1.Grayling, Michigan to fish the Au Sable and Manistee Rivers
I’m a little bias with this selection, because I call Michigan home. Honestly, Michigan is a diamond in the rough for the month of June. I specifically plan to stay home and fish. The water temperature is finally getting to into the upper 50s and low 60s which really turns the trout on. Lots of insects are popping with reliable hatches going on over the course of the day. Brown trout are sipping hex, Brook Trout are eating everything floating and carp are wallowing in the shallow coves eating crayfish and nymphs.
Where to Fly Fish in Michigan?
June is a transition month in Michigan. Early in the month I would seek out smaller streams like the North Branch of the Au Sable. Brook trout are abundant and hungry. An overlooked area that has proven productive year after year is at the bridge on North Down River Rd.
Later in June I would search out bigger rivers like the main branch of the Au Sable or Mainistee to drift a fly at night. The mystery of the Hex hatch is worth trying. Big flies, night time and monster brown trout is a mix that creates lifelong memories.
Unless you know the water, you’ll be fishing, I highly recommend getting a fly-fishing guide. They’ll have the connections to find out where the hatch is happening and keep you safe. But if you need a map try these spots.
Au Sable River
To find more maps and places read my article – Best Places to Fly Fish in Michigan: Maps Included https://guiderecommended.com/best-places-fly-fish-michigan/
What Fish and Flies for June in Michigan?
For brook trout go with a proven fly pattern that was invented in Michigan – the Adams. I like the parachute version of this fly. It floats a little higher and the parachute post makes it more visible.
Brown trout are feeding at night in Michigan. Big flies like a HEX Spinner and short casts are the plan for these trophies. When the bite is on, fish of a lifetime can be caught. I would recommend releasing any trophies, these fish are the breeding stock for future generations. (Plus in the stories you’ll tell you can embellish a little)
Guide Tip: Get a headlamp with a red and white light if you plan to fly fish at night. Use the red light when on the water so you don’t lose your night vision.
Fly Fishing Gear for June in Michigan
If I were to pick one fly rod, I’d grab my trusted 8 and ½ foot, four weight. The fish it’s caught in Michigan on June evenings warms my heart. A 4 to 6 weight fly rod, 9 feet long out fitted with a floating line will work for nearly every situation.
The flies I’d have are detailed in this video.
Guide Tip: June can be wet in Michigan, have a wading jacket with you. Don’t worry a trout don’t mind getting a little wet.
Links, Lodging and Fly Fishing Guides for Michigan
- The State of Michigan DNR is a fantastic resource for fly fishermen. Weekly fishing reports, stocking schedules and regulations. Link https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79119_79146—,00.html
- Gates Au Sable Lodge – On the banks of the Au Sable river, this lodge might not be luxury, but this “IS” the place to get the inside information for fly fishing in June. Link https://gateslodge.com/
- Pere Marquette River Lodge – Most folks don’t talk about fly fishing on the Pere Marquette River in June, which is good. (Keep it our secret) Mousing for brown trout is amazing on this water. The lodge has an excellent fly shop and knowledgeable staff. Link https://www.pmlodge.com/
- True North Trout – If your looking for someone to go the extra mile, True North Trout is going to accommodate. All fly fishing gear and flies are included. With a specialty in helping newer folks learn and seasoned fly fishers find hidden gems. Link http://truenorthtrout.com/
- Indigo Guide Service – Seasoned professional guides in on the Pere Marquette River and Beaver Island. These folks live on the water over 200 days a year. Super friendly, excellent equipment and a lifetime of tossing flies. Link http://indigoguideservice.com/
2. Helena, Montana Fly Fishing on the Missouri River
If you’re looking to combine mountain scenery, fly fishing for big trout and a fantastic community – check out the Helena Montana area in June. Helena, (capital of Montana) has about 30,000 folks and 3 fly shops. If I had to guess those 3 fly shops have more flies then the cities population.
Why did I pick the Missouri River in Helena? Easy, if you get the weather right you can get ahead of the crowds and toss flies to trout eager to fatten up.
Where on the Missouri River?
Montana is amazing, but with the different private water restrictions finding public access can be tough. To help guide you to the best places I wrote a monster article – XX Best Places to Fly fish in Montana If you are wading I would recommend two places fly fishing north of Helena.
The first spot is a little tricky because it is still on the big water of the Mo, but a creek flows into the river and puts together some desirable conditions to catch fish.
The next place for the wading angler is a little closer to Helena and combines great access, a creek flowing (trout creek) into the main branch and good trails for searching.
If you have a boat a “must do trip” is into the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness. The Lewis and Clark Expedition named the area because of the vertical cliffs rise a thousand feet up from the river. This is also home to some big trophy trout caught drifting nymphs through the deep runs.
The best place to drop your boat into the water is below.
Then motor up river to Mann Gulch area.
Fly Fishing Gear, Flies and Technique for the Missouri River
The Missouri River is big water, it’s best fished from a boat. The tributaries that flow into the river are great places to toss small dry flies like a size 16 to 18 Griffith’s Gnat.
