July 18, 2022 River Report

It’s full-blown Summer here in Northern Michigan and the weather is spectacular.  We’re running a little cooler than normal, but all that means is that “the water is fine”.

Lakes are plenty warm enough for a plunge and the River is keeping cool enough for pretty decent trout fishing.  In fact, July has offered up some of our most consistent weather patterns this year and patterns lead to predictability. 

Early mornings have been solid with lots of small trout looking to feed and get big enough to carve out a cozy, log-jam home, but the bigger trout are largely ducked into cover as sunshine blossoms. 

It’s just the opposite as the sun sinks behind the Earth.  The small trout feed nicely on olive spinners at dusk but disappear as the light fades into darkness as toothy brown trout with a brook trout appetite slide out from their lairs and into the hunt. 

Every seasoned night fisherman has their favorite patterns . . . foam and rubber bass-fly contraptions and slowly tied deer hair treasures.  Something subsurface is, generally, in the mix—something old and proven like a Houghton Lake Special or Maden’s BuzzSaw. 

Each lure seems to make a special difference when that first slashing brown trout takes a killing swipe.  That said, I’m not, anymore, so sure that the patterns are the first answer to slow fishing. Just like I’m not so sure “the secret spot” is the second answer.  We’re angling to trout, both in the daylight and in the darkness, when nothing is on the water.  We’re fishing to trout that want to feed opportunistically and our first job is to give those fish that opportunity.

Pick a fly that you think looks cool.  Better yet, let your kid pick it out.  Then fish it with confidence for about thirty minutes.  I think we’re just looking for bite windows and aggressive trout, but changing lures, every now and then, really helps to keep fishermen engaged. 

Better yet, when you’re out there, pay attention to the small details that you can control.  Work on being sneaky in the currents.  Work on getting that perfect log-rubbing drift.  The answer isn’t usually something you can buy or a map you can follow.  Here, you make your own luck.   

Seek some Summer!

Take care,


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