When it comes to fly fishing, their are a few things you must be consistently on the look out for, one, in northern Michigan is of course bears. But did you know their are a number of even more menacing critters to watch out for?
Thats right, birds. Birds are some of the most notoriously obnoxious animals out their for fly fishing. Why? They actively attempt to get your bait while it’s in mid air. Their is art to avoiding them if you really love your location. But you must be both aware and vigilant in scouting out the right location and/or avoiding birds and bats when possible.
There is some motivation for fly fishing around active bird territory. It usually indicates a high concentration of fish food, bugs or smaller minnows. So the goal is to know what to look for and how to avoid getting the wrong thing on the end of your line.
So here is a list of the top 5 flying critters to watch out for in Michigan rivers and shore lines.
The first to look out for is the most obvious, seagulls.
Seagulls are smart birds. They are followers. When one seagull begins to dive for food, be looking for others to do the same. So it’s best when fly fishing to look for groups and note their feeding patterns. It usually is in 15 minute intervals. So when fly fishing, look for them to depart to at least tree level before casting a sideways fly fish cast.
Often they will congregate and eat around rocky shore lines where they can brake open mollusks and other hard-shelled food. So when fly fishing around seagulls, look and aim toward deeper waters. Avoiding drawing too much attention by your angle of cast.
Watch For Michigan Bat Colonies.
Michigan bats tend to stick around rivers because of the amount of bugs. They tend to hunker down at high points behind tree bark near Michigan rivers. Obviously the biggest issue with Michigan bats is their feeding time. Often you can find them feeding right at dusk which happens to be a prime fishing time.
Bug’s come out, fish come out and bats come out all at the same time which can add a challenge for the angler. The key like with seagulls is the cast. The echo location will detect lures in the air and dive after them. Because Michigan bat’s are protected you do not want to injure them. Killing a protected animal can fetch you hundreds of dollars in fines.
So we encourage low quick cast. The closer you are to your hole the better. Michigan bats cannot be easily controlled. Another tip is to look for and identify the Michigan bat your dealing with. We found some good tips on this blog for identifying Michigan bats.
The third and final flying critter to look out for is the Canada goose.
These geese can really ruin a fishermen’s day. They are very territorial and you come around a river bend read to cast in their direction, they have no problem getting in the water and nipping at you. The best thing to do here is to get a close to the fishing hole as possible, and making as little movement as possible so as to not appear as a threat.
As you progress up (or down river) from their location, do so in a slow and consistent manner. Unless you do not have a hole your trying to hit. In that case just pass by them as quickly as possible so they don’t disturb you chances down the road.
We hope this helps you with your next Michigan fly fishing trip.