Tag Archive for: Northern Michigan Guide Service

Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass

Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass fishing on Grand Traverse Bay the past 10-14 days has been solid.  The past two weeks a small piece of the puzzle started to come together. I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the post spawn habits of these bass.  Which has been great.  With the up and downs of the Hex Hatch on the Upper Manistee.  This opportunity to target post spawn smallmouth in what I would consider shallow water, has been a great experience. Water temps still remain in the area I have been working in the mid 60’s.  These bass on eager to put back on the weight from the riggers of spawning.

A good population of 3-4 pound smallmouth are hunting and looking for food.  Next few weeks should give plenty of opportunities to anglers looking to catch smallmouth shallow before they venture out deep for the summer.  Saying that I’ve been looking some deep spots I learned last summer and starting to see population building.  Another piece of the puzzle.

Smallmouth Tactics Post Spawn

Northern Michigan smallmouth bass are now mostly post spawn, aquatic insects play a vital role in recovery.  With that crayfish just went thru a huge molting in the last moon phase, and that was a solid bite.  That presentation was key the last 10 days, bouncing thru the rocks on a slow crawl.

While on the bay it’s harder to find fish feeding actively on top.  Brown Drakes, Hexes, Dragonflies, and June Bugs are all on the diet.  Carry a selection of subtle topwater offerings when fish are cruising  shallow can be very beneficial .  Never know when you migth stumble on a top water opportunity.

Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass

As I mentioned the last 10 days the crayfish molt was key to success.  Fast sinking crayfish looking flies on Intermediate lines or Type 3 lines like the SA Sonar I23 were great to fish in the shallow rocks.  Early in the morning finding smallmouth cruising shallow was pretty easy.  As the sun got high and boat traffic increased then the deeper spots played better.  On the gear sides when the wind was blowing tube jigs in the 2.5″-3.5″ range worked well colors that fired this week Green Pumpkin , Amber Purple, Dark Melon, and something Black based in the clouds.

Booking a Smallmouth Trip

Interested in booking a Smallmouth Bass Trip or going for Lake Trout on light tackle, drop us a message via email, or text/call us directly 231-631-5701. We have open boats available this Summer if your want to fish for Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass.

Jon Ray

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

Pere Marquette Fishing Report

 

Hello Fishing Friends! It is the time of the year to get the dry fly box out. In the evenings we have seen some ok hatch fishing. This style of fishing should improve as the weather warms up. Look for Gray drakes, Sulfurs and stone flys to begin any evening now. It is the time to chase monsters at night on top.

Streamer Fishing

The streamer fishing has been good on cloudy days. We have moved a good number of trout on minnow patterns, olive and white streamers and yellow based streamers. Start early and fish the timber. Brown trout love to chase their prey and ambush them from the logs. The lure fishing is slowing downa bit. We had a good spring on lures. Historically as the bugs start to hatch the lure bite gets slow. If the lure game is your favorite way to fish you should plan to start as early as possible. The trout will chase early before the sun breaks the trees.

Headed to Alaska

As the insect life gains power the lure bit usually suffers. This will be my last report before I leave for Alaska. This will be 28 years of guiding up there. My second home is at Anglers Alibi on the Alagnak River. Thank you to everyone that fished with us this spring! i’m looking forward to spending the day with you guys this fall. Be safe and tight lines

Capt. Jeff Topp

 

 

 

 

smallmouth bass

Late Summer or Early Fall Smallmouth

Smallmouth fishing in Late Sumer or Early Fall can be one of the best times of the year.  Smallmouth bass are putting on the feed bag as they are starting to anticipate the winter months.  After a nice long summer of a diversified diet smallmouth want to put on as much weight as possible for the upcoming winter.  To do this their main focus is protein.  What gives them the best bang for their buck on the protein scale.  Baitfish!

Baitfish

As water temps start to drop baitfish start to congregate and form big balls of bait.  Some popular techniques to imitate these baitfish balls are umbrella rigs, spinnerbaits, and with the fly rods a two fly rig I like to call the Donkey Rig.  Covering water is key, as you have to locate the baitfish.  Using your electronics or understanding wind direction or current flow should help you and point you in the right direction.