If fishing from a boat for trophies, you have got to think about getting a fly down deep. Indicator setups with long leaders (think 12 feet) are your best bet. The flies that seem to work best are Sow Bugs and Beadhead Green Caddis
Lodging, Fly Shops and Guides in the Helena Montana Area
If you want to have memories to last a lifetime, without a doubt stay at the Missouri River Ranch. https://www.missouririverranch.com/
Located on the Missouri River and with access to over a mile of prime water all the needs for a fly fisherman are taken care of. Made to order breakfasts, lunches included and 4 course dinners. The ranch offers complete packages that include lodging, guided fly fishing, food and drinks.
Imagine waking up to the sun breaking of a mountain top with a coffee in hand and trout waiting to be caught
If your looking for a budget trip, many of the wilderness areas offer camping with boat launches. The weather can be a little unpredictable in June, but you’ll be slightly ahead of the crowds (Mid-July).
Fly Shops in Helena, Montana
- Montana Fly Goods is a full service fly shop https://www.montanaflygoods.com/ Experienced guides, a shop with a wide selection of gear and flies.
- Crosscurrents Located in Craig and Helena offers intimate knowledge of the Missouri, a well equipped shop and guided trips.
Guide Tip for the Missouri: After a good rain the Missouri doesn’t fish well. It’s better to soak in the incredible views or enjoy what I like to call a “lunch cruise” in a drift boat.
3. Salt Lake City, Utah go East to the Green River
I list this as Salt Lake City, but the area to fly fish is 4 hours east. Don’t let this dissuade you from fly fishing on the Green River. That little bit of travel is what makes this area so special. With amenities and conveniences sparse plan on bring many of your “needs” with you.
The Flaming Gorge Area has amazing scenery, a great jumping off spot is the village Dutch John. The town has a couple spots to get provisions and gas up.
Rainbow and Brown trout are distributed throughout the water shed. You can wade, but the deep holes and strong current will limit your access. Check on one of the guides below to put you on quality fish.
The Green River is the flagship watershed for Utah, but don’t think that it’s the only place to fly fish. I’ve written about 26 Best Places in Utah to Fly Fish (link to article).
Every June stories of huge fish are caught, there are some monsters in here approaching 30 inches and weighting around 10 pounds. You might want to try your hand at fishing after dark, from experience the big browns that haunt these waters tend to be nocturnal.
Where to Find Fish on the Green River
Famous for thousands of fish per mile, the Green River is know for big numbers of fish and an average 16 inch size. Lots of cool water and food in the from of bugs and bait fish are what make this water great.
June Conditions for Fly Fishers on the Green
Expect high temperatures in the upper 70s and lows in the mid-40s. June is pretty dry, but I would recommend a wading jacket. Warm days and gentle breezes are the perfect conditions to blow those lumbering Cicadas’ into the water.
Recommended Flies for the Green River
June is all about the Cicadas on the Green. Once the ground warms up to around 60 degrees these big ugly flies take flight for a month or so. Size 6 and 8 seems to work best, I’ve had the best luck with flies that have a orange and white mixed with black. Heavily add floatant and wait for EXPLOSIVE strikes.
Guides, Lodges and Fly Shops in the Flaming Gorge Region
Lodging is limited so book a room early or plan on camping. The places I’d recommend are:
- Flaming Gorge Resort https://www.flaminggorgeresort.com/ 15 minutes from the Green River with most amenities on the property.
- Trout Creek Flies has Cabins plus a small fly shop https://www.troutcreekflies.com/lodging/
- Red Canyon Lodge is another good bet. http://www.redcanyonlodge.com/
Guide Tip for the Green River: Get up and out early. June is prime time on the Green so if you have a favorite spot you’re going to have to beat the next guy to it. Remember – fly fishermen are nice folks so you be nice as well……😎
4. Jackson Hole Wyoming to Fish the Snake and Provo Rivers
June in Jackson Hole, WY is another great spot to fling a fly. The mountain run-off is starting to slow making the river wade and float accessible. The day time temps are getting into the 70’s which turns on the bite. (the nights could be in the 30’s though). If traveling with a “non-fisher” the town boast incredible shopping, lodging and restaurants.
Where to Fly Fish on the Snake River outside of Jackson Hole
If you’re looking for a quick productive afternoon of fly fishing with amazing views drive north 12 miles to Schwabacher Landing. The parking lot leads to a braided section of the Snake River that has plenty of trout habitat.
If you hire a guide, one of the popular spots north starts at Deadman’s Bar. Weekends can get busy at this remote launch so get up early to beat the crowds.
Flies and Fly Shops in Jackson Hole
Jackson has three established fly shops that can gear you up and point you to other reliable locations.
- Snake River Angler: http://www.snakeriverangler.com/
- Westbank Anglers: http://www.westbank.com/
- High Country Outfitters: http://jdhcoutfitters.com/
In late June the days start to get warm, which kicks off the grass hoppers. The gradient of the Snake can be fairly steep so trout are quick to grab big meals like a Chubby Chubby Chernobyls.
