The Painted Trout crew has been out in force on the local rivers, and the report is good trending toward great.
The Huron River is low and fishing well, with both streamer and top water action available. For streamers, bright days are allowing for yellows, whites and tans (Eric’s Smooth Criminal in white is a must), and the darker periods can be covered with black Buggers in all varieties (Bow River, Twister Tail, Brush, etc.). Big articulated streamers will take fish, but so will traditional streamers in sizes 6 and 4. A floating line is fine, but an intermediate can be an advantage, especially if you want to fish with the big deer-hair flies like Zoo Cougars. Up top, Bugle Bugs in orange are producing nicely if you like to pop big bugs, and the Golden Drakes in a size 10 or 12 will fetch a few in the late afternoons. I am seeing Yellow Sallies, but have not had a chance to fish them yet. Work the wood and shade hard, and leave the few remaining spawners alone – we need all the little guys we can get!
Mill Creek in Dexter is fishing well. It's clear and the flow is good, though it could use a freshening up with a gentle, short rainfall. Remember, The Mill will stay clear after a hard rain, but show that coffee milk-shake effect the next day. As is typical of the Mill, fish are rising to midges in the mornings. It's fun to watch and a challenge; use nothing less than a 5x tippet. Throughout the day, Copper Johns will provide good mid-water-column results, and a small streamer (Mickey Finn, Clouser), not too heavily weighted, swung under the cut banks and along structure will get bangs. Bring Light Cahills and Tan Caddis for the dry fly fishing you crave; those bugs (Golden Stones and Caddis) will be hatching. Never leave home without emergers in these.
The Flint River is like the Flint should be – producing solid numbers of fish and a few good-sized brutes now and again. If you have no desire to experiment, a chartreuse Sparkle Grub in a size 6 will keep the rod bent all day. If you want to play, sculpin patterns are a good bet, with dark olives and blacks getting decent action. Work the deeper holes and the back sides of rocks. Every little dip seems to be holding a smallie right now – they are more dispersed than they often are, which spreads the wealth out during a float or long wade. Enjoy it!
Off the grid waters that I have hit are also producing very well – think farm ponds and smaller area streams. The bass are hungry and responding to almost everything in my box, although Sparkle Grubs and BH Buggers are doing the bulk of my work.
The weather is amazing right now, the rivers are in mid-season form and there is too much construction to get away and go anywhere. Stay calm and fish your local waters!