 

 

Ice Dub Minnow

Ice Dub Minnow

Tying Ice Dub Minnow

Our latest upload to our YouTube Channel is a super simple baitfish pattern that we call the Ice Dub Minnow. A favorite pattern to fish below Tippy Dam, but also works great below Hodenpyle Dam and in the backwaters for smallmouth bass on Tippy Pond. Of course these are only a few of our favorite spots, as it has worked really well for bluegills in the spring when they are shallow and pre-spawn.

If you honestly haven’t tried hunting big pre-spawn bluegills, and you want to test your skills this is a great activity during quarantine. No motor needed for this type of fishing. Get ready to be humbled by the big gills. Great casting practice before the big bugs start hatching on our trout rivers.

Kids Fishing

What also makes the Ice Dub Minnow so great is that you can easily teach it to kids and get them started in fly tying, but also it’s a great pattern to fish with kids, to get them a taste of fly fishing. As I mention in the video this minnow pattern really does fish well by itself, with a tiny split shot. I tend to like Sure Shot, but black bird shot will just work as well. Size No 4 or No 6, are both really small and easy to cast.

Let this fry pattern swing in the current with small twitches of the rod, and it will fish itself. Small minnows can’t swim very fast for very long, so they become easy meals for hungry trout. Fish this pattern in the shallows where small baitfish tend to hide. Good luck and Stay Safe.

Jon Ray

Mangled Fly Guide Service is growing

Jeff Topp and Ed McCoy

First let me start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year from Mangled Fly! Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to make an exciting new announcement. Mangled Fly would like to welcome two new members to the team! Allow me to introduce fellow guides and new team members; Capt. Ed McCoy and Capt. Jeff Topp. With the addition of Ed and Jeff, Mangled Fly will be expanding its guide services to include an expanded diversity of angling experiences, more capacity to facilitate multiple boat trips, and more importantly two additional guides with a wealth of experience and knowledge of our local waters.

These are exciting times for us with the New Year and a new outlook heading into 2020! We encourage everyone to continually check out the Mangled Fly website and especially the updated guide pages to familiarize yourselves with Ed and Jeff. We are very excited about the new additions to the team and we are looking forward to the upcoming fishing season. Follow the Mangled Fly fishing reports and our fellow team members on their social media platforms to stay up to date with all of the local fishing conditions in our area. Mangled Fly wishes everyone a Fishy 2020 and Tight Lines as we continue to pursue our passion for teaching the art of angling!

Northern Michigan Guide Service

Big Announcment

I have some very exciting news to share with you all! After 17 plus years of guiding for Chuck and Cherie Hawkins and Hawkins Outfitters, the time has come for me to venture out on my own. Mangled Fly will now be more than just a photo and video blog; it will be home to my full time fly fishing guide services as well.

Everything on the fly fishing side of my business will stay the same. I will continue to guide primarily on the Manistee River and have secured Federal and State access to all launches as well as using my Coast Guard license when needed. My SmithFly Raft, Huron Drift boat, and ‘Tiny Dancer’ Jet Sled will float the big water you all know and love as well as some of the smaller and less well known streams that Northern Michigan has to offer.

Over the next few weeks Mangled Fly will be getting a major facelift with a fresh logo and updated design and you are the first to get a peek at the new look. I will be updating the Mangled Fly website as well as all social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and YouTube (all searchable under ‘Mangled Fly’). I have loads of content in the works for these platforms including fresh imagery, fly tying tutorials, up to date river reports and seasonal fishing tips.

I could not be living this dream without the continued and loyal support of all of you. I am forever grateful for the hours spent in the boat together rowing, casting, storytelling, catching (and losing) fish, capturing great moments on film and video and enjoying the beauty that I am lucky to call ‘my office.’ I am so looking forward to this next leg of my journey and am happy to have you all along for this ride.

My new email is jray@mangledfly.com. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding this transition.

Tight lines,

JR