local shop can give you recommendations if they have been productive.

Baetis 18-20 (afternoons) (dries Blue Winged Olives, Parachute BWO. BWO
Sparkle Dun or BWO Comparadun. Nymph Bead head Pheasant Tail

Isonychia 12-14 (sporadic during day, evenings) This is a good sized mayfly, traditional dry is a Dun Variant. ISO Sparkle/Comparaduns are another option. Bead Head Prince Nymphs are a good imitation, but a local shop might suggest better ones.

Slate Wing Olive 16-18 (same as Baetis for dries in 16, but add a Rusty Spinner size 16 and BHPTN in size 16)

Trico 22-24 (mornings) (Dry: Trico Spinner. Since these are so small you’ll need 7x tippet too. Another option is to use a size 20 or 18 Griffiths Gnat. It’s designed to look like a cluster of Tricos and is easier to see and fish. And sometimes it works.. Don’t bother with a nymph for these.

Light Cahill 14-16 (evenings) (Dry: Light Cahill, Steno Sparkle/Comparadun. Nymph BH Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear or shop recommendation)

Caddis 14-18 (afternoons) Dry Tan Elk Hair Caddis 14-18 with possibility of Little Black Caddis 16-18 and White Miller Caddis 14-16 this time of year. Emerger a size 16 Partridge and Orange Soft hackle, Orange Deep Sparkle (weighted) or Sparkle Pupa (unweighted).

Most of these hatches listed below are probably over by the end of July but ask when you get in town. I’d probably pick up a Hex or two and throw it anyway just in case you run into a big brown with long term memory.

Little Yellow Stonefly 12-14

Hex 6-8 (night)

Brown Drake 8-10

Yellow Drake 12-14

Golden Drake 8

Eastern Gray Drake 10-12

Good luck! Looking forward to the report!

peregrines
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

I really appreciate the help! Flyshack.com gives a list of hatches for listed rivers, but none of the ones i am going to are listed (except for Platte). I figured that i could go off the ausable. I'll let you know how things go!
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

Yeah they should all have the same. The links I posted should have little charts for each river. Some of the listings like BWO' s are actually several species, and broods of earlier species that hatched earlier this year, and the small ones 22's and 24's won't actually be on the rivers till late August so you shouldn't have to worry about them for your trip. Also the "Caddis" are probably Brachycentrous (tan wing, tan body) #14-18 and maybe Chimara black body, black wing #18. Downwing patterns, X caddis etc should all work well in addition to the EHC in those colors and sizes if you want to mix things up.

I've never used FlyShack but have heard good things. I'd be interested to hear what you think of them. As far as their patterns go, you might find a couple of different flies for Isonychia. I'm partial to the old school Dun Variants and more recent (if you call 1980's more recent) Comparaduns. Basically the natural has a dark brown body and slate gray wings. You might see pattern names like Mahogany Dun or White Gloved Howdy (because the male Iso has white tips on it's front legs). They're also old school Iso patterns.

BTW, as i mentioned earlier, all those hatches are pretty common ones on other streams in July as well, so it's not like these are just specific to those few streams.

Good luck!

peregrines
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

While those are all fine Rivers I think you can do better. The Platte is a beautiful river, however from Platte Lake to Lake Michigan it is pretty much like fishing in the city. Alot of houses.

The Upper Platte is hard to access above Platte Lake until you get near Honor.

Rivers I would look to are the Upper Platte, The Pere Marquette, Big and Little Manistee Rivers, the Muskegon River, the Betsie, Pine River or of course Michigan's Holy Waters, the Ausable.

Couple of local sites that can be very helpful

Fishbaldwin.com.............is the home site for a flyshop in Baldwin. Great bunch of guys that have a lot of information.

Michigan-Sportsman.com...........another great site for the whole state. If you look in the Rivers section it is broke down by sections of the state.....make sure and check the rules as there are a number of rivers that can not be referenced by name.

Hope you have a great trip to Michigan.
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2PawsRiver View Post
Michigan-Sportsman.com...........another great site for the whole state. If you look in the Rivers section it is broke down by sections of the state.....make sure and check the rules as there are a number of rivers that can not be referenced by name.

Hope you have a great trip to Michigan.
I know this is an old thread, just been reading back in time. I wanted to second Mark's suggestion of Michigan-Sportsman.com and say hi to Mark from another MS member!
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

Hey there...........the internet sure makes it a small world
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Michigan Fly Advice

And one more member...Small world indeed...

Dan
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