Just Around the Corner...
The month of May can pose some unique challenges for midwestern anglers, particularly for those who love fishing dry flies. This year is certainly no exception to that old rule. Early this week water temperatures remained in the mid to upper 40’s. Our overnight low temperatures (while thankfully keeping the mosquitoes at bay) seem to have slowed down the emergence of some of our larger mayfly species. Sulfurs, mahoganies, and small caddisflies are being eaten, albeit sporadically. Carry a wide variety of fly patterns and experiment with them. When in doubt, go small.
We expect insect hatches to explode in the next couple of weeks—hopefully that will help simplify the fly selection process. For more updates on water conditions and insect activity on the PM, check out the reports written by our good friend Jeff Hubbard. Jeff is one of Michigan’s best guides, and his no-nonsense advice is always worth a read. Outfitters North | PM River Reports
If you’re spending some time at the vise this weekend, consider tying some Euro scuds. These work especially well in the winter, but fish eat them all year long—especially after moderate to heavy rain.
Hook: Firehole Sticks 551 #14
Bead: 3.3mm Slotted Tungsten
.015 lead wire
Thread: Veevus 6/0
Loon UV Clear Fly Finish Thin
Set your bead and wire, and build a thread base. Tie in a 1/8” strip of flashback. Create a sparse dubbing loop of scud dub, bring your thread to just behind the bead, and palmer the dubbing loop forward. Secure the dubbing loop with some turns of thread. Brush the dubbing fibers down. Fold the flashback strip over the fly body and tie down. Whip finish, and apply a good layer of UV thin to form a curved, clear back. Cure with UV light.
The nighthawk is an amazing predator, capable of catching fast-moving insects in mid-flight. Don't let this insectivore's name fool you, nighthawks rarely hunt when it is truly dark. Instead, they eat at dawn and at dusk; those moments when the faintest amount of sunlight illuminates their surroundings. Nighthawks are most easily identified by their hunting behavior and by their white wing bars. Memorize the silhouette of the nighthawk, it will help you identify them in low light. If you're on the water past sunset, look for them twisting and turning above the tree line. Check out the mouth on this bird...No wonder they can gobble up hex flies with more efficiency than a starved trout!
Nomad Anglers is hiring! We are looking for some more part-time team members in both Grand Rapids and East Lansing shops. Looking for hard working, passionate, outgoing individuals that are willing to help with daily shop operations, casting, and fly tying classes during the summer season. Regular weekday availability is a priority. If you are interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Grand Rapids shop, or email@example.com for the East Lansing Shop.