5. Navajo Dam, New Mexico to fish the San Juan River
If I had to pick another spot to fly fish in June it would be New Mexico. The four corners region has the San Juan River. This tailwater boasts 20,000 fish per mile with an average size of over 16 inches. Both rainbow and brown trout fill this tailwater fishery.
You might not think of New Mexico and fly fishing together. That’s OK by me, you can stay away and let me catch all the trout 😎. If you’d like to read and discover my favorite spots check out this article. 11 Best Places to Fly Fish in New Mexico (Maps Included)
You will need to watch the waterflow levels if your plan is to wade. The Navajo Dam is typically either on or off, so the water volume can be as high as +4,000 CFS (difficult to wade) or down into the preferred 500 to 600 CFS for wading. Check this website for the latest release schedule Bureau of Reclamation Navajo Reservoir. https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/nvd.html
Midges patterns can be can be tricky to fish. I wrote an article defining how, where and when to use midges’. Read it here – What is a Midge in Fly Fishing and How to Use Them
Where to Toss a Fly on the San Juan River
3 miles below the Navajo Dam are flies and lures catch and release. If you have a boat the best launch just down river from the dam.
Guide Tip for the San Juan: When in doubt tie on a smaller fly and fish it deeper. Trout fill these waters, all you need to do is put your fly on there noses.
The most popular take out spot is
If you don’t have a boat, a favorite spot with lots of riverside trails is:
Read more about New Mexico Fly Fishing in this article – Best Places to Fly Fish in New Mexico https://guiderecommended.com/fly-fish-new-mexico/
Recommended Flies for the San Juan River
These fish see lots of fisherman, long 12 ft fluorocarbon leaders and tippet in the 5x to 6x size are recommended. June is a little early for hoppers, but if present and you love dry fly fishing tie one on like a traditional Dave’s Hopper
With the grassy bottoms small Annelids (this is where the San Juan Worm was created) and Zebra Midge in size 16-20.
Lodges, Fly Shops and Rooms in the village of Navajo Dam
- Rainbow Lodge http://www.sanjuanfishing.com/ Offers packages that include, room, meals and a guided trip down the San Juan.
- Fishheads San Juan River Lodge https://www.fisheadsofthesanjuan.com/san-juan-river-fishing-rates-packages/ Packages
6. Gatlinburg/Townsend, Tennessee to Fly Fish in the Smoky Mountains
Fly fishing in GSMNP is an annual spring even for me. I love the small stream, bushwhacking, rock climbing style of fishing. The fish are smaller, but hiking through the gorges on a spring day taking in the beauty and solitude is magical.
The key to fishing the Smoky Mountains is to hike just a little bit further than most folks are willing to go. So instead of hiking for 45 minutes and hitting the water, go another hour up the trail. If one person gets in front of you, your chances of hooking into something is slim.
For years I used David Knapp at Trout Zone Anglers. These mountains are home to him. Describe the type of trip you want and David will deliver.
Where to Fly Fish in the Smoky Mountains
I’m going to show you where to park. Finding the fish is going to be up to you. Take my advice and hike, once you get a little tired go ahead and start fishing. Here’s my secret – If I’m in the area, I’ll be even farther up into the mountains!
Flies and Gear Needed for GSMNP
Three flies will catch fish, if they’re going to bite.
- Size 12 foam body yellow sally
- Size 18 Griffiths gnat
- Small black midge nymphs, size 18
Guide Tip: Once you think you’ve hike far enough into the mountains, go just a little farther. GSMNP gets millions of visitors, many carrying fly rods. The creeks and rivers are full of trout, but if someone has just fished the river 20 minutes before you the catch rate is going to be low. Enjoy the walk and get far away from others.
7. St Anthony and Ashton, Idaho to Fish on the Henrys Fork River
Wading or floating this region has it all. Mountain views, solitude and lots of trout. This area has spill over dams and a couple small impoundments. Access is good with two track bordering man mile and plenty of trails to fill in the rest.
Dry flies fished in the ripples and rough water seem to produce best. I like 9 foot 5x nylon leaders with a single dry fly greased up with floatant.
Where to Fish at Henrys Fork
Flies for Henry’s Fork
June is perfect for dry fly fishing on the Henry’s Fork. Golden Stone dry flies are great , make sure you apply floatant to the rubber legs and the trout will smack these on the surface.
Lodges and Fly Shops Supporting the Area
- TRR Outfitters has four shops in this area. Check out the shop in Ashton – https://trroutfitters.com/ashton-fly-shop/ Great for advise and well stocked for a small town shop.
- If you’re looking for a bed close to the fishing action, check out Teton Mountain Inn. http://tetonmountaininn.com/ Basic combinations for a fair price (less than $100/night).
Is June the Best Month to Fly Fish?
I can’t think of a year that I didn’t fly fish for most of June. Like I said Michigan is exploding with bugs in June, so it can be tough to leave and go someplace else, but hopefully I’ve provided some places and experiences to get you onto some of the best fly fishing water, in one of the most productive months.