The DNR stocks big hatchery trout on April 1st in the upper Huron River below the Moss Lake Dam. It is catch and release fly fishing until the last Saturday in April. Then its open to keep trout on any tackle.
I paddled down from the Proud Lake public access to the Huron River channel just above the Moss Lake Dam. About every cast was taken by a bluegill with other species mixed in. I got five stocked trout there on an Ice Marabou Minnow Jig. Fly pictures and recipes below. These were the first two trout.
Fishermen were below the Moss Lake dam, I cast across the flow to swing the light jig at depth through a pod of the big stocked trout. I saw them shake their head before I felt them on the line. I landed 5 more. I paddled past many fish in the 50 yards down stream before the water got really shallow. The river was lower than I have ever seen it. Last year it was a foot higher and the fish were not so exposed. At the first marsh hole I gave the little white jig a few cast and landed one of two hooked. It had to be retrieve faster than I liked to keep it above the muck and low weeds on the bottom.
Last year, a #10 bead head Brown Drake Swimming Nymph worked well in the deeper and slightly faster flow.
I put on a lighter #8 no bead Swimming Nymph. It has a soft rabbit fur tail and a fluffy "filoplume" (aftershaft) over the tail and thorax. Even without the bead head, it has good movement when given a slight tap on a slow swing. I got about a dozen trout on that. The next marsh bend hole, my favorite spot in past years, had fish but was silted in much shallower. Today I only landed one fish here. The Swimming Drake nymph was mostly not getting hit now, neither were the next few flies tried. By late evening, when I tied on the Fur Sculpin, I was back at the first marsh hole and it was getting hit eagerly. Upstream at the dam hole in 90% darkness, I got two more rainbows. I counted 23 trout landed, About a dozen each on the White Jig and the Swimming Nymph and 7 more on the Fur Sculpin. I try to do better than fishemen's math, but it is hard to keep track.
These flies all have soft materials. The two used today were well worn before they were retired. Recipes below.
- Ice Marabou Minnow
- Hook: #8 Barbless Jig KoreaSun5220 or similar with 5/32 silver bead
- Body Thread: Fluorescent Chartreuse
- Tail: White Marabou
- Body: Pearl Ice Dub
- Collar: Fire Orange 140 Denier Danville Flymaster+
Swimming Hex or Brown Drake Nymph
- Hooks: #10 to #6 Standard Shank Dry or Wet Fly hook
- Bead Head: Optional Black Bead
- Thread: Black 140 Denier
- Tail #1: Natural tan rabbit fur or longer soft fur if needed.
- Tail #2: Pheasant Aftershaft, save forward half to lay forward over thorax
- Thorax Pull Over: Cock Pheasant Tail tied tips forward.
- Thorax: Dubbed spiky Tan Rabbit-Fox Squirrel blend
- Pull forward Aftershaft and tie down
- Thorax Topping: Pheasant tips pulled forward and tied pointing forward
- Pull forward Pheasant fibers and tie down
- Legs: Pheasant tips tied back. half to each side
- Fur Sculpin
- Hook: #8 or #6 1XL Nymph or Dry
- Thread; Fire Orange or Black 140 Denier
- Tail: Natural Tan Rabbit
- Rib: Gold Round or Oval
- Body: Dubbed Fur, Muskrat or tan Rabbit-Squirrel blend
- Hackle: Dark Brown Ruff Grouse Saddle
- Head: Dubbed Tan Rabbit-Fox Squirrel blend