Winter is upon us in Northwest Michigan.
Steelhead remain in the river and should continue to trickle into the river systems with water temps ranging from the high 30’s to low 40’s. Look for fish to be in the deeper, slower water and on the sunny days look in tail-outs for the fish warming themselves. Take advantage of the days that have a little sun and a bump in air temps that can warm the water a couple of degrees – these conditions can be just enough to trigger and improve the bite and make fishing conditions more comfortable. There is still the occasional Coho found in most of our rivers and it’s a good opportunity to catch a lake run brown trout this time of year on the Betsie. Lake Trout are available to those fishing close to the river mouths on rivers like the Platte and Boardman – just another testament to our variety of fish species. Nothing new on flies: egg patterns, hex nymphs, stones and small caddis.
Trout fishing on the upper-river now requires a slower retrieve. Those fishing streamers should try the mid-size streamers fished on shorter sink-tips for the best shot. As with the steelhead, look for an increase in water temperatures to help improve the bite – it doesn’t take much. This is a good time of year to fish with some nymphs dead-drifted and swung at the end.