Fishermen working to get favorable conditions

REED CITY — Anglers are starting to get into the mood for summer.

In Osceola County, avid trout fisherman Jim Wallace concurred that “pretty much anywhere, the bluegills are getting on their beds. They’re starting to get more lilly pads so the bass are easier to find. (Bass fishing) is pretty hot right now. Pike are hitting. Things are good right now.”

Mark Tonello, northern Michigan DNR fisheries biologist,and others are hoping that throughout June, the best fishing will be yet to come.

“It depends on the species, but bluegills, I’m hearing, are now starting to hit the beds as are largemouth bass,” Tonello said. “Fishing for those two species should get real good here. Our trout streams, a lot of them have been too high to fish for much of the spring. We got some rain (Monday). I know for the last week and a half, it’s dropped into shape where you can fish them again.

“I think we’re in real good shape. Salmon fishing out of Lake Michigan, I hear, is slowly picking up steam as that water warms up. There’s a lot of opportunities as we move into summer here.”

Osceola County outdoorsman Andy Duffy of Evart points out that a variety of mayflies have been hatching.

“Right now is a great time to fly fish with brown drakes, gray drakes and sulfurs emerging,” he said. “The Hexagenia limbata, aka the Michigan caddis and the hex, will begin hatching in a couple of weeks. The Hexagenia limbata is a fly that hatches after dark. It is a large fly that entices large trout to feed at the surface. The nighttime fishing crowd loves the hex. The hex is the best fly for taking large trout on a dry fly. The very best way to take a trout on a fly of any type, though, is to fish large streamers.

“Soft-hackle wet flies are good bets right now because of the caddis hatches. Caddis swim rapidly to the surface of a stream, so the soft-hackle patterns properly fished do a great job of mimicking an emerging caddis. The Internet is filled with information about tying and fishing soft-hackle patterns.”

Jolyn Hildabridle of The Eyes Having It fishing store in LeRoy said anglers are doing well catching walleyes at Rose Lake. The Hog Hunters Wednesday night bass fishermen club had a tournament there this week.

“It wasn’t that great but they had a few big fish, nothing over five pounds, though,” she said, adding that the tournaments will be every Wednesday, including next week at Lake Missaukee. “There’s panfish on Diamond and Center lakes. They’re catching some nice bluegills.”

In Lake County, fishing action continues to pick up steam.

“There’s still some people out steelhead fishing, but they’re getting nearly done on that,” George Tharp of Ed’s Sport Shop in Baldwin said. “Trout fishing has been OK, but we keep getting rain. Some of the people are using crawlers.”

Tharp indicated bass fishing has been productive.

“Bluegills are starting to bed up a little bit,” Tharp said. “They’ve been getting some of them and the crappie fishing is OK. That’s about all I’ve heard recently.”